The Wilkes-Barre and Eastern Railroad
The Wilkes-Barre and Eastern Railroad was chartered in 1892 with the intent of transporting coal from the coal-rich regions around Wilkes-Barre to shipping ports in New Jersey via the W-B&E's owner, the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad. Claimed to be the shortest route for hauling coal to the port, it proved a slow one due to curves and grading along the line.
The line ran from Kingston, in Wilkes-Barre, eastward to Stroudsburg and a connection with the NYS&W. In 1896, the W-B&E opened The Susquehanna Connecting Railroad in order to tap into more coal markets around Old Forge.
The Erie Railroad purchased the NYS&W in 1898, and traffic began diverting to the nearby and adjacent Erie line. The relevancy of the line declined, and the tracks were abandoned in 1939.
Since the line was abandoned over 70 years ago, traces of it today are hard to find.
This map shows the W-B & E crossing to the northeast side of Rt. 611 for a brief distance northwest of Stroudsburg. What is the source for this information?
Since asking the question, I have seen such a map and have even seen the bed where the RR crossed the highway! (...but a bozo such as myself wouldn't recognize the evidence as other than just paths.) Next I'm intent on finding remnants - if any - of where the W-B & E went east, then west of Pocono Creek - twice! - which I also regarded as questionable. Thanks for the quick response, Greg!
You may be interested to check out the Google Maps file someone made that has just about all of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area anthracite railroads. I've been referencing it for a couple of years now as I built the combined NYS&W-WB&E-SCRR system in Trainz Railroad Simulator.
Have you compared the aerial photos from 1939 available for free from the Penn Pilot website to this map. The photos show a rail paralleling, but not crossing the Pocono Creek at Bartonsville. Your map looks more like the line follows RimRock Road. I am just not sure about that section. The aerial photos also show the end of your line continuing on to Stroudsburg, but that may have been a connector to another line.
The WB&E does continue just south of Stroudsburg. The yard and shops area was just south of I-80/209, basically paralleling it eastward until it reached the river and turned south to follow. The spur through Stroudsburg to the Gravel Place interchange with the DL&W junctioned with the main at the end of Collins Street.
Recently I drove down Burchwood Road, while exploring the old abandoned Burchwood Honeymoon Resort. There appeared to be some rather obvious abandoned old RR grades crossing the road that goes past the old resort. Was this part of the grade for the W-B & E? The grades were not apparent on Google.
There are still many places where you can still walk or bike the roadbed
Thank you Howard.
Since originally commenting/questioning almost 5 years ago, I've tried to upgrade my W-B&E knowledge from more than "bozo" status. The 1939 PennPilots aerial photos have been invaluable in this respect. The reason that the line ends in south Stroudsburg is because that is where the W-B&E junctioned with its parent company, NYS&W, which was initially focused on coal interchange with DL&W at Gravel Place. Studying the railroad history of Monroe County has revealed no mention of railroad activity in the vicinity of the former Birchwood Resort using Paradise Creek and Pocono Creek as reference points. DL&W was northeast of the former; W-B&W was southwest of the latter; and Birchwood was in-between - quite some distance from both.
...should be "W-B&E", not "W-B&W" near the end of my above comment
Hi Kim. Nice to see your post. I see you're in Mt. Pocono. I'm about 25 miles away. Currently, I'm in Connecticut, but maybe we can go exploring when I get back. My interest in this area, and the railroad, only goes back about 6 months, so I don't really know much about it. What I remember, however, really looked like an old RR RoW path. In any case, thanks for your interest in my post and these old railroad lines.
The map doesn't show the RoW going anywhere near Birchwood, now that I look at it. It might have been a logging road, or something.
when i head back to the mountains i will folllow this trail love it.
As info, in 2016, Pocono Township is observing its 200th birthday with a series of events, as well as creating lasting evidence of the bicentennial by converting the Mountain View Park Community Center into a "Heritage Center". The July 17th event at the Tannersville Inn will feature a presentation about the railroad history of the township (not the history of the W-B&E, but certainly the W-B&E will be mentioned because there were five W-B&E stops/stations in Pocono Township. Don't know exactly when the railroad presentation will occur - maybe multiple times between the event's hours of from Noon to 4PM.
Thank You! This is the clearest map I've found showing the abandoned route through the area just north of Rainbow Lake in Pocono Twp. I've got some history tied to this particular section of track. Part theoretical and part fact. I know my great grandfather (paternal) worked for the railroad. He resided in Stroudsburg, but could definitely have been sent out to this region to work. His son (my grandfather), upon his return from WWII, used to take his sons (one of them being my dad), fishing in Crescent Lake (located roughly 1 mile south through the woods from where the track crosses Rt 380 and eastward through the northern tip of Pocono Twp. When I was 3 y/o, my dad moved us to Crescent Lake (1977-ish) and I grew up exploring those woods regularly. I doubt anyone knows them better, even to this day. There was one day that I attempted to build a dam to create a fishing hole and while I was digging around an embankment, pulled an old pick axe from out of the stream (Dry Sawmill Run). It had to have been from the railroad workers because this was an extremely desolate area that probably hadn't been touched since the construction discontinued, maybe with the exception of an occasional hunter trekking through the woods. My grandfather was still alive at this time (1986/87) for me to give the pick to him, and I believe he passed it on to the historical society in Stroudsburg. Just thought I'd share my story as it has some relevance to this thread and gave me an opportunity to reminisce.
any idea when rightside of abundment was removed ? along pa route940 i remember it back in 1984