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Lousy'sPhotoBlog - Santa Train

By: lousyfocus , 9:09 AM GMT on December 18, 2011

A "Santa Train" is not unique to - or unprecedented in - the Poconos...but 40+ years had passed since the 2011 venture was previously attempted in the area -----> 1

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The southern-most station in Monroe County, PA, is the depot in Delaware Water Gap, where one of Santa's pre-Christmas stops was -----> 2

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Although much work remains to be done, the restoration of the station is slowly progressing -----> 3

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.....and although there was no "mantel of white", and the decorations at the Delaware Water Gap station endured a brisk wind..... -----> 4

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.....the first train-load of passengers disembarked with glee -----> 5

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It is true that occasional freight use of the tracks continues...but prior to those for the "Santa Train", no passenger tickets had been sold at the Delaware Water Gap station since 1953! -----> 6

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There was an engine at each end of the "Santa Train" and just south of the Water Gap station is the Rt. I-80 toll bridge over the railroad and the Delaware River -----> 7

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OK - time to head a few miles farther north into Monroe County (or west, in the railroad's overall scheme) -----> 8

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This "Santa Train" was a fund-raising project of the non-profit Erie-Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society -----> 9

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Right now, though, here's a photo of the "Santa Train" activating the gates at "Tinkertown Crossing" -----> 10

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I don't know why it's called "Tinkertown Crossing"...but maybe one of the local "railheads" is aware and will comment. I'll post an update if I find out -----> 11

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Next to "Tinkertown Crossing", there are soccer fields on both sides of the tracks, where photo opportunities abounded -----> 12

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.....which provides an opportunity to mention that the ELDCPS fund-raising is in the interest of restoring a full-sized, railroad Dining Car which was purchased during 2010 -----> 13

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The Dining Car is the Society's second such possession - the first being a restored, 1950 Pullman (or "sleeper" car), which will be seen later among pictures of the "Santa Train" -----> 14


The next station north of Water Gap is in East Stroudsburg - elevation: 500-feet. The railroad building on the left is a "switch tower". ...and the station used to be where the yellow building is -----> 15

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The station was moved to behind the evergreen tree on the right -----> 16

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In the interest of avoiding the crowd December 10, 2011, at the East Stroudsburg station, my most-recent picture of it is dated August 23, 2011, when its restoration was not quite complete -----> 17

08.23.01 LDMon DSC_0386

Just south of the station in East Stroudsburg is a water tower, left, built in 1907 -----> 18


Slightly farther south is an iron bridge with sidewalk, which was a convenient vantage point for picture-taking -----> 19

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The Ridgeway Street bridge was built in 1902 -----> 20

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.....and was the location of an artsy-fartsy attempt -----> 21

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I consider East Stroudsburg to be in Monroe County's tropical zone -----> 22

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i. e., there was snow-covered ground where my home is in the Pocono Summit tundra...but no snow yet in balmy East Stroudsburg -----> 23

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Another bridge in East Stroudsburg is the overpass for Rt. I-80 -----> 24

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So endeth "Santa Train's" "Day 1", which featured a total of seven, one-hour-long excursions between the towns of Delaware Water Gap and East Stroudsburg. Next, the "Santa Train" went to Gravel Place, a short distance north of East Stroudsburg, where it received a truckload of fuel in preparation for "Day 2" -----> 25

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The route between Delaware Water Gap and East Stroudsburg is a single track...but the tracks are "two wide" at Gravel Place, where a freight train was patiently (???) waiting for the "Santa Train" to travel farther north -----> 26

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There were no reindeer in the "Santa Train"...but, in addition to Mr. Claus, aboard was his wife, several elves and lots of kids - of all ages -----> 27

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The entire weekend was precipitation-free and "Day 2" of "Santa Train" excursions in Monroe County, PA, featured a cloudless start at Cresco -----> 28

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Awww, geez! The temptation of a cloudless early-morning sky is just too much to resist -----> 29

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The Cresco station was restored by a local philanthropist and is currently occupied by the neighborhood's Historical Society -----> 30

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During "Day 2" I was a little braver and got closer to the crowd -----> 31

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I wondered when the last time was that all of the parking spaces in the Cresco station's lot were filled for the sake of a departing train? -----> 32

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This train was departing to only the next station to the north: in Mt. Pocono -----> 33

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.....where the original station was destroyed by fire and where its puny, contemporary replacement is vacant, has been vandalized, was purposely devoid of any passenger activity, and was simply a "turn around" point for the "Santa Train" -----> 34

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At this point, the tracks cross a bridge over Highway 611 -----> 35

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So it's back to the Cresco station, which is located next to a lengthy section of curved track -----> 36

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Quick! Another picture before the "Santa train" fully stops and the crowd emerges -----> 37

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I'm safe from the crowd up on the bridge for Rts. 191 & 390 -----> 38

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There are five railroad stations in Monroe County that are more than a century old. Four are restored - or are undergoing restoration - but the boarded-up station in Pocono Summit needs a "Sugar Daddy". Any wealthy volunteers reading??? It is the only station among the five which is of cement construction. Understandably, the "Santa Train" whizzed past it en route to its afternoon patrons -----> 39

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The northern-most station in Monroe County is in the village of Tobyhanna -----> 40

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.....where the elevation is about 1,900 feet...which is enough for a slight snow-cover on the ground -----> 41

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Loaded and ready to go, the "Santa Train's" destination is the Gouldsboro station-----> 42

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.....where a turn-around occurred...but no passenger pick-up was planned -----> 43

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The first voyage of the afternoon is history and it's time to get out of the way of the discharging throng -----> 44

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This route was built in 1856, when it was known as the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad; then the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad; then Conrail; and now the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad, owned by Genesee Valley Transportation -----> 45

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Also using these tracks are occasional excursions by Charter Trains (such as the "Santa Train") and Steamtown National Historic Site -----> 46

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In the following photo, the "Santa Train" is very near the Tobyhanna Military Base -----> 47

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.....but it might be a threat to National Security if these two photos were more revealing -----> 48

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The Gouldsboro station is nicely restored and used by a local historical group -----> 49

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The Gouldsboro station is located in Wayne County where Rt. 507 crosses the tracks -----> 50

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It was mentioned that the "Santa Trains" were a fund-raising venture of the ELDCPS and that the Society's first restored car - a Pullman (or "sleeper") is in the "Santa Train". Here it arrives at the Gouldsboro station -----> 51

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"Nickel Plate Road" and "City Of Lima" is visible on the sides of the Pullman car. (Here it nears the Cresco station -----> 52


"Nickel Plate Road" is the nickname of the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad Company, which initially owned the Pullman Car. (Here it passes the Pocono Summit station -----> 53

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.....and various NY, C & SL-cars displayed the names of some of the towns and cities which "The Nickel Plate Road" passed through. (In this picture, the "City Of Lima" is eastbound from Mt. Pocono -----> 54

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Where was I??? Oh - turning around at the Gouldsboro station -----> 55

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Here is the final "Santa Train" re-entering Gouldsboro -----> 56

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.....and the final "Santa Train" Tobyhanna-bound from Gouldsboro -----> 57

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It's getting dark as the third return to Tobyhanna happens -----> 58

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.....and I've got icicles dangling from my nose as I wait for the beginning of the now-empty "Santa Train's" journey to where it's stored (in Scranton) -----> 59

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Brrrrrrr. Keep movin', Kim -----> 60

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That's a wrap. ...and I shurr would appreciate more wraps. Brrrrr...turn the heater on -----> 61

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Hope you enjoyed.

(Many other "LousyPhotoBlogs" can be viewed after clicking on "Previous Entries", on the right, near the top of this page.)

This blog began by suggesting that a "Santa Train" is not unique. ...but what was unique was that this "Santa Train" prompted me to attempt my first YouTube video. Click the ">", below, to watch it ----->

Keep Smilin'

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


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4. lousyfocus
4:20 AM GMT on June 23, 2012
Focusing a camera on something seems to almost eliminate attention to anything unpleasant, like cold temperatures. The additional info about the pullman is much appreciated, j... ...as is Terri's season's greetings. I hope that 2012 contains fun times for yooze!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. GardenGrrl
6:55 AM GMT on December 23, 2011
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. jisaksen
1:00 AM GMT on December 20, 2011
Thanks for posting so many great pictures of our Santa Trains! Those of us working onboard appreciate seeing what was going on!

A word about "City of Lima" (and in Ohio, that's pronounced as in "lima bean", by the way). She's no stranger to the Poconos, as during the period 1950-1963 she was part of a joint Lackawanna-Nickel Plate Road sleeping car service between Hoboken, NJ and Chicago. 'City of Lima" would have passed through on Train #7, "The Westerner", and Train #8, "The New Yorker".

You can find out more about our Society at our webpage: http://www.eldcps.org
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. CalicoBass
10:59 AM GMT on December 18, 2011
Great blog and photos, loved them all! Hope you got thawed out, I could feel the chill from here, lol. Merry Christmas to you and yours, hope you have a great one!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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I take pictures almost every day. ...and have decided to post some of them here, as sort of a photo-diary showing where I went.

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