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From: "Paul R DOT Tupaczewski" paultup AT optonline DOT net
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2003 11:26:31 -0400
Subject: DWG trip report and photos
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OK folks, here's my full trip report - from the point of view from
someone who coughed up $200 to ride the train with my wife!

The train consisted of CP Pacific #2317 and Delaware-Lackawanna Alcos
#2461 (ex-EL C425, woo-hoo!) and #3643 (ex-CP M636, nicely repainted!)
pulling a string of ex-CNJ and DL&W cars, and trailed by ex-LIRR
coach-turned-lounge-car "Good Vibrations" and private business car
Lehigh Valley 353. We left Scranton promptly at 9:00 AM, and the train
very rapidly accelerated out of town (no doubt due to the extra 6100 HP
provided by the Alcos!). Up until Moscow, it was pretty much what you
get on one of Steamtown's regular excursions. We then stopped at
Tobyhanna, to service the Pacific, and to swap the diesels out (they ran
light ahead of us to Portland). All the while, we're essentially trapped
on the train - there are hundreds of railfans on the ground
photographing our historic train while we are locked inside the car (and
our "car dictator... Um, attendant" was screaming at us if we dared
stick our heads out the window to get photographs! We paid $100 for

Anyhoo, we got rolling again, passing Mount Pocono (say, why is there a
new station building built there?!?), the nicely restored station at
Gouldsboro, Cresco, then Analomink. We noted that at many of the grade
crossings east of Mount Pocono, there was an NPS "Park Ranger" truck
protecting the crossings. Do all the crossings not have protection? We
pulled into East Stroudsburg with dozens of people lining the tracks to
await our arrival. Once again, we stopped for servicing at the station,
and were not allowed out (though the several hundred fans on the ground
were crawling all around our train getting dozens of pictures - free of
charge, too!). We started going again, through some darn tight cuts
(particularly just west of Bell's Bridge), passed the under-restoration
Del Water Gap station, and made our way into the Gap itself.
Surprisingly, there's a really nice waterfall on the south side of the
tracks just past the Route 80 overpass. But alas, the trees are all
grown up on the north side of the tracks, not affording as nice a view
as Phoebe Snow riders once got (there were several people on speedboats
pacing us, too!)

We arrived at Point of Gap about 12:30 PM. The overcast weather that
followed us all the way from Scranton finally gave in and started
releasing torrents of rain, just as they're letting us off for lunch. Go

Here's where the BIG fiasco starts. At Point of Gap, they had a large
tent up for all the train riders to eat lunch in. They let us off the
train, and led us across Route 611 to get to the Tent. And then that's
it! Seeing dozens of Park Rangers around during the whole trip, you
would assume they would also be handling the lunch logistics, too, but
noooo..... As soon as we got across Route 611, we lost any sense of
assistance here. The food was catered by Boston Market, but
logistically, there was no guidance as to how to get the food.
Arbitrarily, people lined up in four lines (which ran right through the
table area where people were eating). The food kept running out, and in
fact, about 100 people didn't get any food, and they had to wait nearly
40 minutes for Boston Market to get more food. Logistically, it was a
nightmare, and I'm not sure if it's the NPS, Boston Market, or both who
share the blame. For $100, I would have expected MUCH better service.

After lunch, we were "treated" :) to the various politicians and NPS
reps talking about the gloriousness of this day (I'm sure it was
glorious for them; they rode for free in the LV 353 private car!). One
of the PA assemblymen actually gave an interesting talk about how PA
wants to start running commuter service, but they're waiting on NJ, and
he asked people from NJ to bug their local assemblymen to get their
butts in gear. Hmm.

The train returned from Portland, where the diesels were placed on the
head of the train, and the Pacific was tucked in behind them. This
resulted in the only external photo ops that us train riders could get
(see if my attached pictures were worth it!) After boarding, we finally
left Point of Gap around 3:30 PM for Scranton. Fairly uneventful trip -
the Alcos were doing the work (though I heard the 2317 also working -
backwards! - which somewhat surprised me) We stopped at Tobyhanna again
for servicing and a crew change, and started moving west again. By this
time, the sun began peeking out from behind the clouds. Rolling
downgrade into Scranton, we stopped for an unexplained reason for about
10 minutes right underneath the Route 380/Erie Wyoming Division bridges.
Started moving again, and just before Nay Aug Tunnel, stopped again.
Another 5 minutes, and we coast through the tunnel, and on the east end,
pass a D-L freight stopped on the opposite track, and we saw the reasons
for the stops, apparently - a carload of lumber on the D-L train was on
fire! The fire department was out battling the blaze - I would assume
that some vandals decided this would be fun to do. Great. :(

We finally arrived back in Scranton at 7:30 PM. I scurried off and got
some wonderful "setting sun" shots of the D-L motive power around Bridge
60 Tower.

Overall, it was a very LONG day. The biggest complaints heard on the
train was that we all paid $100/person, and couldn't even get a picture
of our train! The lunch nightmare was also the cause of much
consternation by the riding public. Our car host noted that Steamtown
would be running more trips to the Gap this year for fall foliage, all
for $100/person. I think this time I'll be *chasing* those trains! We
got our "first train through the Gap" rides under our belt, now to
actually SEE the trains running through the Gap!

- Paul

P.S. Scott Lupia: We saw Paul Bohrer walking at Point of Gap, but didn't
spot you - where'd ya go? :)


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