CGRLCDR wrote:Thanks for all the information and mhig9000 thanks for the directions - they were perfect. My buddy and I were a little pressed for time so we only spent about 45 minutes exploring. We found the mill pond and the gravity row, telephone poles, the cut and the bridge footing. The ROW was quite overgrown, so we were able to only hike up a short way.Actually, the route number is 437. Route 347 is located in lackawanna county - 20 some miles north of MountainTop
Upon departing the restaurant we headed up 309 south to Glen Summit and Mountain Top and then took 347 down to Rt 80. It looked like the ROW followed 347 to the east. At one point we took a left off of 347 and crossed the ROW on a fill that was probably a bridge sometime in the past. The ROW looked in pretty good shape at that point. We need to come back and do more exploring and perhaps a little Jeeping when we get an earlier start and have a full day.
We did catch a glimpse of what appeared to be an abondoned airport just west of 347 in the Glen Summit area. I can see it on Terraserver, also. Does anyone know what airport that was? I was also surprised by the fact that there are abandoned ROWs all over the place in that area. Probably I could spend a couple of years exploring up there.
Also, I have a general question on the planes. How did they make money moving freight over the hill? It is so steep in that area that they must have been severely limited in the number of cars they could schlep over at one time. Surely the railroad must have been able to more efficiently use the back track for freight and passenger service.Actually, up until diesel engines became available, it was more cost effective to send freight over the planes than to use the backtrack. The cost to run the needed multiple steam engines up the 2% grade of the backtrack was costed more than using the Planes. This was the sole reason the planes existed for over 100 years until 1948.
I imagine there must have been some spectacular accidents on the planes with runaways due to cables snapping or breaks failing. Does anyone have a source of information on plane mishaps?There were safety locks designed into the planes to prevent just such types of accidents. More information on the planes can be found here , here and here
Riding the rails of the past via media and exploration