A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad
Lackawanna Railroad

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Delaware Lackawanna
and Western
April 27, 1941

The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company (DL&W or Lackawanna) was a railroad connecting Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Valley, rich in anthracite coal, to New York City, Buffalo and Oswego, New York. It merged with the Erie Railroad in 1960, forming the Erie Lackawanna Railroad, and was absorbed into Conrail in 1976.(wik) During the 30's and 40's the Lackawanna was the eastern connection for Nickel Plate trains between Chicago and New York. The Nickel Plate limited became the New Yorker at Buffalo and traversed Lackawanna rails to New York. It carried both Pullman sleepers and coaches. A second train, primarily a mail train, also carried Pullman sleepers from Chicago to New York, with coach passengers exchanging cars at Buffalo.

Short History of the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad
1832 - The Liggett's Gap Railroad was incorporated.
1832-49 - LG stayed dormant.
1834 - Ithaca and Oswego Railroad opened as standard gauge line.
1849-50 - LG chartered and organized.
Erie - Lackawanna
October 30, 1960
1850 - Delaware and Cobb's Gap Railroad (D&CG) chartered to build from Scranton east to the Delaware River.
1851 - LG name changed to Lackawanna and Western Railroad and 6 foot gauge line from Scranton to Great Bend (south of NY state line) opened.
1851 - L&W gets trackage rights over New York and Erie Railroad to Oswego, NY.
1851 - Warren Railroad chartered to build from bridge at Delaware River southeast to Hampton on the Central Railroad of New Jersey.
1853 - L&W and D&CG consolidated into the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad.
1855 - A reorganized Ithaca & Oswego is leased by DL&W to reach Ithaca.
1856 - Warren Railroad section opens and CRRofNJ adds 3rd track for 6 foot gauge trackage rights to Elizabeth, NJ.
1864 - CNJ extends to Jersey City.
1868 - DL&W buys Morris and Essex Railroad running east-west across Ney Jersey from Jersey City, avoiding CNJ.
1869 - The DL&W bought the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad and leased the Oswego and Syracuse Railroad. This gave it a branch from Binghamton north and northwest via Syracuse to Oswego, a port on Lake Ontario.
1850's-1890's - Many other branch lines built or leased in NJ, PA and NY.
1869 - Valley Railroad organized.
1871 - Valley Railroad completed from Great Bend to Binghamton, giving DL&W freedom from using Erie.
1876 - M&E tunnel under Bergen Hill relieves use of NYLE&W trackage in Jersey City.
1876 - DL&W system re-gauged to standard gauge.
1880 - New York Lackawanna and Western Railroad chartered to continue from Binghamton to Buffalo.
1882 - Line to International Bridge to Ontario opened and also a branch to Buffalo.
1908 - Lackawanna Railroad chartered in NJ to build New Jersey cut-off.
1911 - Cut-off opened. This provided a low-grade cutoff in northwestern New Jersey. The cutoff included the Delaware Viaduct and the Paulinskill Viaduct, as well three concrete towers at Port Morris and Greendell in New Jersey and Slateford Junction in Pennsylvania.
1912 - Summit cut-off from Clark's Summit to Hallstead PA started.
1915 - Summit cut-off completed. This rerouting provided another quicker low-grade line between Scranton, Pennsylvania and Binghamton, New York. The Summit Cut-Off included the massive Tunkhannock Viaduct and Martins Creek Viaduct. Each of the Lackawanna's cutoffs had no at-grade crossings with roads or highways thus allowing for high-speed service.
1949 - Lackawanna introduces new lightweight streamliner the "Phoebe Snow".
1955 - Hurricane Diana washed out much of Lackawanna main line in the Pocono's. Rebuilding costs, delays, and mounting debt restricted operations.
1956 - The DL&W from Binghamton west to just east of Corning closely paralleled the Erie's main line, and had already been abandoned in favor of joint operations with the Erie.
1960 - DL&W merged with Erie to become Erie-Lackawanna Railroad.
cir 1960 -With the merger much of the DL&W trackage was redundant, however the Erie's Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad was dropped from Corning to Livonia in favor of the DL&W's main line. The New Jersey Cutoff had already been downgraded to a single track with passing sidings by the DL&W.
1976 - Conrail takes over E-L.
1979 - Conrail sells DL&W Pennsylvania lines to Delaware and Hudson.
1983 - New Jersey Transit takes over Conrail passenger service, operating on some old DL&W trackage.
1991 - D&H absorbed into Canadian Pacific Railway.
1997 - Conrail bought by Norfolk Southern and CSX. DL&W New Jersey lines go to NS.
1998 - The longest remaining main line sector of the DL&W is Painted Post-Wayland, with short line service provided by B&H Railroad (Bath & Hammonsport, a division of the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad). Shorter main line remnants are Groveland-Greigsville (Genesee & Wyoming) and Lancaster-Depew (Depew, Lancaster & Western).
1998 - The Richfield Springs branch was scrapped after being out of service for years,
cir 1999 - The Cincinnatus Branch, abandoned by Erie Lackawanna in 1960, was partially rebuilt for an industrial spur.

Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad timetable map - April 27, 1941

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Classic Trains-Kalmbach Publishing cO.-Winter 2007
To contact our contributors please make a request by Email to: Richard Parks


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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 27, 2009, revised May 13, 2011