Delaware River Viaduct

The Delaware Bridge at Slateford was lower but longer than the Paulins Kill Viaduct, measuring in at 65 feet high and 1,450 feet long. The contractor had to dig 62 feet below the water surface to find solid rock to support the bridge piers. Interstate 80 now passes under the easternmost arch. An additional two culverts on the west side carried the Cutoff over the “Old Road” of the Lackawanna and Slateford Road. West of those culverts, the Cutoff turned sharply to the north and descended to Slateford Junction.

Delaware River Viaduct

Seen from the Pennsylvania side, FT No. 604 cruises across the Delaware River Viaduct with its train in May of 1946. These three unit FT sets were the Lackawanna’s first main line diesel locomotives.
Photo part of the William T. Greenburg Jr. Collection

Delaware River Viaduct in 2005

A different angle from the New Jersey side today shows the viaduct in good form with Interstate 80 passing under the first arch.

Former NYS&W Culvert under the Cutoff

Immediately east of the Delaware River Viaduct is this culvert. Note how flat the road is. The same New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad that went under the Paulins Kill Viaduct passed through here on its way to Pennsylvania. The NYS&W basically followed the Paulins Kill southwest of Hainesburg Jct. to the shore of the Delaware River. It then turned north and followed the Delaware through the town of Columbia. It then passed through this culvert. Today, Rt. 80 has obliterated the NYS&W from a point just north of here to where it crosses into PA. However, the NYS&W roadbed still exists north of there, and can be easily hiked all the way to the old Delaware River bridge abutments.

It is interesting to compare the differences in railroad construction technology of the two railroads. The NYS&W was built in the mid 1800s and it followed the contours of the land. The Cutoff was built in the early 1900s and it literally made its own contours.

Delaware River Viaduct

Back on the the Pennsylvania side, this hole in the trees afforded a peak at the Viaduct from the old mainline. We are looking north toward the Gap.

Culverts west of Delaware River Viaduct

The right side of the right culvert in this photo is the left end of the westernmost arch. These culverts may not have been part of the viaduct itself because of clearances and because the Cutoff had to immediately turn north toward Slateford Junction.