Every good investigator does their homework previous to an investigtion. This was no
exception. It was really fun finding out so much about the O&W which stands as a District Court House today. Please take
the time to read a little of the history we found out about this place. Please know that the information will be just skimming
the top here because of space availability. If you would like to know more. Email me and I'll gladly send you the information.
Be sure and scroll down for the photos, and evp captured while there.
The New York, Ontario and Western Railway, were commonly known as the O&W or NYO&W,
was a regional railroad with origins in 1868, lasting until 1957 when it was ordered liquidated by a US bankruptcy judge.
At 8 pm on the evening of October 21, 1902, a notherbound train was approaching Preston
Park when a wheel broke on a loaded hopper. The resulting wreck brought down 14 bents on the south end of the trestle and
left a pile of splintered wood as well as being perched precariously on the edge of the bridge. A brakeman riding the tops
was thrown to his death. Although cheap to manufacture cast iron wheels were a constant danger because their tendency to fracture
and we can only wonder why they lasted as long as they did before they were finally outlawed in early 1950's.
Less than a year later on August 11, 1903, a virtually identical pileup occurred in
the same spot. This cause is not noted nor is there any mention of fatalities.
The following year, on September 29, 1904, the crew of the 203, a P-class consolidation,
pulled out of Preson Park siding thinking they had the right of track to Lakewood. They crossed the trestle and met the 217
headon in the rock cut south of the bridge. The momentum of the northbound train on the heavy grade caused the cars to drive
the cistern on the tender off its frame and into the rear of the engine, killing the fireman on the 217. Further back, three
trainman were thrown and seriously injured.
Looking north through the rock cut at the south end of the trestle towards Preston Park
in the distance. On dark winter nights it was most certainly haunted by the ghosts of past wreckes and memories of friends
lost.Prior to 1910 Lakewood had been known as Winwood. The village was originally named Como, after the nearby lake of the
same name. It assumed the name Inwood during the 1890's and then after the double tracking became Lakewood.
The last railroad to enter the Lackawanna Valley was the New York Ontario & Western
Railway, which terminated at Scranton. In 1980's, it opened it's Scranton Division, which ran from Cadosia, ny, near Hancock.
The O&W carried coal. passengers, ice shipments and milk from stations at Lakewood, Starlight. Pleasant Mount, Poyntelle
and Orson near Mt. Arrat. Two of the stations are still in use, serving as Town Halls at Starlight and Lakewood. The O&W
later brought summer visitors to northern Wayne County.
At Carbondale, the O&W faced opposition from the D&H and ran on an elevated
bridge trestle through town. It's station was accessed by an elevator from street level.
From its mines in the valley, the O&W soon became an important coal carrier to tidewater,
and also to New England vis its Campbell Hall transfer to the New Haven Railroad. The O&W had a long history, surviving
World War 2 when it served as a vital link in the victory for the Allies over the Axis. Those days saw a burst of troop trains,
coal and freight shipments and military cargo going overseas.