Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images

Delaware Lackawanna (DL) Alco’s September 2012

Getting some DL Railroad Alco’s on a passenger train had long been on a wish list and thanks to the Erie Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society (ELDCPS) we got some in on this trip. We just so happened to have planned our annual US trip when the Scranton Railfest was on, and when the ELDCPS planned a charter in conjunction with it.

Before checking in to our hotel in Scranton, the Red Carpet Inn & Suites, which wasn’t such a bad place, even if the car park looked like it should have been the scene in a CSI episode, we went down to the DL Shops to see what was about, before it got dark.

In the scrap line on August 31st 2012 were:

FA #596, C424 #2409, RS11 #324, RS11 #1805, C424 #2457, FPA4 #6763, RS3 #204, RS11 #351, C424 #327 & RS3 #????

Also on shed on August 31st 2012 were:

Alco C636 #3642, MLW M363 #3643, C420 #41, apparently being stripped for spares before being scrapped, RS3 #1554, RS11 #1804, RS32 #211, C425 #2423 & MLW M420W #2045

In the station area the following DL Alcos were observed, all of which remained in exactly the same place over the whole weekend:

C420 #405, C424 #2403 (ex Adirondack Scenic Railroad #4243 and still in ASR livery), C425 #2452 & M636 #3000, all in the car park and RS3s 4068/4113 positioned on Bridge 60

The charter run by the ELDCPS started at Delaware Water Gap at 0900 Saturday 1st September, the stock and locos having gone up the previous afternoon and remained at Delaware Water Gap overnight. It was formed of the group’s own stock and tended to by the group themselves. In first class we were served tea/coffee and breakfast muffins/pastries. The most important part of the train was of course the locos, DL’s RS3 4118 led C420 414. We’d paid the extra price to be in first class so we could actually stand at the barn doors and bellow at the Alco’s, unfortunately our coach was in the middle of the train as we were effectively two full coaches from the locos. There was still quite a bit of trash to be had to and the driver wasn’t messing about at station starts either.

At Scranton we dropped off at the old station for people to be transferred to the Scranton Italian Festival, which happened to be the same weekend, by bus, before terminating at the Steamtown platform. As we alighted we were all given wrist bands to allow entrance to the Steamtown site during the Railfest, which was included in our ticket price. This allowed us free reign of the place all afternoon before our return to Delaware Water Gap at 1500.

Unfortunately for the ELDCPS guys one of their coaches gave up the ghost in the afternoon and they couldn’t get its air-con working so people had to be crammed into the other coaches before departure. The run back up the hill to Pocono Summit wasn’t anything to write home about, the Alco’s were used to taking much heavier loads up the hill, probably not being right behind them had something to do with it as we couldn’t hear them that well. Our arrival back into Delaware Water Gap was at 1830, 50 minutes late, us having met with further delay en-route while water was transferred to the coaches which were quite full and also to give staff time to try and rectify the air-con fault.

Once everyone had de-trained at Delaware Water Gap the Alco’s took the set forward to Slateford Junction to run round (there’s no run round loop at DWG), before returning to Delaware Water Gap, where the whole lot would sit until Monday morning, so we were told. Probably to keep everything out of the way of the chaos in Scranton.

Having had a thoroughly enjoyable day we were back in Scranton, celebrating the day at the Backyard Ale House in Scranton 90 minutes after arriving at Delaware Water Gap!

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