Erie Lackawanna Railroad & The Phoebe Snow . Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct . Nicholson, Pennsylvania . Watercolor . 12" x 16"
... "Says Phoebe Snow about to go, upon a trip to Buffalo, My gown stays white from morn till night upon the Road of Anthracite"... one of over 60 different one-line verses advertising the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western's (DLW) flagship rail route. Phoebe Snow was the name of the DLW's premier passenger train, inaugurated under steam power in 1900... and "Phoebe Snow" was the fictional spokesperson created to emphasize the cleaner burning qualities of anthracite coal, the DLW's prime freight commodity and the fuel that fired it's locomotive boilers. The name faded going through the thirties, but was revived again in 1945. In 1960... the "Lackawanna" (DLW) merged with the Erie Railroad and by 1962, the Phoebe Snow named train had again vanished. In 1963, she was once more resurrected as a part of the new Erie Lackawanna Railroad's (EL) passenger service. This train lasted until November of 1966... and that was the final end of her.
The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad constructed the Nicholson Viaduct to bridge the valley of the Tunkhannock Creek and shorten its route between Scranton, Pennsylvania and Binghamton, New York. Beginning in May of 1912, it took slightly over 3-1/2 years for completion in late 1915. At 2,375 feet in length... over twelve arches (the two end arches are buried) and 240 feet high... with another 60 feet down into the bedrock... the Nicholson Viaduct was the largest concrete structure in the world. A record it held for 50 years. In 1977 it was entered as the Tunkhannock Viaduct into the National Register of Historic Places. At some point... the Northbound track, illustrated, was removed. Through a series of mergers, sales and consolidations... the road changed owners several times until the last operator, Delaware & Hudson (DH) Railway, which had become a subsidary of the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway in 1991, sold the D&H's 282 miles of track, including the Viaduct to its current owner, the Norfolk Southern (NS), in 2015.