• CP Track between Wilkes-Barre & Scranton?

  • Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPKCR.com. Includes Kansas City Southern. There is also a KCS sub-forum for prior operations: kansas-city-southern-and-affiliates-f153.html
Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPKCR.com. Includes Kansas City Southern. There is also a KCS sub-forum for prior operations: kansas-city-southern-and-affiliates-f153.html

Moderators: Komachi, Ken V

  by JRost
The recent news about the proposed purchase of the Sunbury to Mechanicville route by NS got me to thinking about the origin of this route.

I believe that the Scranton to Binghamton route is the old Lackawanna main line. It is also my assumption that the Sunbury to Wilkes-Barre section is on former Pennsylvania Railroad trackage. It is my understanding that the PRR line did not go past Wilkes-Barre to Scranton though.

If the above is indeed the case, which former railroad's tracks are used to get from Wilkes-Barre to Scranton, assuming that new ones weren't built for the purpose?

Thanks for any answers to this question.
  by SemperFidelis
Most of the trackage is the former DLW Bloomsburg Branch, if I'm reading my map correctly.

In Wilkes Barre proper, I'm not sure of the history of the rails in use. I know the line crosses the river twice in order to avoid the three hundred grade crossings through downtown, but I have no idea to whom those rails once belonged.
  by JRost
So if I am visualizing this correctly then:

the DLW Lackawanna & Bloomsburg Line between Northumberland and Scranton follows the north bank of the Susquehanna river.

the PRR Sunbury to Wilkes-Barre line on which the CP train begins its run follows the south bank of the Susquehanna river.

Then, somewhere near or in Wilkes-Barre proper it will go over a bridge to the north side of the Susquehanna and get on the Lackawanna & Bloomsburg Line which it follows the rest of the way to Scranton, before getting on the DLW mainline to Binghamton.

Would that be accurate?
  by frank754
From Sunbury to just above the former Buttonwood yard area, it follows the old PRR line. Just north of Buttonwood it continues over what was known as the Wilkes-Barre Connecting railroad. This has two bridges over the Susquehanna, from South Wilkes-Barre into Kingston, and then from the north end of Kingston to Plains, where it heads into the former Hudson Yard area of the D&H. This is the endpoint of the WBCRR. Then the line continues north on ex-D&H trackage to a point just south of Taylor Yard, and crosses over an old ex-CNJ bridge into the ex-DL&W Taylor Yard. From there to Scranton and to Binghamton it's all ex-DL&W trackage.
  by JRost
Thanks. That's a fascinating level of detail. For the most part then, it uses little or none of the Lackawanna & Bloomburg Line, save for perhaps the very end of it?
  by SemperFidelis
Ah yes, my bad.

RBMN continues south on the Lackawanna trackage, CP jumps the river on the old CNJ bridge. Yeah so maybe a thousand feet or so of DLW trackage is all that CP uses.

My mistake!
  by frank754
Going south out of Taylor Yard, there are two main tracks on the same ROW, the westernmost track can be considered the Bloomsburg branch, and the other track the CP line. Near Davis St. the ROW separates into two separate lines, with the Bloom being the more westerly ROW. Just to the south, the CP line crosses the Lackawanna river on the old CNJ bridge and follows the eastern/southern side of the river, with the Bloom on the opposite side of the river. You can trace this on Google Maps aerial view. The Bloom is still in use by RBMN from Taylor Yard to Coxton Yard, though not that heavily used. South of the Coxton junction, the Bloom continues over a bridge over the Susquehanna (still in great shape) but out of service and continues to Kingston (all out of service), where the tracks end. All is gone south of there until you get to Salem Township just north of the nuclear power plant, then tracks resume all the way to Northumberland (about 43.5 miles) and that section of the old Bloom is operated by the "North Shore" Railroad and is active.
The RBMN operates from Mehoopany down to Coxton Yard, then uses the ex-LV trackage which loops around through Duryea to Dupont, then down the old LV Mountain bypass to Penobscot & Crestwood, then continues on mostly ex-CNJ trackage to Jim Thorpe and Lehighton. See map: http://www.rbmnrr.com/system-maps/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That leaves only the Luzerne & Susquehanna which operates in the Wilkes-Barre city area, using county owned tracks and is much more in a state of disrepair than the others and sees much less traffic. The main line (if you could call it that) runs from Coxton Junction south along ex-LV trackage through downtown Wilkes-Barre, and then down to the Hanover Industrial Park, where tracks end. The portion below Hanover St. in Wilkes-Barre is ex-CNJ trackage. Also, it has an ex-D&H line from a switch where the Hudson Yard used to be, running south to a junction with its main line at Butler St and Wilkes-Barre Blvd in Wilkes-Barre. The other line, an ex-PRR line, branches off the main line at Hanover St. and continues southwest to a junction with the CP just north of the old Buttonwood Yard area. That's about all that's left in Wilkes-Barre except for some abandoned trackage here and there which is disconnected with any of the above.
Last edited by frank754 on Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by SemperFidelis
Kinda straying off topic with this question, so I apologize but:

Are there any customers other than Mariotti Building Products in Old Forge between Coxton and Taylor? My sons and I regularly stop to watch the RBMN drill Mariotti, but I can't think of anything other than that.