Spent some time in NEPA, April 2017, Part 1

Hearing my friend Ryan’s tales of Northeastern PA enticed us to go spend a weekend up that way seeing what there was to see. Turns out, the answer was a bunch of great stuff.

This was another railfan trip organized by my friend Ben, which took us to the NEPA Coal Country to catch some really interesting railroading action.

The trip started out auspiciously with a free upgrade to what may be the perfect group railfanning vehicle.

Our first stop after picking up the car was meeting up with the aforementioned Ryan in Wilkes Barre, where we caught an NS ballast extra crossing the bridge over the Susquehanna.

 

 

That was it for railfanning that evening, but we did have a great dinner at The Chicken Coop.

Saturday morning came pretty early because we were going to chase the Delaware Lackawanna’s PT-98, which left Scranton around 9am. That meant being up around 6:15. That’s not so easy when you’re up until 12:30 the night before, but we persevered. Beauty rest is essential to look this good while railfanning.

On our way to Steamtown, where we were going to catch up with the train, we ran into NS 36T at Avoca.

36T included a boxcar with some very rude graffiti talking about Kevin.

Then it was off to Scranton, where we kicked off our chase. I shot video along the way. Make sure to watch this with the volume up where you can appreciate the five Alcos at work.

 

 

 

Our first stop of the chase out of Scranton was at Elmhurst, where there was a great head on view.

Then it was off to Tobyhanna where we got to spend some time with the train while it was doing work at a customer. Not before we paced him along PA 435 through Moscow. See the video for the footage.

Pocono Summit was next, where there was more work to be done.

Then, Devil’s Hole Rd.

From there we continued heading east, with a quick pit stop for some Tacos, to Analomink, where we dove into a parking lot and barely had enough time to get the shot off.

We picked our way through the Stroudsburg traffic to get ahead of him at the Delaware Water Gap.

Slateford wasn’t much of a challenge though, because he was slowing down to make his interchange with NS.

However, his train was too long to do this effectively, so we realized they’d be heading down to Portland where the NS local was to do the job.

The NS H74 power waiting in Portland.
PT-98 approaches. Check out that s-curve!

They conferred with their brakeman (who had been following them in the white hi-rail pickup in the previous photos), and then pulled up past the switch to let the NS crew out.

The crew from H74 came down and coupled onto their train. We can then assume that they pulled it clear of the DL power, which then ran back to Slateford to make their pickup.

I say assume, because we jumped back in the truck and headed for East Stroudsburg after taking that photo.

East Stroudsburg has a restored tower, a DL&W signal bridge, and a great view for trains heading west.

From there it was on to Cresco, described as the DL&W’s Horseshoe Curve. While not quite as rugged, it was still a great place to watch a train. Again, make sure to watch the video for the full effect of the five units working hard through here.

PT-98 working hard blowing through Cresco.

Our last encounter with the train was back in Pocono Summit, where he had work to do at the other end of the feed mill seen in the above photos. This work occupied him well past 7:30 PM, which meant that the crew would go “dead on the law” and not make it back to Scranton.

Realizing that this was the end of our chase, we headed back to Scranton for a quick stop at Taylor Yard, and then on to Revello’s for some Old Forge style pizza (a tasty local variation worth checking out).

A tray of Revello’s Old Forge style pizza.

That was it for our day, but we’d be back the following morning for a chase of the Reading and Northern.

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