Frank's Photography Site
Wilkes-Barre, PA - CNJ Buttonwood Branch - June, 2013
The CNJ Buttonwood Branch ran west from just north of Franklin Junction,
located at the grade crossing along E Division St/W Liberty St in Wilkes-Barre.
It connected the CNJ mainline with the PRR Buttonwood Yard. See the overview aerial map at the bottom of this page.
So far, I've only explored the short stretch from the junction with the mainline to Division Street,
but looking at the aerial map you can see a tree-covered ROW for most of the entire stretch to Buttonwood.
My guess is that the tracks were removed in the 70's, prior to Conrail, as their 1983 map shows the ROW as "CNJ estate".
I'm fairly sure that there won't be too much to find the rest of the way, but one day I may give it a shot.
First, here's a small map of the area explored:
To access the bridge, there's a wide gravel area going right up to it, just west of the Fraternal Order of Police grounds.
Here we are at the top, looking east, then west:
From the east side, through a narrow trail, the main ROW is straight ahead, exactly at the point of one of the tall power poles.
We see the two protection signal blocks just to the north of where the branch once curved onto the mainline.
Looking north, there are a couple of ties in the ground, and a bit of extra gravel in front of the woods.
Going west, from west of the abandoned bridge, all that remains is a partially overgrown trail
running between the back yards of neighboring houses.
We eventually arrive at the corner of Cherry Street and East Division Street,
where the ROW would have passed through the trees at the left.
From across the street at the same corner (looking east), the line would have come straight at us.
On the other side of the street, there are woods and a few trails, but nothing really noteworthy to see.
Here's the overview map of the entire east-west branch (in yellow).
The yellow star at the right shows the location of the former Division/Cherry crossing,
and the star near the left shows where the one-time crossing over San Souci Parkway (at W St Marys Road) would have been.
The green star (more to the left), shows the location of the former PRR Buttonwood yard, now a huge metal scrapyard facility.
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