Tag Archives: Lackawanna cutoff

Ghosts of the Lackawanna—October 2015.

In its heyday, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western was a super railroad. Visionary management rebuilt and modernized the line in the early years of the 20th century, spending vast amounts of private capital on massive line relocations characterized by massive concrete viaducts.

I can only imagine what the railroad would have been like with its multiple track mainline, numerous signal towers, and a steady flow of freight and passenger trains.

On the afternoon of October 17th, Pat Yough and I revisited the DL&W line over Pocono Summit, and explored the area around Slateford Junction and Portland, Pennsylvania.

Radiant foliage along the old DL&W mainline at Henryville, PA. FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo.
Radiant foliage along the old DL&W mainline at Henryville, PA. FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo.
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania looking west on the DL&W. FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo.
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania looking west on the DL&W. FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo.
Restored East Stroudsburg tower.
Restored East Stroudsburg tower.
Former DL&W open spandrel concrete Slateford Viaduct over the Delaware River at Slateford Junction. FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo.
Abandoned former DL&W open spandrel concrete Slateford Viaduct over the Delaware River at Slateford Junction. FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo.
Former DL&W open spandrel concrete Slateford Viaduct over the Delaware River at Slateford Junction. FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo.
Former DL&W open spandrel concrete Slateford Viaduct over the Delaware River at Slateford Junction. FujiFilm X-T1 digital photo.
Slateford Junction.
Slateford Junction.
Old DL&W station at Portland, PA.
Old DL&W station at Portland, PA.
DL&W relay box Portland, PA.
DL&W relay box Portland, PA.

I made these views of the old Lackawanna infrastructure. While the old ‘Lackawanna Cut-off’ built in 1908 was abandoned by Conrail in the 1980s, other portions of the DL&W in the area remain active, although it’s a shadow compared to the intensively traveled mainline of a century ago.

Yet, the decayed vestiges of this once super railroad remain a fascinating testimony to the earlier era. A time when coal was the railroad’s life blood, and the dull roar of interstate highways and jet aero planes was still far in the future.

Coming soon: the DL&W Lives on with Norfolk Southern and Delaware-Lackawanna freights.

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