The BEST Railroading in the Poconos: Westbound to the Electric City

One thought on “The BEST Railroading in the Poconos: Westbound to the Electric City

  1. 1/13/23, about 9:31 p.m. Harrison, thanks for another fine video! The D-L certainly does beautiful painting as well as fine maintenance of their Alcos. Those three went a long way without hauling any cars. Number 80 is one of my two favorite types of PSTCo. (Red Arrow Lines) trolleys. After my cello lessons while in jr and sr high, I’d walk carrying it for over a mile from my teacher’s house in Springfield to south of Swarthmore, then ride the long Chester bus route to 69th St. Terminal in Upper Darby. The Ardmore trolley left 69th Street terminal on the right hand outbound track. I’d wait and be the last to board and would stand in the front left stairwell with my cello, instead of lowering the plank on a hinge that would have provided a seat. That type of trolley had vertical corner windows in front of that, which the motorman would open on warm days, and the breeze as we went up the long and quite steep hill in the middle of West Chester Pike until we turned onto the right of way next to Darby Road in Llanerch was very refreshing. I think you’d enjoy seeing the great multicolor neon sign in Scranton that at night proclaims the place as the Electric City. The tourist train you saw was is what is called the Yard Train. The longest regular Steamtown train I’ve ridden went to Moscow and back. The BLHS had a special diesel-powered train from the D-L’s old South Scranton engine house to Carbondale and back a few years ago. Steamtown has a big HO model of the Scranton area about 1930; the locos aren’t powered. Other interesting indoor exhibits include D&H brand tobacco produced by a small local firm. The DL&W was very prosperous ca. 1900 and used a LOT of concrete in bridges and buildings; it hauled quite a lot of dry Portland cement as well as anthracite. The stretch west from Scranton as far as Clark Summit was its major steep grade. Aside from that, the Lackawanna from Scranton to Binghamton was rebuilt as a superbly designed “Super Railroad”, which was why the D&H was glad to get it and abandoned its own line over Ararat Summit, part of which was ex-Erie trackage. The Poconos are low and tame compared to the Adirondacks and the Green and White Mountains, but they used to attract a lot of newlyweds on their honeymoon vacations. So did Niagara Falls near the west end of the DL&W. The wonderful rhyming ads in New York City subways and trolleys featuring “Phoebe Snow” whose dress “stayed white upon the Road of Anthracite” ended when the US entered World War I and a lot of anthracite was diverted for use in coal-burning ships to reduce the amount of smoke they produced that German U-boat captains might spot.


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