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Nostalgia & History > Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?

Date: 05/15/19 03:32
Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: Roadjob

EL was blessed with having two magnificent architectural wonders within an hour and a half of each other, courtesy of its legacy roads. The Erie's incredibly designed Starrucca Viaduct in Lanesboro Pa. made of stone set upon stone was inspiring to say the least! It didn't hurt to have the D&H Pennsylvania Division mainline running underneath of it either! To the southwest of Starruca in Nicholson Pa., the Lackawanna's contribution was the concrete monolith called TunKhannock viaduct. I never had the thrill of riding over Starruca. My connection was on the Scranton side, so Tunkhannock was my favorite by default. Starruca was not as easily photographed since it sat in much tighter confines in the valley Lanesboro was in. The best shot was from a hill on the south east side of the viaduct. It gave a commanding view of eastbounds climbing to Gulf Summit. Tunkhannock was a much different story. It was/is wide open and literally could be shot all day long from a multitude of angles. Truth be told, I rode over it more times in the dark of night or predawn hours than at any time with decent light. EL schedules were such, that the westbounds I hitched on to left very early in the morning, and the eastbound return trips could frequently get me into Scranton in the very very early hours of the morning.

top...This shot shows the full glory of Tunkhannock in perfect light. Train is BC-2. 1972

middle...This is another eastbound, SB-2, coming off of the viaduct. 1971

bottom... Just to prove how bad a photo can get...here it is. Absolutely no light has arrived on the scene; I took a chance as we approached the viaduct on Advance Croxton 99. We were rolling/ bouncing along at a steady 30mph. Can't win them all, but, I can't get this shot anymore either!

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD
commercial photography

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/19 03:33 by Roadjob.

Date: 05/15/19 04:44
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: NYSWSD70M

Add in Martins Creek and you have three in the area. It is just north (railroad west) of Tunkhannock. It is "only" 140 feet tall vs 240 for Tunkhannock but it is three tracks wide (with only two on it in EL days). Route 11 passes directly under it on the original DL&W row.

Great photos once again!

Posted from Android

Date: 05/15/19 05:05
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: dcmkris

Great photos personally each structure has their own amazing qualities to them. Since my brother is a huge D&H Fan I guess I had more interaction with her & I have to admit it was pretty cool while the D&H still ran under her.

I really love that second photo.  The third one is fantastic when as you noted can't get it anymore. 

Date: 05/15/19 06:13
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: atsf121


Posted from iPhone

Date: 05/15/19 06:26
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: refarkas

Photo one is an "A+" image.

Date: 05/15/19 06:52
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: Theowhitey

To answer your initial question...stone.
That said, there's no denying the impressiveness, due its sheer size, of Tunkhannock. And the "LACKAWANNA RR" inscription doesn't hurt either.
Love that first photo, Bill--a tribute to A. Aubrey Bodine.

Date: 05/15/19 06:57
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: rbenko

Great stuff as always Bill!!

Always wanted to get that angle you have in the second photo - however, I believe nowadays the spot is totally overgrown, and the trees on the left completely block the view of the viaduct.  Last time I was there about 10 years ago, I couldn't even figure out how to get up there without climbing up from Route 11 and crossing the tracks.

Date: 05/15/19 07:47
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: GBW309

For those that are friends of Facebook, search for "Nicholson Heritage Association" page.  They have many historic photos of Tunkhannock viaduct and the valley before the viaduct was built.  It also appears that the locals call it a "bridge".   Either way, it's one mighty impressive structure.



Date: 05/15/19 08:23
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: cr7998

Bill - you keep hitting home runs with your photography.  The first two shots are stunning, and while the third shot was in less than ideal conditions, it captures a moment in time, with plenty of atmosphere.  Thanks for posting.  

Date: 05/22/19 10:22
Re: Concrete or stone, which held more appeal?
Author: Gonut1

Thanks for all your posts Roadjob! Great stuff.
I jumped in the car one frigid winter Sunday back around 1972 with the wife and a friend who was into photography. He had a real camera, a 35mm not like my Instatragic! The goal was to drive several hours and find the Starucca Viaduct. Gas was still cheap but the Internet wasn't working too well back then so I consulted my Road Atlas and an old railroad map and determined the viaduct must be over Starucca Creek. So we headed up US Rte 11 to PA Rte 92 which would put us in Lanesboro near Starucca Creek and the suspected location of the stone arch structure.
Well imagine my astonishment when we crested the hill at Nicholson and we saw Tunkhannock Viaduct. We didn’t even know it existed and we were really taken by the size. Well a bunch of 35mm and 110 film was expended on that bright sunny day.
Then it was off to Starucca which pales in size but is still awesome sight. We took photos there but the light was diminishing fast. Never saw a train all day but did see two monster masonry structures.

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