City of Wilkes-Barre Map

Eastbound of Gardners Switch the CNJ mainline opened into a double-tracked tangent that ran straight into the heart of Wilkes-Barre, PA. In this scene, CNJ No. 2511 and an unidentified locomotive idle near the Conyngham Avenue grade crossing westbound of their yard in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The highway overpass in the distance is the Butler Street viaduct and the tracks to the right, the D&H. -westward view, November 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

In the same general location as the preceding photograph, a northbound D&H freight with No. 601 in the lead of a six-unit lash-up closes the distance to Conyngham Avenue on a snowy winter's day. The tracks to the left are the CNJ mainline into Wilkes-Barre. - westward view, March 10, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

Still at Conyngham Avenue the photographer has turned around to record D&H No. 601 train's passage over the grade crossing. In the distance is the PA Route 309 overpass. The tracks at the right are the CNJ mainline to Scranton. The seventh, or last locomotive in the lash-up, No. 4089, has earlier thrown a rod through its engine block and is now being deadheaded as part of the consist for scrapping.  - northeast view, March 10, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

D&H No. 4129 pulling a cut of freight cars is alongside a whistle-post signaling the engineer to blow two longs, a short, and another long blast for the grade crossing at Conyngham Avenue.  - westward view, November 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

A westbound CNJ freight rolls through Wilkes-Barre in the vicinity of Kidder Street. The tracks in the upper right corner are D&H and lead to their city yard, engine terminal, and connection to the LV (trackage rights over the LV into South Wilkes-Barre from a connection in the vicinity of East Market Street. - southwest view, May 10, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs

MP 173.49 Left The 4:30 PM D&H freight to Oneonta, NY, is about to receive its power as D&H Nos. 614 and 615 back under the Butler Street Viaduct in a reverse move to couple onto the waiting train. The CNJ tracks are to the right. - northeast view, August 8, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs Right - When coal was still king, the LV Mineral Springs Branch between their mainline (out of view to left) and Mineral Springs Breaker (out of view to right) crossed both the D&H and CNJ mainlines on diamonds a short distance southwest of Conyngham Avenue. When this photograph was recorded the Mineral Springs Branch had already been a distant memory, leaving behind only a scar across the D&H/CNJ mains as a legacy to its passing. The D&H had trackage rights on the Mineral Springs Branch from this point southeastward (right) to Baltimore Breaker No.5. This view also reveals that the CNJ No. 1 Track (eastbound main) has been abandoned from the site of the LV Mineral Springs Branch crossing westward to Hudson, PA. - northeast view, August 8, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

 - southwest view, August 8, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

D&H Nos. 613, 614, and 615 push back their train to clear a switch in preparation for their run north. In the distance the cupola of the Stegmaier Brewery can be seen (left), as well as the sand towers of the D&H engine terminal (right). The CNJ tracks are at the left (the farthest track to the left is the CNJ mainline while the adjacent track with the train occupying it is the abandoned eastbound No. 1 Track. - southwest view, July 28, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

MP 173.00 The D&H ran from Hudson Yard into Wilkes-Barre on its own right of way, which diverged from the CNJ mainline south of Hudson Junction and later remerged with it north of Conyngham Avenue in the vicinity of the PA Route 315 overpass. The D&H maintained an engine terminal on the south side of the CNJ (near CNJ MP 173) between Scott and E. Market Streets. In this view looking west along the CNJ mainline (tracks at the right)  from the vicinity of Jackson Street, the D&H engine terminal is opposite the CNJ. Although out of view, the LV is also running parallel to the CNJ farther to the left of the D&H.  The grade crossing in the distance is Scott Street. - northeast views, May 10 & March 9, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs

The sign at the entrance to the D&H engine terminal and yard graphically displayed the facilities safety record. - northeast view, November 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

 - northeast view, November 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

The D&H turntable and roundhouse were at the north end of the terminal, backing on Scott Street.  - southeast views, 1965 & November 14, 1968 - A. W. Kovacs

The D&H engine terminal ended at Scott Street and the freight yard began. In the distance are the D&H freight house and the CNJ passenger depot, both visible over the CNJ coal train. - southwest view, May 10, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs

The D&H freight house (tan wooden structure with second story addition behind the CNJ locomotive and caboose) at the south end of their yard, across East Market Street from the CNJ depot, dated to 1886. The LV's Wilkes-Barre Yard is visible behind the D&H freight station as is the old traction Laurel Line passenger depot on the corner of Coal and Baltimore Streets. - westward view,  December 13, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

The Laurel Line depot was north of the LV freight yard. In this view a LV Baldwin Locomotive Works diesel switching locomotive is working north of the depot. - westward view,  December 8, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

MP 172.59 CNJ's East Market Street station was in the heart of the city. The Stegmaier Brewing Company bottling house is visible across the tracks at the left rear of the station. - westward view,  April 15, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

CNJ yard switcher, No. 1093, rests in front of Wilkes-Barre station on an almost postcard picture perfect, blustery, winter's day - actually the first day of the new year 1968.  - westward view,  January 1, 1968 - A. W. Kovacs

The Stegmaier Brewing Company occupied a variety of architecturally diverse buildings that reflected the tastes and standards of over 100 years (1863-1972) of industrial design. The complex fronted along East Northampton Street and spanned the entire length of the city block north to East Market Street. It was across the tracks from the CNJ's Wilkes-Barre depot. In the two views at the left, a Pennsylvania Power & Light crew is setting a new power pole along East Market Street. The north end of the Stegmaier complex is across the tracks from the CNJ crossing tower.

Left - westward view, August 15, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs
Center - southwest view, August 15, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs
Right - northwest view, Circa 1950 - postcard view

Although anthracite coal had been discovered in several locations in the Wyoming Valley as well as on the banks of the Susquehanna River, Wilkes-Barre gained early notice as a coal town through the efforts of Obadiah Gore and Judge Jesse Fell, both of whom independently established the rational and technique of utilizing hard coal. Wilkes-Barre derived its name from two pre-revolutionary advocates of colonist rights and liberties: the Honorable John Wilkes and Colonel Isaac Barre. Wilkes-Barre's prominence as an industrial center grew to the extent that it was eventually served by six steam railroads1 and three electric lines2.

Eastbound CNJ No. 2510 with a freight in tow nears Northampton Street grade crossing one block southwest of E. Market Street. Western Feed, which now occupies the CNJ freight house,  is visible to the left of the locomotive. - northeast view,  April 12, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs

MP 172.22 Looking westbound along the CNJ from the advantage of the South Street overpass, the CNJ depot is visible in the distance at the left of the tracks and the Stegmaier complex to the right. - northeast view,  April 12, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs

 Looking southwest along the CNJ, still from the South Street highway overpass, the CNJ mainline to Ashley, PA - via Franklin Junction - is at the far left; the tracks of the LV from right toward center and through the cut in the buildings; and the tracks of the PRR at far right, adjacent with the LV, for interchange with the LV and for switching into the PRR Wilkes-Barre freight station or into American Chain & Cable (on a switchback).  - southwest view, April 12, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs

The Lehigh Valley Railroad in Wilkes-Barre:

The LV in downtown Wilkes-Barre ran between the D&H and the Susquehanna River, running parallel to the CNJ. View 1 - South Street passed over all three railroads on a series of bridges that offered a particularly good perspective of the LV terminal. In this view LV No. 235 idles under the South Street overpass alongside the yard office In the distance the tall cupola of Stegmaier Brewery can be seen above the train (left). - eastward view, May 1967 - A. W. Kovacs  View 2 - The PRR freight house was east of South Street on the corner of E. Northampton Street and S. Pennsylvania Avenue. It was adjacent to the LV freight terminal. In this view PRR Nos. 7139 and 7142 are spotted on one of the freight house tracks. - northeast view, June 1967 - A. W. Kovacs View 3 - The LV freight house and team tracks bordered on E. Market Street a block southwest of the CNJ depot. - northeast view, June 1967 - A. W. Kovacs View 4 - The LV shared its E. Market Street freight house with a host of other tenants, which underscored the diminishing importance of railroad freight service to the City of Wilkes-Barre by the late 1960s. -northeast view, March 25, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs View 5 - The LV team tracks were on the south side of the freight house and were equipped with a gantry crane to transfer loads. - eastward view, April 1967 - A. W. Kovacs View 6 - The team track gantry crane was a Whiting overhead crane capable of lifting 30 tons. - northwest view, February 1968 - A. W. Kovacs View 7 - The LV Wilkes-Barre passenger depot was north of the freight house near the corner of N. Pennsylvania Avenue and E. Market Street. Prior to its razing during the mid- 1960s, it was also used by D&H trains. - westward view, April 14, 1962 - William T. Greenberg, Jr. View 8  - LV No. 560 waits for the arrival of the PRR coal train alongside the site of the razed LV passenger depot. Each day the PRR would set out a coal train for the LV to deliver to Coxton, PA. View 9 - Beyond South Street and the LV/PRR freight terminals, the two roads paralleled each other for several blocks before separating. In this scene the PRR tracks are to the right of the LV. - southwest view, July 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

The Pennsylvania Railroad in Wilkes-Barre:


View 1 - PRR No. 2323 is making its turn-around back to Buttonwood, PA, on LV tracks after having delivered the morning coal train to the LV yard in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The train will return to its company yard at Buttonwood over the Wilkes-Barre Connecting Railroad. Although the train at this point is traveling northeastward, the LV will shortly swing northwestward and cross the Wilkes-Barre Connection Railroad.  In this view taken from N. Pennsylvania Avenue, the PRR locomotive is on the D&H Conyngham Branch diamond. - eastward view,  January 1968 - A. W. Kovacs View 2 - Another PRR coal train arriving at South Wilkes-Barre from Buttonwood, also destined for the LV, picks its way through several switches near Carey Avenue. -  northwest view,  May 1967- A. W. Kovacs Views 3 & 4 -PRR No. 2415 has spread the gauge of the 85 pound rail servicing the freight house platform and derailed. The distinctive cupola of Stegmaier Brewery is visible in the distance above the rear of the locomotive. - generally northeast views,  May 16, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs  View 5 - Disaster stuck the PRR's Northampton Street freight house when a heavy, wet, snowfall collapsed part of the shed roof over the loading dock. - northward view,  January 17, 1968 - A. W. Kovacs View 6 - This overall northeastward view from the South Street Bridge puts the relationship of the PRR and LV freight stations on Northampton Street to each other in perspective. The PRR freight house is the substantial brick building to the left with the long, covered, loading platform. The LV wood frame freight station is partially visible at the right. That's LV No. 235 working the yard. - northeast view,  June 1967 - A. W. Kovacs  View 7 - The PRR city freight yard in Wilkes-Barre was southwest of South Street. The tracks to the left of the PRR are LV yard tracks and mainline to Franklin Junction. - southwest view,  June 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

Returning to the CNJ mainline and proceeding eastward beyond South Street, the CNJ tracks through downtown Wilkes-Barre converged at South Wilkes-Barre into a two-track mainline that immediately curved westward passing Hazel Street Station (MP 171.87) and South Wilkes-Barre Station (MP 171.26). - southwest view,  June 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

MP 171.26 Left - The Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co.'s South Wilkes-Barre Breaker No. 5 was westbound of the CNJ's South Wilkes-Barre passenger depot (partially in view to right). The CNJ and LV mainlines remained in close proximity to each other through this area. In this scene the LV tracks are to the left of the CNJ. - southeast view, Circa 1910 - Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission  Right - During the early 1930s the L&WB No. 5 Breaker became the Glen Alden Coal Company's South Wilkes-Breaker after the latter company purchased the assets of the old L&WB from its successor, the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Corporation. The No. 5 Breaker was fed by shaft mines and was serviced by a 3-foot gauge railroad. - eastward view, Circa 1910 - courtesy Greg Buchala

1Central Railroad of New Jersey; Lehigh Valley Railroad; Delaware & Hudson Railroad; Pennsylvania Railroad; and the Wilkes-Barre & Eastern Railroad (New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad and ERIE Railroad).

2Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railroad, Wilkes-Barre Traction Company, and the Wilkes-Barre & Hazleton Railway