Stourbridge Line Rail Excursion


The smoky gray clouds, like emissions from turn-of-the-century steam locomotives, floated over the in any other case rolling, inexperienced Northern Pocono Mountains on a recent Memorial Day weekend. Could they be pointers of the area’s railroad beyond?
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The weed-sprouting music, assisting a diesel engine, a chrome steel New York Central, and 3 maroons, Pennsylvania Railroad coaches subsequent to the Wayne County Visitors Center, has been poised for their 13:00, 25-mile run to Hawley and Lackawaxen because the “Lackawaxen Limited,” operated through the Stourbridge Line’s Delaware, Lackawaxen, and Stourbridge Railroad Company. From rail’s past, apparently grew rail’s present.

Having been operated by way of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, and inaugurating vacationer teach carrier as a ways lower back as September of 1979, the Stourbridge Line ran for more than 3 a long time as an earlier rendition, ceasing operations on December eleven, 2011, earlier than the prevailing Delaware, Lackawaxen, and Stourbridge Railroad Company, run with the aid of the Myles Group, re-plied the tracks as of May nine, 2015.

A 50-minute drive from Scranton to Honesdale, a peruse of Main Street, a poke in the Wayne County Historical Society Museum, and a group of brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, guidebooks, and location-associated literature deposited me right here, at the wood platform, surrounded by a growing gather of the educate’s passengers.

The educate’s railroad history, despite the fact that silently subtle, seemed to talk to me. A look over the coaches discovered the city’s Victorian architecture, which, as a preserved pocket, appeared to have withstood the tick of time, and next to the brick, price tag window sporting Visitors Center turned into a track-attached duplicate of a wooden coal wagon displayed on an incline. Rails, in reality, linked the metropolis with its beyond.

A plaque out of doors of the historic society proclaimed, “Delaware and Hudson Canal. The terminus of the waterway uniting the Hudson and Delaware rivers. Built 1825 to 1828. A gravity railroad feeder reached Carbondale. For 70 years the anthracite alternate outlet for the vicinity.”

As I heard the “All Aboard” wail of the conductor-a virtual tone- and a pitch-ideal echo of the coaching given via trainmen for nearly two centuries-and inched toward the coach with my fellow passengers, I found out that something approximately the location had drawn me to its past.

Where, as an instance, turned into the Delaware and Hudson Canal and what relation, if any, did it should this “Gravity Railroad,” with which Honesdale seemed synonymous?

Settling into my seat in automobile #1993, “Clinton Leech,” which had as soon as been operated through the New Jersey Central Railroad, I idea of the philosophy shared through Sir Arthur Pinero, an English actor, dramatist, and stage director who had lived among 1855 and 1934. “The gift is the beyond once more, entered through any other gate,” he had philosophized.

As the teach might ply the tracks to its destination in the gift, I might attempt to trace the region’s history to its beyond.

A quick, locomotive-tugging jolt, preceded by way of the obligatory whistle, increased automobile coupling anxiety until the chain formed through the four coaches crept away in ahead momentum concord, crossing Route 191, wherein cars had accumulated as witnesses of its departure.

A laborious lumber, amid the protesting shrieks of its wheels, propelled the Lackawaxen Limited into an arboreal tunnel of green, as it paralleled the about named Lackawaxen River, whose oil-hued surface, like a reflection, meditated the bushes, before squeezing beyond teach and caboose cradled siding song.

Increasing pace manifested itself as instruct sway, because the lateral rocking–excuse the rhyme-took the prevailing away, transporting me to the area’s past. Piece it together, I commanded my thoughts!

Canals and railroads shared each a geographical and logical origin right here. In the case of Honesdale, they regarded to be equal.

Located in Wayne County, in northeast Pennsylvania, the city became 35 miles from Scranton (I had driven it myself) and a hundred and fifty miles from Philadelphia. So a long way, that becomes no longer very sizable.

Established in 1798, the county itself was named after General Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War hero who had gained notoriety whilst he ended Indian resistance and destroyed the Northwest Indian Confederation in the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

Separated from the County of Northampton in 1798, Wayne County changed into hooked up, today encompassing 744 square miles.

Its seat of presidency varied over the years-from Wilsonville to Milford, Bethany, and, as of May four, 1841, the very Honesdale wherein the educate originated. I surprise wherein its name came from, however, more importantly, what added people to sure locations, to begin with? Perhaps a way in and a manner out and something to move in both or both directions.