Frank's Photography Site

Abandoned (and remaining) rail lines - 2010 - 2013 - Wilkes-Barre, PA area

Over the years, the vast majority of rail infrastructure in the Northeastern PA area has eroded to a point
which would be almost unbelievable to someone who may have been here in the 1950's - early 70's.
Being in the area since 2010, I've gradually embarked on a project to document some of what still exists
of the abandoned and remaining lines with photographs and supporting maps.
All links will open in a new tab, for ease of keeping multiple tabs open for cross-reference.


Above - CNJ passenger train at Newark Penn Station - 2/19/71.
Below - A reminder of the past - behind and just to the north of the Huber Breaker (Ashley, PA 5/21/13)
(tweaked by photo software, original in center).

shanty_contrast.jpg   shanty_orig.jpg    shanty_tweak.jpg

The first 15 sets listed below were added in May-June 2013, and they are listed in the order they were created.
I've attempted to document what remains in the area with photos of both abandoned and extant lines.
Some sets include supporting maps and/or aerial views. Additional photos may be added on a later visit.
If you have limited time, I would suggest viewing the longest and most interesting sets first: 4, 5, 12, 14 and 17.
In the first 15 sets, I've posted over 500 new photos taken from May-June, 2013, plus about 200 in the July set.

Keep scrolling down for additional (older) photo sets and other resources.

1) UGI Gas Co. area spur - N. Empire & E. South Sts. - Wilkes-Barre

2) Wickes Lumber siding and the Franklin Branch (Part I)

3) Franklin Branch & breaker area (Part II)

4) CNJ Nanticoke Branch (central portion) from Coal St area to Ashley

5) Ashley area rails - with documentation and links

6) CNJ Backtrack Line - Ashley to Georgetown area

7) Wilkes-Barre - south of downtown

8) Wilkes-Barre - north of downtown

9) CNJ Buttonwood Branch - short set

10) Miners Mills and the northern Nanticoke Branch - Part I

11) Northern Nanticoke Branch - Part II

12) Wilkes-Barre Connecting Railroad

13) Pennsylvania Railroad - Wilkes-Barre area

14) DL&W Bloomsburg Branch - Duryea to Kingston, PA - Part I

15) DL&W Bloomsburg Branch - Kingston to West Nanticoke - Part II

Added in July, 2013:

16) West Pittston & Exeter Railroad & Lehigh Valley Coxton Bridge area

17) Lehigh Valley line west side remnants - Exeter to Kingston

18) West side remants: LV Bowman's Creek Branch, DL&W Pettibone & Harry E Branches

Other topics of interest which have not been covered here:
Coxton Yard
Avoca/Pittston area lines & remnants
Miscellaneous Wilkes-Barre remnants
Nanticoke area remnants
Historical maps and remnants of Wilkes-Barre area electric transit

Here are a few older sets (2010 & 2011) of Wilkes-Barre area rails, currently in use or abandoned.
I'm duplicating these here from the main portion of my rail photography website
This (main) part of the site contains about 2000 rail and transit photos I've taken from 1969 to the present.

CNJ Wilkes-Barre station - set from 2010

Wilkes-Barre, Penobscot to White Haven, Weatherly - 2010

Laurel Line remnants & WBCRR bridge - 2010

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway - Jim Thorpe - 2010 - Set I

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway - Jim Thorpe - 2010 - Set II

Tamaqua, PA - 2010 - (& Hazleton)

Pittston Area - 2011 (Luzerne Susquehanna, R&N)

Laurel Line Remnants - Avoca Viaduct - February 26, 2012

Below are a few resources related to the above pages which may be helpful...

This is my "NOTES" page. I've worked on a long list of questions about the rail lines in the area,
and gleaned information from various sources about abandonmnent timeframes, and other historical information.
Feel free to add to this, as it's far from definitive, but at least a start...

Wilkes-Barre area rail notes

A set of PLAT Maps covering Wilkes-Barre in earlier days, showing more detail of the the extent of the trackage
and rail facilities. Thanks to a gentleman on for scanning these a while back:

PLAT Maps and related info

A Conrail map of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area showing the dispostion of the rail lines in the area.
This is dated April 1983 and is fairly large and detailed. The lines indicating "estate" had already been long abandoned.
It will open as a pdf file in a new tab (or better yet, right-click and download it for yourself). WARNING: It's about 4.5 Megabytes !

Conrail Assets Map -1983

Next, a portion of a "Trains" publications map from 2009 showing a general idea of the area rail lines circa 1939 (not 100% accurate)...


...and an annotated aerial view of Ashley with credit to Richard Loomis. Though it's labeled 1938, it would have to be closer to 1950:


Here's a link to a PDF photo essay on the ex-LV Coxton Yard by Adam C. Kachurak dated 2006... great work !

Also, if you haven't been there already, I'm sure you will enjoy the site NEPAVIEW.COM
This gentleman and his party has taken quite a few hikes documenting abandoned rail lines in the NEPA area !

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Many thanks for visiting and please pass it on...