Frank's Photography Site
DL&W Bloomsburg Branch - Kingston, PA to West Nanticoke - June, 2013 - Part II
Please see Part I of this set (dlw_1.html) for background information on this line, and the first (larger) set of photos.
We covered the current status of the ex-DL&W Bloomsburg Branch from Duryea to Kingston, arriving at Division Street where
the ROW has been abandoned. Just to the west (via a crossover), the line continues a couple more blocks on the
ex-Lehigh Valley ROW to serve a small industrial area including Mid-State Lumber.
On this page I'm doing a brief tour of the abandoned portion of the line going south(west).
The line actually runs northeast to southwest, but for simplicity in this article, I'll call the "downriver" views as south.
The rails were pulled up south of Kingston shortly after 1976 between Kingston and "Beach Haven" (the North Shore Railroad's
name for the PP&L nuclear power plant terminus north of Berwick). Interestingly enough, the DL&W roundhouse off Main & Page Streets
in Edwardsville survived until 2007. Here are two Google Earth views, current (9/11/12 as of this writing) and March 31, 2005:
The Bing Maps aerial view (on their site 6/13) shows it gone, but the "bird's eye view" must have not been updated in years !
There's an un-named road running from Pringle Street to Main Street for a distance of about 1/2 mile without any cross streets,
which has a couple of businesses along it. This road closely parallels the ROW just to the west, for the most part,
but was not built on the ROW, as the road and trackage co-existed for a time. The road was already in place by the early 1990's,
and in 2005 it still appears there were a pair of abandoned tracks on the DL&W ROW as far south as (just above) Curtis Lane,
but they did not continue into the large field where the roundhouse still stood at the time.
It also looked like there was a single track north of Pringle Street to Division Street.
Here, we'll resume the photo set at Division Street, looking south, where remnants of two tracks remain in the pavement.
Just below Division Street, Railroad Avenue parallels the DL&W ROW for 2 blocks. According to Google Earth imagery,
a single track was still in place in September, 2008. On the other side of what is now a grassy strip, there's a gravel road.
To the right of that, but before the Brook Street industrial spur, was once the LV trackage, along a wider grassy strip.
There are still some LV line poles remaining along that ROW. First, the Google 2008 view from Railroad Avenue, looking south:
Along the DL&W ROW, the track is now gone, but I did find a few relics, such as this...
...and on the LV side, several line poles still remain.
Looking south from Pringle Street, on the LV side, there's still a reminder that this was once a railbed.
In this photo, the DL&W ROW would be off to the far left in the trees to the left of the gravel road.
Looking south from Pringle Street on the DL&W side, there are two tracks in the pavement here.
Just south, and then along the "un-named road" just west of where Spruce & Schuyler intersect, two sets of abandoned ties.
Just south of this point, looking north, and then south into the big field where the roundhouse once stood.
Here are four photos I added in July 2013 of the roundhouse area, which I thought you'd find interesting...
There's still a trace of the concrete rim of the (filled in) pit poking up in the grass:
There are a few concrete slabs just to the east of where the pit once was, and some concrete ruins (with
a broken line pole) just north along the ROW but beyond the immediate roundhouse area.
There's also a segment of track just off Main Street near where the main alignment would have crossed the street:
At this church along Main Street in Edwardsville, with our back to the roundhouse site, there's a "rails-to-trails" sign.
The church was moved from a spot about a block east, also on Main street, when the new Lowes was constructed (circa 2006-7).
The building next to the church was once part of the DL&W car shops, it was re-skinned and added onto (info courtesy Mike Tillger).
This trail follows the former DL&W ROW just a bit, behind Lowe's, but then circles to the east to meet up with another
non-rail-related trail. From there south, the ROW should be walikable to some extent, crossing Route 11 west of K-Mart
(going under an underpass), then as a gravel path heading towards the river and south along it. There's a junkyard that may
obstruct the path, but I haven't (as yet) explored this section. Eventually, the entire line may become an official trail.
One thing to note, however, is that along this segment at one time, the Delaware & Hudson had a bridge crossing the river
from Wilkes-Barre to make a connection with the DL&W. I'm not sure when it was torn down, but I read somewhere that it had been
abandoned about 20 years at that point. This is the blue line in the aerial photo that follows. The line then made a large
triangular connection with the WBCRR line (which you can see by the shape of the treed area), passed under it adjacent to the
current Martz Bus garage, and continued east on a fairly straight path to near Franklin Street, then veered south along
Race Street to meet up with the other railroads (CNJ, LV, PRR) at a junction adjacent to Vulcan Iron Works (Parrish/South Main).
Here are 2 photos by Mike Rushton of the bridge, from the 1990's, before it was torn down:
My next stop was the old abandoned power plant adjacent to the new Carey Avenue bridge. Looking north towards the bridge from
Carey Avenue itself, there's still a section of track passing through the plant property inside the gates.
This plant was built in 1905, but has now been mostly abandoned for quite some time, although the second smokestack is now
an important cellular communications tower. That's the moon just to the left of the first tower (6/19/13).
Carey Avenue turns off Route 11, crosses a small truss bridge over the former railroad ROW, and approaches the river.
The old Carey Avenue bridge was torn down in the late 1940's and also had a streetcar track running over it.
The streetcar track was on a private ROW on the south side of the bridge, separated from traffic. Due to the bridge's lower
elevation, it was always subject to flooding. The last streetcar ran over it on 9/1/47. After the new bridge was completed in 1948,
trolleybuses ran over it from 10/12/48 until the end of electric service on 9/25/58. But then again, this bridge was deemed
insufficient, and the current four-lane bridge was completed in 2003, at a higher elevation and new alignment.
Looking south from the Carey Avenue truss bridge, there's a great view of the former Bloomsburg Branch ROW towards Plymouth.
From a bit further down, we are looking back towards the power plant.
Looking south, from near downtown Plymouth, at Carolina Street and Martz Manor. A couple blocks south of this point,
beyond the trees, a gravel road now called "West Railroad Street", follows the ROW through town.
Looking north, then south from Hanover and West Railroad Streets, the passenger depot would have once been adjacent to this spot.
I'm guessing to the right of the first photo where there's now a vacant lot, or off the left of the second photo
where there's now a school bus garage. Interestingly enough, there was once an old highway bridge crossing the river
from Hanover Street in Plymouth to Fellows Avenue in Hanover Township, known as the "Breslau Bridge". It was a long bridge
built in 1914, but shut down in 1985 due to safety concerns. It was torn down in 2001.
Regarding the Breslau (road) bridge, a Mr. James B. Fromel witnessed the demise of this bridge in 2001.
He contacted me and loaned me these 4 prints to scan. The first photo is from
Easter (April 15) 2001, looking west across the river from the Hanover side towards Plymouth.
He was standing near the Pennsy ROW. Half the bridge was already demolished, and the trees are still almost bare.
The remaining 3 photos were taken on May 1, 2001, with the trees filling with leaves by now. In the first of these,
he was looking north along the ex-PRR ROW, and you can see the remains of the east abutment to the right, where the bridge
until recently had crossed over these tracks, with the river a short distance to the left, out of view.
The next photo shows a piece of equipment used to grade the land along the riverbank...
...and the final photo looks west across the river again with the bridge now completely gone.
Back on the Plymouth side of the river and going further south in the lower part of town,
just below Smith Lane, West Railroad Street becomes a more narrow gravel road.
First looking north towards Smith Lane, then to the south.
Just south of here, the ROW passes over a small culvert. I was hoping to see something a bit more historic,
but it must have been replaced during the levee and pump station work along the river, which you see in the second photo.
Just beyond this point is a locked gate behind an industrial building, beyond it the ROW continues south
as a gravel road (briefly), then as a grassy path adjacent to some newer homes (looking south).
Now looking north from Flat Road back to where we were in the previous photo. Newer apartments are hidden east of the treeline.
At Flat Road looking south, there's a parking lot on the ROW, bike racks, etc., along with signs that this is now part of the "rail trail".
Beyond the levee (ahead to the south), we can see where the trail begins, but there's so much to be done. The parking area just seems
like a gesture, so far, of what's to come, as really not too much has been done outside this immediate area.
Here's a Google Earth image (aligned so that the top is northwest), to use as a key in the photos above and below.
I've generally used the term "south" when following the line further north, but actually when approaching the Nanticoke area,
it runs southwest. "A" is the location the trail parking lot above, and adjacent to the "rail trail".
The ROW itself along here is a gravel path running near Route 11, past "B", "E" and "F".
Going back in time a bit, the DL&W also had a coal branch in this vicinity with another bridge that crossed the Susquehanna to
Hanover Township, known as the "Hanover & Newport Branch". It served the Loomis and Auchincloss (breakers & collieries) along with
a couple of others along the CNJ Nanticoke Branch on the east side of the river near Nanticoke. I'm not sure exactly when
the trackage was torn up, but there was a triangular junction approximating the treed area you see at point "B".
Then the line ran down along the hedgerow area you still see between "C" and "D", with the bridge along the two points nearest to "D".
Here's a photo by Mike Rushton of the bridge, from the 1990's, before it was torn down:
The next two photos were taken off Route 11 along the ROW where you see the asterisk "*" on the aerial view above.
The street sign said "Flats Road" again, but it's actually Jones Street (looking north, then south).
Here's looking north at the highway underpass (north fork of the Rt. 29 ramps) at point "E", then south at the same spot.
At the overpass at point "F", looking north, then south from the other side, where the ROW is the right path nearest the highway.
At the Nanticoke Broadway bridge itself, then looking north, then south:
Finally, in West Nanticoke, with the shadows getting long, I'm standing along the ROW at Ferry Street, looking north.
Just to the left of this spot, the old DL&W Nanticoke Depot still stands along Route 11, now a tatoo parlor...
... and looking south (actually west here) is an old long building which was once a feed mill.
Further down into town, along Harvey's Creek at Allen Street and Route 11, the railroad bridge is still in place.
Looking north then south from the east end, the ROW is clear and there's a pipe running over the bridge.
Looking down the creek, there's a stone abutment to the right, but this may not have been railroad-related,
as the PRR junction with the Bloomsburg Branch (from their nearby bridge) was likely further upstream on the Susquehanna.
Looking down the ROW from the other side of the bridge, the gravel path continues as a reminder of the railroad line.
Soon, it's once again an official rail-trail, as it heads downriver towards the nuke plant above Berwick,
where the tracks resume (in service) for the long jaunt down to Northumberland.
Being late, I caught the sun setting on the butte above West Nanticoke looking across Route 11, and called it a day.
Thanks for visiting !
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