With Norfolk Southern SD70ACe 1021 leading a heavy freight [train symbol 11Z] in our review mirror, we drove south on Highway 11 toward Nicholson, Pennsylvania—location of the famous Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct.
As regular readers of Tracking the Light are aware, in recent months Kris and I have made several visits to this momental vestige of the late, great, Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad.
From our earlier visits I had my spot picked out on a side road a little ways from the village. I wanted to arrive with ample time to get into position set up in to time to catch the train crossing the bridge.
Dappled sunlight filled the valley as we heard the freight approaching.
I made a sequence of digital images using my Nikon Z7 with 24-70mm lens. Five locomotives were in the lead with a lone DPU (locomotive set up as a radio controlled remote ‘distributed power unit’) toward the rear of the freight. [NS 11Z runs from East Binghamton, NY to Roanoke, Virginia via Enola, PA.]
Afterwards we drove back under the viaduct and paused at the visitor’s parking area where there is literature and photos of the bridge on display. Our dog Boomer got to stretch his legs and mark his spot. He was delighted, it was his first visit to the big bridge!
I wrote about the DL&W bridge in my book Railway Masterpieces (Krause 2003) The viaduct was designed by DL&W’s bridge engineer Abraham B. Cohen and completed in 1915. The late historian-photographer William S. Young researched and wrote extensively about this bridge and Lackawanna’s early 20th century line relocations. He had interviewed Cohen’s descendants. I met with Young on a couple of occasions while researching bridge projects.
Last Sunday, we exited Interstate 81 at New Milford, PA to get gas. This was the last leg in our big move, and our third drive from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania in the last month,
My plan was to follow old Route 11 toward Clark’s Summit. This avoids the traffic on I-81 and largely follows the old alignment of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western. In fact in many places Route 11 is built on the old right-of-way.
We had Boomer-the-Dog with us and this was his first trip to Pennsylvania.
As I was fueling the car, I heard the unmistakable roar of modern EMD diesels. It was a southward freight on the Lackawanna!
I concluded pumping gas before the tank was filled, and we headed south after the train.
Several miles south of New Milford, Route 11 runs adjacent to the Lackawanna, now operated by Norfolk Southern. We pulled over to roll the train by at milepost 637.
Here, Kris made a video with her phone, Boomer got to witness his first BIG freight train, and I exposed this sequence of digital photos.
Soon we were off after an even bigger prize . . . (stay tuned).
In March 2007, Pat Yough and I made a visit to the abandoned former Lackawanna Paulins Kill Viaduct in western New Jersey.
I was researching a book on railroad bridges, and needed to fill some gaps in my photographic coverage.
This was one of several massive concrete bridges built by the Lackawanna in the early 20th century. It has been disused since Conrail abandoned the Lackawanna Cutoff in the early 1980s.
Since that time the line has been repeatedly studied for reopening.
Previously on Tracking the Light in Jan 2014 I featured color photos of the bridge exposed the same day as these B&W images.
I made these photos on Fuji Neopan 400 black & white film using my Contax G2 rangefinder with 28mm Zeiss Biogon lens. I processed the film in Rodinal Special mixed 1-32 with water at 68F for three minutes and 15 seconds.
In December 1982, my father and I visited the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Hoboken Terminal on the Hudson River waterfront opposite Manhattan.
I thought this ancient decaying relic of the Golden Age of American railways was just about the most fascinating place on the planet.
Rotten, yet grand, elusive, yet filled with intrigue. I exposed a series of Kodachrome slides using my 1930s era Leica 3A with Sumitar lens.
There’s no doubt; I was born in the wrong era. At age 16, my interests lay in the world decades before my birth.
Lackawanna Terminal has been tidied up since that day. Today, one of the old DL&W electric multiple unit cars serves as Conway Scenic Railroad’sdining car Chocorua, while another former DL&W car is coach 3202 Hurricane Mountain. Oddly enough, I write this in the shadow of Hurricane Mountain in North Conway, New Hampshire.
I scanned the slide portrayed here just a little while ago. I offer two versions. One is a scaled RAW scan without interpretation, the other is an ‘improved’ version of the same scan. I lightened this, adjusted the contrast and color temperature.