Looking Back 12/7

The Delaware & Hudson Coal Company Gravity Railroad, opened in 1828 between Carbondale and Honesdale, was designed as a companion to the D&H Canal, which ran from Honesdale to Rondout (Kingston, NY) on the Hudson River. Without the need to move coal from the anthracite fields to the Hudson, neither engineering marvel would have been contemplated.

Originally the Gravity carried only coal cars over 13 planes, using stationary engines to haul the coal cars up to the hilltops and gravity to carry them down. By 1877, it was clear that passenger service would increase the profitability of the Gravity, and it began carrying people on regular trips between Carbondale and Honesdale and excursioners to the 600-acre park at the top of Farview Mountain, where beautiful vistas and lively recreational activities attracted thousands yearly. 

The D&H Canal and Gravity Railroad closed in 1898, made obsolete by more efficient ways to move coal and people. The restored D&H Gravity Depot in Waymart is now the headquarters of the Waymart Area Historical Society, which is also the home of Car #43, a restored/replicated open-air summer passenger car.

From the collection of the Wayne County Historical Society, 810 Main St., Honesdale. The museum and research library are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a. m. to 4 p. m.


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