The Lackawanna Cutoff - Then & Now

Paulins Kill Viaduct


The Paulins Kill Viaduct was the greatest of 73 bridges, viaducts, and culverts built exclusively of concrete for the Cutoff. This viaduct, when built, was the largest concrete bridge in the world. It is over 1100 feet long with a maximum height of 115 feet. No one had dared to use reinforced concrete to the extent that the Lackawanna did. Today, we take for granted the wide use of concrete. But in 1909, this bridge was truly a pioneering work of engineering.
Paulins Kill Viaduct in its prime

This impressive 7-arch concrete structure carried the Great Lackawanna Cutoff across the Paulins Kill Valley.

Photo from The Lackawanna Railroad in Northwest New Jersey by Larry Lowenthal and William T. Greenberg Jr., Tri State Railway Historical Society, 1987.

Paulins Kill Viaduct in 1983

The leaves are plentiful in the spring of 1983 as Bob climbed to a nearby hillside to photograph the viaduct. The horizontal white line one third of the way down the left side of the photo is New Jersey State Route 94.

Paulins Kill Viaduct in 2005

An additional 20 years of vegetation growth prevent replication of the same perspective, but all seven arches stand mightily in January 2005. A telegraph pole is still visible as well as the Paulins Kill itself.

Bob on the Paulins Kill Viaduct in 1983

We are looking east on May 24, 1983. There were no more trains to photograph by this time, so I must apologize for making myself a poor substitute. No picture can explain the sadness shared by all who had to witness the demise of the Cutoff.

Looking east atop Paulins Kill Viaduct in 1983

Again looking east. Note how perfectly straight the 132lbs rail is.

Looking west atop Paulins Kill Viaduct in 1983

Looking west in 1983, all that remains is the abandoned eastbound track. Can you imagine riding in a passenger train across this viaduct at 75MPH?

Looking west atop Paulins Kill Viaduct in 2005

Both tracks are gone in 2005.

Looking at the Delaware Water Gap from the Viaduct in 2005

Rotating a few degrees clockwise, we look out over the Paulins Kill Valley at the Delaware Water Gap. What a view!

LNE-NYS&W Right of Way under the Paulins Kill Viaduct in 2005

Just north of Hainesburg Junction where the Lehigh New England connected to the New York, Susquehanna & Western, the combined right of way passed under the viaduct. Today this right of way carries the Paulins Kill Valley Trail all of the way north to Sparta.

This page was written by Robert E. Savino
DCCBob@GSMRRClub.org
Last Updated April 1, 2005
 
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