The route of the Stourbridge line train

Smoke gray clouds, such as the emissions of steam locomotives of the last century, floated on the other green mountains of northern Pocono in a recent Memorial Day weekend. Could they have been tracks of the railroad past of the area?

The germination route of weeds, which supported a diesel engine, a center of stainless steel in New York and three grenades, Pennsylvania train trainers next to the Wayne County Visitor Center, was prepared for In his 13:00 to 25-mile career at Hawley and Lackawaxen, "Lackawaxen Limited", operated by Delaware, Lackawaxen and Stourbridge Railroad Company of Stourbridge Line. From the past of the railroad, apparently a serious railway.

After being operated by the Chamber of Commerce of Wayne County, and at the inauguration of the tourist train service in September 1979, the Stourbridge line worked for more than three decades as an earlier version, stopping its On December 11, 2011, before the present Delaware, Lackawaxen and Stourbridge Railroad Company, led by the Myles group, they published the tracks again as of May 9, 2015.

50 minutes drive from Scranton to Honesdale, a view of Main Street, a place at the Museum of Historic Society of Wayne County and a collection of leaflets, brochures, newsletters, guides and literature related to the area they put me in here is a wooden platform, surrounded by a growing number of train passengers.

The history of the railroad railroad, although subtitled in silence, seemed to talk to me. A look at the coaches revealed the Victorian architecture of the city, which, as a preserved pocket, seemed to have resisted the tone of time, and next to the brick, the windows of the center of the # 39 ; sporting care was a replica of a wooden carriage track car is shown in a slope. The lanes clearly connect the city with its past.

A plaque was proclaimed outside of the historical society, "Delaware and the Hudson Channel. Terminal of the waterway linking the Hudson and Delaware rivers. It was built between 1825 and 1828. A gravity railway feeder came to Carbondale , for 70 years, the anthracite trade for the region. "

As I heard the driver's morning "Everything on board": a virtual and resonant tone of coaching instruction for almost two centuries, and I went to the coach with my fellow passengers, and I I noticed something about the area I had brought to the past.

Where, for example, it was the channel of Delaware and Hudson, and what relation did it have, if any, with this "Gravity Rail", with which Honesdale seemed confused?

By sitting in the seat of the car no. 1993, "Clinton Leech", which had been operated by the Central Railway of New Jersey, I thought of the philosophy shared by Sir Arthur Pinero, an actor, playwright and director of the English scene that had lived between 1855 and 1934. " The present is the past again, he entered another door, "he had philosophized.

As the train included the tracks to their destination in the present, it would try to trace the history of the area to their past.

A brief shake and locomotive, preceded by the compulsory whistle, increased the tension of the automobile coupling until the chain formed by the four trainers escaped in an advanced momentary cohesion, crossing Route 191, where The automobiles had gathered as testimonies of their departure.

A laborious wood, in the midst of the cries of protest of its wheels, urged the Lackawaxen Limited to a green-bent tunnel, as it coincided with the river called Lackawaxen, which seemed to reflect the trees, before tightening the l & # 39; coach and court cladding track.

The growing speed was identifying itself as the coach moved, as the side rocker (excuses the rhyme) was passed the gift, transporting me to the past of the area. Touch them together, I ordered my mind!

The channels and the missiles present here a geographic and logical origin. In the case of Honesdale, they seemed to be the same.

Located in Wayne County, north-west Pennsylvania, the city was 35 miles from Scranton (and I had driven it myself) and 150 miles from Philadelphia. So far, this was not very significant.

Founded in 1798, the county itself received the name of General Anthony Wayne, a hero of the Revolutionary War that had gained notoriety when he ended the Indian resistance and destroyed the Northwestern Confederacy of India at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

Separated from the County of Northampton in 1798, Wayne County was established, which currently covers 744 square miles.

His seat of government varied over the years: from Wilsonville to Millford, Bethany, and, as of May 4, 1841, the same Honesdale in which the train originated. I wonder where his name comes from, but, what is more important, what led people to certain places to start? Maybe a way and an outlet and some transport in one or both directions.

A word on the board of the Historic Society of Wayne County, which I pointed to in my notebook, set me: "Anthracite." I do not know if it was a family word in Pennsylvania, but it seemed important, important enough to dig into my laptop because of its meaning. And, there is enough, "digging" was, without knowing it, a fairly adequate word to associate with.

Since it was extracted from the oldest geological formations of the earth and was subjected to the greatest amount of heat and pressure, anthracite, a large variety of coal, could produce much more thermal energy than its counterpart softer and geologically younger, placing it in significant demand in emerging America to feed their domestic hearts, factory ovens and steam engines and locomotives -not that there were any of them- at least not yet.

Although the heavy mining of the state in the late nineteenth century until the beginning of the nineteenth century exhausted most of its supply, except in very deep deposits and difficult to achieve, it was classified as one of Three more important fossil fuels, along with Natural Oil and Gas.

Therefore, for a developing country, increasingly industrialized, it was equivalent to gold. What was left, I suppose, was how to get it here.

The answer, again, seemed to be inscribed on the badge of the Historical Society: "Delaware and the Hudson Channel." It was time for more excavations.

William Wurts was an early explorer of what was known as anthracite minefields, seeing this rich energy source in northeastern Pennsylvania as potentially monetarily rich. Buying large plots of land where he was, together with the brothers Charles and Mauritius, in 1812 for a small amount of money, apparently saw value a few others.

The extraction of coal was the first step in its plan. The transport to the market, particularly in Philadelphia, was the second. But this method, through a barge channel, had so far demonstrated that it was not as efficient, as most of the precious coal commodity was lost in regime. There had to be another and better one. I thought it was there.

Inspired by the Erie channel, recently built and stimulated by the idea that a similar water channel could be supplied to the city of New York, he realized that he could create his own, in this case, the plaque-highlighted the Delaware and Hudson channel, a distance transport route traced by the states of Pennsylvania and New York in 1823.

Walking along a narrow valley between Shawagunk Ridge and the Catskill Mountains, he followed – or, more accurately, he became a 108-mile river road on the Hudson River, near Kingston.

Why not hire the best to complete your plan? This is exactly what the Wurts and the brothers did, contracting the Erie Canal engineer, Benjamin Wright, to survey and plan the artery after the ground breaking in July 1825. The transformation of the His vision of $ 1.6 million, which required three years of construction and 2,500 jobs. to the river reality in October 1828.

Its origin, between Kingston and Rosendale, New York, from where it connected with the Hudson River in New York, followed the Rondout Creek to Ellenville, passing through the villages of Sandburg Creek, Homowak Kill and Basher Kill , through the Neversink river (what reputation to keep!) and towards Port Jervis. Following a north-west direction to New York from the Delaware River, he entered Pennsylvania on the northern shore of the Lackawaxen River (now framed by the window on the left side of my car) to Honesdale.

Visions often outgrow the technology. This phenomenon certainly worked here. The water was buoy, supporting barges, but it provided little propaganda to travel from source to destination, leaving the mules as "engines", which caused a coverage of 15 to 20 kilometers per day. Supersonic were not.

You can take a horse to the water, according to the expression, but not unnecessarily next to him, leaving the human being as primitives guides along the length of the GPS of the tow paths.

They also periodically pump the assembly water of the barges and replenished four-legged engines, known in the nineteenth century as "feeding." The salary was $ 3.00 per month, not per day.

The need undoubtedly led to an innovation in the project, including the first "civil engineering" as aqueducts that crossed the rivers to reduce travel times and cement unearthing in the Rosendale area by John Roebling, who would later use it during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The channel certainly facilitated transportation to Kingston and then the Hudson in New York, but how was coal mining transferred to pending fighting? He returned to the plate.

He mentioned a term he had never heard, nor did he particularly need: "Gravity Rail". Why emphasize the invisible force that ensured that trains remained in their paths – or, in this case, all the rest of the terrain? Internet, here I come!

Interesting I am once again surprised how human ingenuity was replaced by technical engineering. As the locomotive, although powered by diesel, pushed my train, the world came out of my window, despite the perception of the opposite, it remained stationary. This gravity railroad used an almost inverse concept, as the engine remained stationary, but at least the moving cars moved.

The channels on the Moosic Mountains in Honesdale for exchange and the trips across the Delaware and Hudson waterway were not feasible, leaving the laying of routes on which sledges and wagons loaded with coal could work like alternative for the first segment of New York trip.

But, once again, Benjamin Wright allowed the wheels of his brain to become (that is, after all, what turned him into an engineer), he imagined those for a train, lighting the way and suggesting a Railroad based on the concept incorporated into Delaware and Hudson, name of gravity, which at least partially could be fueled by this natural force, provided with land.

What happens, as is known, has to go down. But this first part posed a problem, since, although the gravity would do an admirable and stimulating work in the second, there was a type of engine for the first.

Starting in Carbondale coal fields, at an elevation of 1,200 feet, a 16-mile track stretch towards Honesdale, first climbing at 1,907 feet at the Rux Gap, at the hands of five sloping aircraft on the west side , which were transported vertically by stationaries, steam engines or lathes, and then traveled horizontally. The threads facilitated the descent on the east side, up to a 975 foot elevation, although, here it is said, gravity replaces all the need for driving force.

Steam car engine connections varied as the process improved, starting with two drums and a chain, which advanced towards hemp cables with 7.5-inch diameters and finished with steel .

The cars were open, but crowned with roofs and internally provided with bench seats. In the reverse direction, the horses took them out of Honesdale before they could be assisted by cable on Mount Moosic and rejected planes.

The 16 kilometers of a flat terrain of another reliable way were a small obstacle to engineering. Or did he do it? Here neither stationary steam engines nor the brigade of horses were effective, requiring their own care and maintenance. What was needed was an instrument with mechanical, wood or charcoal power, but was not restricted to its only location. The answer to this dilemma may be simple now (my train was being pushed by one), but not necessarily at this time. Whatever the discounted man was, at the same time, an innovation of engineering, a new promotion that was proclaimed to the world.

Great Britain, in the case – not the United States – was the birthplace of the railroad. Even so, it was a painful step through the canal of this Atlantic side that boosted the technology that could improve on the other side.

However, if stationary steam engines exist, what about the practice of refining them so that they can be transformed into mobiles?

The skeptics were rampant. However, he returned to take an engineer, in this case, the Chief Engineer of Delaware and Hudson, John B. Jervis, to turn the vision into his mind in the reality of his path.

Convinced that this potential not only exists, but was the key to a future mode of transport, based on the railroad, he sent his young protege, Horatio Allen, through the lake in 1828 for raining, along with England's engineers. , a steam locomotive reliable and efficient that could cover a decent distance in a relatively short time. It was uniformly entrusted with the purchase of the necessary belt to cover the surface of the other wooden track.

The distance through the ocean did nothing to distort the common conviction between Jervis and George Stephenson and his son, Robert, who were considered current experts in the new railroad industry, that this was the future. They were in the process of designing only a locomotive for the Liverpool and Manchester railroad.

John Urpeth Rastrick, who had taken a patent for the steam engine as of 1814 and since then formed his own Foster Rastrick company in the city of Stourbridge, was hired to build the first locomotive of Gravity Railroad, ton, $ 2,914.90 "Stourbridge Lion", so designated so that your boiler filters a painted lion's head.

Under his own intermodal transport, he was sent for the first time from Stourbridge before being loaded into a ship for the transatlantic crossing, arriving in New York on May 13, 1829, where he participated in # 39; a static demonstration in a grave.

Located on his designated Honesdale route three months later, on August 5, he was prepared for his inaugural race, on which Jervis wrote to President Bolonia of Delaware and Hudson: "We'll put him in the morning at day or the next day, "adding that" anxiety increases as we approach the period in which our devices have to reach their "touchstone" experiment.

At the opening of the accelerator, Horatio Allen induced the new engine to climb and stick three kilometers from the wooden track, in front of the forged iron belts, which were placed on a winch Cross of Lackawaxen, 30 feet tall, in the process of opening steam locomotive service in the United States.

"The first United States steam locomotive, the" Stourbridge Lion ", sent Honesdale and the whole of Wayne County into the history books when, on August 8, 1829, The incredible iron horse, "With its lobster legs and the lion's face painted on the head of the boiler, it left the track in that city," said the "Newsletter of the Historic Society of the County of Wayne "(volume 32, number 1, January-March 2017).

Because the engine backpack was too high to disable a central bridge, I could only travel to Seelyville before returning, now backwards. However, the story had been written on the lanes that day. America had entered the railroad era.

"I began to consider the speed, it passed the curve above the stream safely, and soon it was listening to the joy of the great assembly present," explained Allen later. "At the end of two or three miles, I invested the valves and returned without accident to the place of departure, having made the first rail journey to the Western Hemisphere."

His glory was short. Although the success of the locomotive can not be ruled out, the track on which it worked was not. It was too weak to support the continuity of iron locomotives and cars loaded with coal, and the costs of strengthening them were prohibitive.

Sheltered in a Honesdale warehouse until 1848, Stourbridge's lion moved to Carbondale, where his boiler was taken out and sold for legal reasons, leaving his way to the use of the horse after his death. Have them placed.

Although it was the end of the "León" line, it surely opened the way to more advanced engines and reinforced steel rails, which unite and encourage the growth of the country.

Their boiler, cylinder and beam walker were later acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and formed the partially original steam locomotive in its Hall of Transport.

Now it made sense, that is, the second plate outside the Museum of Historic Society of County of Wayne, which said: "Here is a replica of the famous Stourbridge Lion, the first steam locomotive that circulates through the US lanes, on August 8, 1829 Next to him is Eclipse, the original coach of passengers on the Delaware railroad and Gravity Hudson. "

It also made sense why Honesdale was considered the "commercial Nation of America's commercial railroad."

The society itself was in a brick structure built in 1860 as the headquarters of Delaware and the Hudson Channel Company, and the city, once known as Dyberry Forks, became known as Philip Hone, one of the systems of transport of planner channels. The starting point of my train, I also learned, had once been its base of boats, or the transfer point of coal, of the Gravity railroad to the boats for the trip of 108 kilometers towards Kingston. The wooden car seen before boarding was symbolized.

Using the original plan, locomotive 0-40 full-scale reproduction of the Wayne County Historic Society Museum, built in 1933 in Cologne, New York, Delaware stores and the Hudson Railroad Company, was shown at the Country of Progress Exposition to Chicago and to the New York World Fair from 1939 to 1940, before being permanently exposed in its current location.

With a base of 17.4-foot slalom, an engine and a tender length, a 4.3-foot manometer and a four-foot-diameter boiler, weighed between seven and ten tonnes, according to the museum. The coal that burns, produced nine horsepower and had a tractive effort of 1,750 to 2,000 pounds.

The attached car "Eclipse", with its ash interior, 20 seats elegantly upholstered, reversible for steering, stencil hand ceiling, wooden blinds and pay stroller, represented those that normally uses Gravity Railroad between Honesdale and Carbondale in 1920. It had a total length of 29.3 feet, a diameter of 24-inch wheel and a 6.9-foot ceiling.

A shake of my coach pulled me out of the past from the area and he returned to introduce me in the present. A glow of sun, piercing the metal ceiling, transferred the Lackawaxen river, along which the banks continued the train to the snake, in a mirror of Mica.

Crying with the protest criticism while the car accordion stretched their curved couplings and settled in a straight line silence, the train approached White Mills.

Located between Honesdale and Hawley, the intermediate stop of Lackawaxen Limited on Route 6 of Wayne County, its current solid and deep solitude, served as a strong contrast to the industrial hustle and bustle that once offered. And the blue stone building, with its chimney that extends into the sky, which is escaped deliberately through the clearing of the tree while the train s & # 39; 39; he took over the road from the road, gave little more than a track of that time. A glass factory was once, I learned, from Dorflinger's fame.

After completing eight years of learning in blows of glass, cutting and decorating in the Glassworks of Saint-Louis in France, Christian Dorflinger emigrated to the United States in 1865, settling in White Mills, Pennsylvania and establishing its own glass factory. Initially, they consisted of seven houses of workers with sloping and small roofs that were similar to those of France, extended the complex to include 33 of them around 1869, allowing 182 employees and their families to be accommodated.

His crystal called, exquisitely cut, synonymous with elegance, soon won many elite residences, including that of the White House.

Although the factory was closed in 1921, its stone building, some employee houses, the company's office, and the store, have once again opened the public.

Another sprint through the tree tunnel preceded sparks, trousers and iron wheels that broke the train moment and bought it at a stop in a curved track section next to the Hawley lined wooden platform at 13 : 45 after an Eastern 9-mile tour through the Pocono del Norte Mountains.

Like Honesdale, it had its own railway roots.

Originally known as Paupack Eddy, it adopted its current name of Irad Hawley, chairman of the Pennsylvania Coal Company, which built its own gravity railroad, after seeing the value it provided in relation to the Delaware channel and Hudson. One of his cars is shown in the public library.

Replaced by the standard locomotives in 1885, he donated to the Erie and Wyoming Valley Railroad, which made his inaugural career from Hawley to Dunmore this same year.

Crossing Route 6 and crossing a horse, the Lackawaxen Limited, gave a glimpse of the houses that defined Hawley, began the penetration of the forest for more time in its two segments. The interface of metal to metal and of wheel on the track is surely worth the senses of a workout: like the flint, its sparks send pre-combustible ignition rods to the nostrils and their screams perforate their ears as nails on a blackboard.

The margins of miles after the fence, short and white, continued to move through the windows on the left: JC 121, JC 120, JC 119-remains of the "Jersey City" track on which the train galloped Now, explaining to the beginning of its line.

However, the Lackawaxen river, which flowed mainly through the northern mountains of Pocono, had a drainage area of ​​598 square miles. He passed through Honesdale and Hawley, where he joined forming the southwest by the Wallenpaupack Creek and, from there, to the east, to reach the Delaware River in the city of Lackawaxen, the terminal of train

This, in response to my question about boarding, was the carbon transport channel.

After having served as an artery of transport since the beginning of the 18th century, it facilitated the fleet of logs grouped in the Delaware River, destined for both Easton, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, already flew about 50 million boards of wood. Could it have been the true origin of the idea of ​​transporting coal?

The Delaware and Hudson channel company, later the largest private commercial company, used a series of 28 locks, which elevated the level of channel water by 278 feet, but, like all early visions , once the technology eclipsed its vision, it became short. .

When he noticed that the transport of passengers, goods, wood and coal was only viable with a New Jersey routing in 1898, what was now expected, but which was slow and inefficient for intermodal gravity and the system Channel transportation was superfluous. These last overflow dams were opened and water was depleted.

I could only imagine how many of these moves to advance had been used throughout the story.

As the brakes reached a last minute in a broad bend in front of little more than a wooden bench that marks the other city beyond Lackawaxen at 3:00 p.m., after another segment of 16 kilometers from Hawley and a 25-mile group of Honesdale I lowered the three steps of the trainer to the ground.

The back track of the train fired into the past of the area and, after the locomotive had been repositioned in a coating, I would return to my Honesdale origin, leaving, until then, the silence in the middle of # 39 ; shady trees and a pine-covered floor testimony of the vision of man and history, through technology, which he had identified here. I thought of the prophecy of Sir Arthur Pinero: that the past was only the present, he entered through another door. Could you do exactly that today, I was surprised?


"Wayne County Historic Society Newsletter", volume 32, number 1, January-March 2017.

Source by Robert Waldvogel