PurelyPA! It’s been a few weeks, but we’re back on the TBT trail with a unique peek into yesteryear — the former “gravity railroad” along the old Delaware & Hudson Canal.

This photo shows the D&H Canal Company’s railroad at Honesdale, Wayne County, the end point of the 16-mile gravity railroad meant to help transport coal from the mines in Carbondale over the Moosic Mountains. It used a series of inclined planes and steam engines to pull carloads of coal up and over the mountains, a rise of almost 1,000 feet.

The gravity railroad and the canal represented the ability to transport coal from Carbondale to the Hudson River and on to points along the eastern seaboard. The D&H was one of the few privately-owned canals of the era, according to the National Park Service.

The first gravity railroad coal cars, loaded with pulled out of Carbondale for Honesdale in October, 1829. By the turn of the 19th century, both the canal and the gravity railroad were obsolete.