A bit of local railroad history:
• In 1902, a passenger train on its way to East Stroudsburg ran into a landslide at Forge Cut. Although the passengers were shaken, no one was injured. The train was delayed about a half an hour as the track was cleared.
• In 1917, a series of troop trains passing through East Stroudsburg en route from Syracuse, N.Y., to Camp Dix, Wrightstown, N.J., were cheered on by a large local crowd.
• The canopy over the waiting platform of Cresco train station collapsed under the weight of the snow in 1958. Snow and canopy plunged onto the westbound track on which the Phoebe Snow No. 3 had stood less than 10 minutes earlier. Trains were delayed for two hours while workers cleared the track. No one was hurt.
• In 1894, a runaway team of horses, frightened by the whistle of a locomotive, dashed down Crystal Street in East Stroudsburg at a “high rate of speed.” T.J. Dunn, who stopped the horses before they “did serious damage,” was slightly injured during the capture.
• In 1932, Three men of a railroad gang were working on Chestnut Ridge Railway near Kunkletown when they heard a commotion in the brush. They investigated and found a five-foot black snake trying to swallow a rabbit.
When the snake saw the men it started into the woods. Two men followed in hot pursuit. After a short chase, the snake headed back toward the tracks. The third man was standing along the tracks, and when the snake came out of the brush he dispatched it with a crowbar. The rabbit escaped into the woods.
To purchase reprints of these photos, check out the photo gallery Yesterdays Photos: Pocono Tracks.
Read the article accompanying this “Yesterdays Photo” of George Staples, Tom Sexton and Judson Hazen.
1975: Thirteen cars pancaked
On Sept. 10, 1975, two engines of a three-engine Scranton-bound train derailed and slid down the bank of the Delaware River near the Point of the Gap, south of the Borough of Delaware Water Gap.
Thirteen cars behind the engines pancaked on top of each other, coming to rest on the embankment and in the river.
The derailment was not the only problem facing the first responders. The engines caught fire, which threatened three tank cars. Two of the cars contained more than 400,000 pounds of methanol, a highly flammable chemical, and the other an antiknock compound used in gasoline.
The flames never got closer than 50 yards to the tankers, thanks to the firefighters who controlled the blaze with chemical foam pumped onto the burning engines.
Firefighters from Monroe and Northampton counties fire companies responded to the accident, and three hours after the wreck occurred, the fire was almost extinguished.
The following day, workers pulled the potentially dangerous tank cars from the river without incident. The remaining cars were to be pulled from the river later.
Four trainmen, who were aboard the first engine of three engines, which did not derail, escaped without injury.