Do You Remember The Old Delaware & Hudson Carbondale Yard?

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Do you remember the old Delaware & Hudson Railroad Carbondale Yard?… I’m not surprised!… Most people who follow the Delaware-Lackawanna in Scranton only do so as far as Steamtown and the Poconos…. But there’s another facet to the D-L’s operations that goes practically unnoticed by most railfans…. The 17.6 mile Carbondale mainline to Carbondale, Pa. and the site (more like what’s left of) the old Delaware & Hudson Carbondale Yards.

This historic route was once the original Delaware & Hudson Penn Division which climbed up and over Ararat Mountain, snaked under the famous Erie Starruca Viaduct in Lanesboro and eventually linked up with Oneonta in upstate NY before moving onto Albany (on the old A&S – Albany and Susquehanna Division) and northward into Canada.

Soon after Conrail was formed the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western mainline from Taylor, Pa. (including the Taylor Yard) to Binghamton, NY was bought by the D&H which allowed it to downgrade and eventually abandon the line between Scranton and Oneonta and avoid its steep grades.

Tracks were ripped up from Oneonta down to Carbondale and the line from Carbondale to Scranton was bought and operated by the county for a time before being operated by the Delaware-Lackawanna back in the 1990s.

A trip up the line to the yards is a somber journey back in time when coal was king and northeastern Pa. was a maze of underground coal seams and dotted with breakers. Remnants from those bygone glory days can be found all along the line with the most obvious being large banks of coal and culm.

Sadly, there’s not much left of the railroad’s former dominance however a few rickety tracks and some of the original railroad shop buildings still remain. Once in Carbondale, the biggest (rail) customer in the yard is a fracking sand tranloading outfit with parts of the original D&H shops still in use by other (non-rail) businesses. 

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The Old Delaware & Hudson Carbondale Yard

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Author:Railfan AC

AC is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, a long haul trucker, a transportation enthusiast and a lifelong lover of trains. AC's mission is to travel America documenting American railroading in the 21st century while educating those who want to know about the importance the railroads play in our daily lives including, but not limited to, the movement of goods, services and more.

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