Looking Back 1/4
Considering the rapid growth of railroads in the 19th century, it’s hard to believe that in the “Birthplace of the American Railroad,” passenger rail service was confined to the Delaware & Hudson Coal Company Gravity Railroad from Honesdale to Carbondale, where travelers made connections to the rest of America. Finally, in 1863, the Erie Railroad built a 16-mile branch line from Lackawaxen on the Delaware to Hawley, followed in 1868 by a nine-mile track from Hawley to Tracyville (East Honesdale), leaving passengers with a one-mile hike into Honesdale proper or an additional fare for the coach provided by the Whitney Livery Stable.
Finally, when the D&H Canal closed in 1898, the canal bed was filled in and the Erie tracks extended into Honesdale, the first train arriving in 1899, met by an excited crowd of men and boys. When the Gravity closed, also in 1898, it was replaced by the D&H steam railroad. The Erie and the D&H shared Honesdale’s Union Station.
From the collection of the Wayne County Historical Society, 810 Main St., Honesdale, PA. The museum and research library are open Friday and Saturday, 10 a. m. to 4 p. m.