New York Society of Model Engineers
Trips and Activities

DL&W Cutoff Tour

On December 26th 2006, when most people were resting after Christmas,
members of NYSME toured the former Lackawanna Cutoff in Northwest New Jersey.
The tour was not just limited to the DL&W, members also walked segments of
the Paulinskill Valley Trail which was former the right-of-way for the NYS&W and the LNE  


One of the most well known structures on the Cutoff is the DL&W bridge over the Delaware River. I-80 passes right under this massive bridge.


The view from the top of the DL&W Delaware river bridge. Beyond the bridge is Slateford Jct, where the Old Main and the cutoff rejoined each other.


The signature structure of the Cutoff is the colossal Paulinskill Viaduct. Completed in 1911, the bridge is 115 feet high and 1100 feet long. When it was built it was the largest concrete structure in the world.


Members of NYSME stand on the NYS&W/LNE right of way admiring the Paulinskill Viaduct. The NYS&W once had a station directly under this viaduct.


Just below the Paulinskill Viaduct passes the shared right of way of the NYS&W and LNE. About a mile walk west of the bridge is Hainesburg Jct. Today the right of way is a NJ State Trail running from Sparta Jct to the Delaware River


A steel bridge still remains where the LNE crosses the Paulinskill Creek. Members of the NYSME pause to take a group photo.

 

 

The Blairstown station represented the only large town on the cutoff. However the station was a mile outside of town. It is good to see that building is still being used by a business.   


The Johnsonburg station stands neglected along the right of way. Stations were located in inconvenient spots since the Cutoff bypassed many of the small towns for the most direct route.


The remains of the creamery that stood across the tracks from the Johnsonburg train station.

 


Greendel Station once featured a passing siding, a concrete overpass, and signal bridge. However the last passenger train stopped here in 1940.

 

 


NYSME members explore the grounds of the Greendel station. At one time there were three tracks here however the last of the tracks were pulled up in 1984


One of the many signature DL&W poured concrete towers at Greendel. This design was used all over the system. It appears a graffiti artist has been practicing his vocabulary on the side of the building

 


This short tunnel actually passes through the Pequest Fill. An earthen embankment that stretches for 3 miles. This fill allowed the DL&W a practically straight right of way from Lake Hopatcong to the Delaware River.

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The Roseville Tunnel is the only one on the Cutoff. The Cutoff was designed to eliminate the tunnels on the Old Main and provide the shortest


Members walked through the tunnel. The tunnel was once two tacks wide. Hard to believe hotshot reefer freights and the Phoebe Snow once was ruled here.

 

The tunnel was part of the largest cut on the cutoff. The half mile tunnel was bored when it was discovered that the rock was too unstable for a cut. 


Slowly nature reclaims the Cutoff. However there are plans to reopen this line to connect the Poconos to NYC. For now the only traffic this line will see are the ATV riders


MP 89, eighty-nine miles from Hoboken. The Lackawanna Cutoff was an 11 million dollar investment to improve the efficiency of the DL&W. Perhaps one day this marvel will see use again.