RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.



Todd's Railfan Guide to
SCRANTON PA


In General
Non-Train Things to See
Getting Here
Surrounding Towns
Train Info and Radio Freqs
Maps
 

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Scranton Home Page
Map 1 - Scranton North
Map 2 - Scranton South/Taylor
Map 3 - Pittston
Map 4 - Scranton to Nicholson via US11


In General

Scranton has always been an excellent town for railfanning and still is.   This guide has grown into something larger than I had envisioned, so I have split it up into a number of pages.

In doing this guide, I have spent many, many hours trolling the internet, drawing maps, and capturing pictures.  I didn't know a whole lot about Scranton before I started this task.  I figured I had enough to do with visiting Steamtown, the Trolley Museum, and Taylor Yard.  But as you can see from my pages and pictures, there is way more to Scranton than these three things to see and do.

The biggest problem I came across, is that so far, nothing exists for Scranton that has everything a railfan needs to know.... Hence, that's why I've spent so much time on the internet tracking things down in the hopes that you don't have to.  I'm sure there is still way more to discover.  Please let me know if you know of something I should include (or not).

The railroads of yesterday may have faded into the sunset, but it still offers a lot of action and history.  They were all attracted to Scranton because of the lucrative anthracite coal business.  Railroads that used to come through Scranton are:
     The Central RR of New Jersey (last to come into town in 1888)
     The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western
     The New York, Ontario and Western
     The Delaware and Hudson
     The Erie

By far, the biggest presence in town was from the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western.  They had the yard, roundhouse, and maintenance facilities now home to Steamtown, and their magnificent station is now a hotel.  Half of the track in town probably belonged to them.  I guess there's something to being the first in town and getting all  the good locations, after all, don't realtors say: location, location, location?  :-).

The D&H ran along the southern edge of the Lackawanna River (for the most part).  A couple of things are still around related to them.  Item's 5 and 6 on the North map are probably D&H, as a sign out front of the freight shed has their name on it.  Site #8, what I refer to on my map as "interchange", is where the D&H had their facilities.  A machine shop was located nearby at the grade crossing with Market St.  The buildings that are presently there could have been their shops, I don't know with any certainy, but it looks old enough to be.

Nothing remains of the CNJ except for the freight shed.  Where their roundhouse used to be off Broadway and 3rd, now sits a baseball field, and I'm sure (almost) no-one knows what used to be beneath their feet 100 years ago.

The Erie, according to the 1899 map, did not have much of a presence, with no facilities, a small station, and a freight shed at a stub of a track by Washington and Pine.  The freight shed is gone, but the station is still with us.

I'm also not aware of anything remaining today from the New York, Ontario and Western, but I will try to seek out a local to confirm this.

In passing, I'm also not aware of anything remaining from the streetcars days, but this needs to be confirmed too.

Currently, CP Rail (Sunbury Subdivision), Norfolk Southern, the Delaware-Lackawanna, the Reading and Northern, and the Luzerne & Susquehanna service and/or come through Scranton.

OK, so what is around Scranton to see?.......

For starters, there is Steamtown, the biggest draw to the area.  More info below.

Adjacent to it is the Electric City Trolley Museum.  They have an nice collection of cars, a really nice inside display compared to just about every other streetcar museum in the country, and do a reputable job with technical stuff on signals and power distribution (several really well done displays).

There are two surviving passenger stations: one for the Erie and one for the Lackawanna (or the DL&W if you prefer), and three freight sheds (CNJ, D&H, L&WV).  Note: on the 1899 map, they have an E&WV (Erie & Wyoming Valley), but not an L&WV - this is another thing that needs more research.  So far, I have not been able to locate the third mentioned freight shed.... stay tuned :-)

Across the yard from Steamtown and down a little bit is the DL&W station, now known as the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.  It was built in 1908 by the DL&W, and is of French Renaissance style.  The station stood abandoned until Hilton bought it and opened it as a hotel in 1983.

The Delaware, Lancaster and Western built a lot of the stuff in and around Scranton, including the Tunkhannock Viaduct north of here.

If you have the time, make sure you try to sneak in a visit to the Tunkhannock Viaduct, even without trains, it's impressive, and make a weekend out your trip to the area by visiting Binghamton, only an hour or so north of here.

Please note: When you're not from the area, a lot of the local details "slip by".  I learned a lot about Scranton in the many hours I spent cruising the internet for stuff to put in here, but still haven't found any good references for the routes and their lineage, or the locations of much of the stuff mentioned above.  As a result, I do not guarantee the accuracy of all of the information presented here.  Any help would be appreciated.

New maps not of my own doing are from www.bing.com/maps and captured using SnagIt, as are the aerials from Bing.

I would like to thank Ed R, Mark/conrail6707, and mikejt3092000 for their help with this guide.

If you go to print this guide, I would do it on a B&W laserjet, cause it's around 26-27 pages, and then print just the maps in color from the PDF's.


Non Train Things to See

The Scranton area offers the visitor many things to see and visit besides train and trolley related "stuff".  Among them are
     the Mall at Steamtown, located across the yard from Steamtown itself
     the Houdini Museum
     the Historic Scranton Iron Furnaces
     the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum
     the Lackawanna County Coal Mine

Information on these places can be found here:
     http://www.visitnepa.org/homepage.php  Lackawanna County visitors information
     http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g60969-Activities-Scranton_Pennsylvania.html


Getting Here:

You have many options, Grasshopper!

From the south, like Harrisburg, Baltimore, DC, western Virginia or West Virginia (or other points west of these places via either the Pennsy Turnpike I-76, or I-70), I-81 gets you here.

From the north, as in Syracuse, again, it's I-81, or from Buffalo via the New York State Thruway to Syracuse and I-81.  For those of you coming from Buffalo or Canada, you can also take the back-roads cross country trip through Batavia and NY63 to Geneseo to get on I-380 south to Painted Post/Corning to take I-86/NY17, the Southern Tier Expressway to Bingo and then finally south on I-81.... it's actually quicker than going through Syracuse, unless you want an excuse to stop there too (The last time I mapped a route from Baltimore to Buffalo on MapQuest, this is the route they suggested).

Coming from upper north east NY?, as in the Albany area, or Vermont, eastern Mass, etc, it's I-88 to Binghamton, and then south on I-81.

Coming from the due east area of Hartford or Waterbury CT, take I-84.

From the "Big Apple" area, New York City, Patterson NJ, Newark NJ..... take I-80 west till it hits I-380, and it takes you smack in the middle of Scranton.

From the Philly or Allentown areas, sorry but your only real choice is the toll I-476 :-(     .... at least it's a direct route :-)


Surrounding Towns:

Taylor

Taylor is home to the former DL&W Taylor yard, now owned by CP Rail.

Duryea / Pittston

Home to the former Lehigh Valley RR Yard off Coxton Rd, was a full facility complete with a turntable and roundhouse, of which only part of the roundhouse remains today.  The yard has seen a small resurgence after the Reading & Northern laid new track in 2009/2010 to accommodate 100 cars and up to 800 cars for sand storage for a "fracturing" plant nearby.

R&N's steamer #425 makes periodically runs to Port Clinton and Jim Thorpe.

The old roundhouse is still in use at the LV yard (what's left of it) by RMDI, a private rail contractor that employs 20 to 40 people depending on the contracts they have for rail construction.  They reportedly bring in 2.5 to 5 mil a year.  The address there is 12 Coxton Road.

Duryea also hosts Powerail at 205 Clark Road, but I haven't come across much additional info on them other than the fact that they supply locomotive parts and power component accessories such as horns, turbochargers, bearings, etc.

Moscow

A depot still stands here.  Nice shots can be had from across the tracks from the station.  The depot is on the DL Pocono main at MP 120.8.

  Teaser 1.
 

Gouldsboro

A depot still stands here too, it's on the DL Pocono main at MP 112.8.

  Teaser 2.


Trains:

Some of the trains I have found info on are:

DLP074 - Scranton to Tobyhanna PA, passes Moscow PA depot around 08:30, on the DL Pocono main, MP120.8.
          Also passes by the Gouldsboro PA depot at MP112.8.
DL SC7 - Scranton to Carbondale PA turn, around 14:30, on the DL Carbondale main, usually runs on the weekends.

CP 412-26 - Binghamton NY to Linwood PA, around 09:40.
CP 211-26 - Taylor Yard to Buttonwood PA turn, around 10:00.
CP SB3 - Scranton to Taylor Yard, DL transfer, around 16:15.
CP 512-26 - Binghamton NY to Sunbury PA local, around 10:45.
CP 256-26 - Binghamton NY to Oak Island NJ, around 18:30.
CP is supposed to run a pretty normal schedule on the weekends except for the D11 local.

RBMN PISB-26 - Pittston PA to Scranton, around 10:30.
the RBMN is also supposed to run PILE/LEPI and PEMI/MIPE on the weekends, and PISB/SBPI on Sundays.

Radio Frequencies:
     161.460 DL road
     160.245 DL yard
     161.460 DL repeater input / 160.320 DL repeater output
     161.475 CP road
     161.475 CP repeater input / 160.425 CP repeater output
     160.770 R&N road
     160.310 R&N yard
     164.175 Steamtown Maint
Note: this info is off of a page last updated in 2005.
More info on the Greater Rochester Railfan page at: http://www.rochester-railfan.net/d-l.htm


For more info on Scranton and PA, try these websites I have come across while trolling the internet for Scranton info:
     http://www.railmuseums.com/namerica/PENNSYLVANIA/  Railroad theme museums in Pennsylvania
     http://www.gingerb.com/scranton_station.htm  About the surviving depots in Scranton
     http://www.american-rails.com/surviving-pennsylvania-railroad-stations.html  Almost every surviving depot in Pennsylvania
     http://www.houdini.org/houdinirr-harry-houdini-attractions-pocono-poconos-scranton.html  About the Harry Houdini Museum
     http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~palackaw/maps/index.html A bunch of old Scranton maps from the 1800's
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFyBGZeyVOs  Nice video of Scranton action from 26MAY2010 by sp8553/teasers from this video
     Photos of Reading & Northern's #425 in and around Duryea by Christopher Muller
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2vs5266B48  Video of RBMN #425 going through Duryea PA


Maps


2009_0104


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New 08/28/2011, 4/13/2014
last Modified: 25 Aug 2017