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(erielack) Lots'o info Re: Erie Wyoming Division Operations

In a message dated 5/21/99 5:18:19 PM, "jimg_@_newcommunity.org" writes:


Let me see what I can add...

<<I've been doing some research on the Erie Wyoming Div. operations in the
Scranton/Wilkes Barre Area.  Glad to hear that I might be able to take a
train out there some day for on-site research. 

I wouldn't count on this. Maybe the section around the ballpark in Moosic 
will se service, but the rest of the route has little promise. I did think 
years back before DeNaples scrapped the upper end that it would have made 
sense to run a Scranton - W-B or Pittston service on the nights of ballgames. 
The Erie provided access to Scranton without needing the Laurel Line tunnel. 
Now the tunnel is the best option.

>1.) What was Plains Jct.?  

 According to my 1939 Erie diagrams, Plains Jct was where the Erie met CNJ's 
Canal Branch, which followed the Lehigh Valley's Canal Branch. The CNJ was 
east of the LV. Much like how the CNJ main "turned into" the O&W main in 
Scranton, the Wyoming Division rail became the CNJ Canal Branch right infront 
of the #14 Colliery. Interchange with the LV Canal Branch was perfromed just 
east of Plains Jct at #14 Junction. From my map, the CNJ had no breakers on 
this line by 1939, just the interchange. The LV crossed the CNJ south of #14 
to serve the Henry Breaker in Plains. The CNJ Canal Branch left the CNJ main 
between Gardner's Switch and Miner's Mills and went through the narrows into 
Plains along with the WB&E, LV, W-B Connecting and the Glen Alden Power RR. 
The Luarel Line went overhead.

I think it's time to see if any of the CNJ grade is evident.

>(CNJ used the D&H
main to the east at Yatesville and Dupont, I believe, to get to Minooka
Jct., Taylor, and their own track to Scranton Freight House).  

The CNJ used the D&H west from Union Jct. in Laflin all the way to Minooka 
Jct. At Union Jct. the Everhart Branch of the CNJ used to go up the mountain 
to meet the Wilkes-Barre & Eastern at Westminster Jct. which was west of 
Suscon and above Jenkins.

>Why do some references say that the Wyoming line ended at No. 14
breaker, not Plains Jct.?  

It's the same place.

>2.)  Assuming that the Erie did somehow
>interchange with the CNJ at Plains Jct., did the Erie through freights
>from the Jefferson Division to Ashley Yard (AY 90 & 91, I believe) go
>that way, or did they stay on the D&H line south of Avoca and get to
>Ashley on the CNJ via the CNJ-D&H connection in Wilkes Barre? 

The trackage arrangement in Wilkes-Barre could have supported the move as the 
switch is facing point for a westbound CNJ train to go up the Canal Branch.

>3.) How close did the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley get to Plains Jct.?  

They didn't. Althought the Laurel Line went through the area, there was no 
physical connection with the Erie.

>Did the L&WV serve any of the breakers and collieries down there?  

I have to check, I think there were two loaders on the Laurel Line in Plains.

>Did it interchange with the Erie there, versus the Little Virginia connection
closer to Scranton? 

Again, I have to check, but my 1939 Erie map does not show the Virginia 
connection. I think that came much later. 

>4.)  How far did the Jessup Branch run?  Some maps
>indicate that it ended at the O&W in Jessup, while employee timetables
>indicate that it ran a bit further, with one fork continuing north to
>Jermyn, the other following the O&W and D&H south into Dickson City (to
>serve more breakers on the hillside?)  

The Erie's Jessup Branch, newly rebuilt near Drinker Street this year, did 
the following. Leaving the main at Rock. Jct it corssed Roaring Brook and 
then corssed Little Roaring Brook. At this point was Murray Jct. The Spencer 
Branch went west here to the Spencer Breaker. Off that branch, the Murray 
Branch crossed the Scranton Electric to the Carney & Brown Breaker. This was 
NYS&W trackage.

Continuing up the Jessup Branch, the line used to snake west. This was 
replaced pre-1939 by using a piece of the Lincoln Jct. Branch, which rejoined 
the Jessup Branch a mile or so west. Any idea why the change?

Past Gipsy Grove BReaker was the #1 Colliery. All this is Dunmore.

Crossing into Throop, the next colliery was Penn Coal's Underwood breaker. 
BTW, this whole stretch the DL&W Winton Br is close by. Next up was Jessup 
Yard, followed by Jessup Jct. Here the Moosic Mt & Carbondale branch led east 
up Moosic Mt to the Dolph Sunnyside Branch to reach Dolph and Sunnyside 
breakers. Back on the Jessup the next area was Winton Jct where the Grassy 
Island RR wnet west to connect with the NYS&W Winton BR over which the O&W 
and DL&W had partial rights. Another line went west from the Grassy Is and 
corssed the Jessup Br to go the Sterrick Creek breaker. The Jessup Br ended 
at the D&H. 

In all my materials here, I see no eividence the Erie had it's own line to 
Jermyn. DO the place names in your timetable match the D&H? The Erie did have 
rights on the D&H Penn Division, right? Wasn't that part of their deal? It 
would also make sense that they went to Dickson City on the D&H. The Winton 
Br also turned south to Olyphant on the west side of the Lackawanna River.

Some other thoughts...

My 1939 Erie map has been updated with other materials I have gathered. I do 
show abandoned lines. I need the exact routing of the gravity south of 
Archbald, that will be a big help.

As you saw from other posts, I was just up that way recently, poking around 
the area of Judge Coal in Jessup and so forth. With the new valley highway 
open, you can get great views of the valley below. I can't wait until winter 
to check grades from up there!

Hope the info helps!


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