Delaware Lackawanna & Western Project 565

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Historical Informaion on 565

Though operating extensive main line trackage, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western also had branch lines. It is believed that it was for service on these that in 1908 the railroad purchased 2-6-0 Locomotive No. 565 from the Schenectady Locomotive Works, equipped by its builder with Walschaert valve gear. Actually, it was part of a series of 2-6-0 locomotives apparently purchased to replace earlier locomotives that the company was scrapping.

By December 31, 1913, No. 565 operated as one of 770 locomotives on the railroad, which had 925 passenger train cars, 28,711 freight cars (a smaller number than the 1883 figure), and 836 work cars, to roll over 985.06 miles of railroad, 542.55 miles of which were double tracked. Therein lies a story of major modernization, work that was then in progress, for early in the 20th century the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad sought efficiency, profitability, and excellence by attempting and achieving 100 percent grade separation--that is, all city and town streets and country roads and highways would cross the railroad by either overpass or underpass totally eliminating grade crossings, costly grade crossing accidents, and many costly train-delaying slow orders.

Additionally, the company improved handling of traffic--principally freight traffic--on heavily traveled portions of the system by double-tracking much of the line, and even triple-tracking or quadruple tracking some portions of it. It also followed the practice common among other railroad companies around the early years of the 20th century of reducing curvature and grades and by building cutoffs where suitable. Then too, the company sought to replace all old frame depots with modern brick, stone, or concrete ones. In Scranton, it enlarged and remodeled its roundhouse into a modern brick structure and erected a vast modern erecting shop complex and a huge new depot and general office building. The work of William Haynes Truesdale (president 1899-1925), this modernization program also expanded the Lackawanna from a coal carrier to a carrier of mixed and diversified commodities. When Truesdale retired in 1925, he left his successor a thoroughly modern, efficient railroad.

At an unknown date, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western shopped Locomotive No. 565 and replaced its slide valves with a piston valve conversion and gave it a superheater. It served the Lackawanna for 28 years. Finally, in 1936, the company sold the locomotive to the Dansville & Mount Morris Railroad, a 9-mile short line railroad operating between Dansville and Groveland in New York State.

Incorporated on January 4, 1868, as the Erie & Genesee Valley Railroad to build a line from Mount Morris to Dansville, the company completed construction in 1871 at a cost of $191,302 and was immediately leased to Jay Gould's Erie Railroad. After about 20 years, the company ended up in bankruptcy, but was reorganized on October 21, 1891 as an independent locally owned road under the names of its termini, Dansville and Mount Morris. The new company was too weak to survive and entered into receivership on June 8, 1894--a receivership that continued for 31 years. The line experienced few profitable years, and in 1912 the surplus at the end of the year amounted to one dollar!

E.M. Harter and Clifford Hubbell became receivers on May 19, 1925, and through their aggressive approach to business sought to end the receivership, which they succeeded in doing on September 30, 1927. Despite the Depression, finances improved, and in 1936, the road cleared $10,632 even though hampered by a heavy snow in January, a damaging flood in March, and the purchase of Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Locomotive No. 565.

The Dansville & Mount Morris Railroad continued to operate its little Mogul from the Lackawanna for nearly a quarter-century. David P. Morgan, writing for Trains in 1956, described the company as having two locomotives, two stockholders, and 15 employees, and entitled his article "A story of small, elderly engines." At that time the D.&M.M. used each of its two engines (the other being No. 304, formerly Nickel Plate Road No. 44) for a single year, repairing and overhauling the one not in use. No. 565 was repaired in 1956, so Morgan did not see it operate, but he reported that both D.&M.M. locomotives had a reputation for steaming well on a very light fire, which accounted for the railroad not yet having acquired a diesel.

By1958, however the company had apparently acquired a diesel, and William Whitehead purchased the locomotive for the Black River & Western Railroad, a small tourist railroad operating first out of Chester,NJ. and then moving to Ringoes and working between the two towns. At Flemington, New Jersey. 

Then 565 was to the Morris County Central at Whippany, NJ in 1968 she was owned by MCC Director John Maris.  The plan was to restore 565 to operation at Whippany to join MCC 385 and 4039, but Maris wound up selling 565 to Tony Citro instead for display at his restaurant in Wayne, NJ.  Later Citro became VP of the MCC and decided to restore 565 for use on the MCC after it had relocated to Newfoundland, NJ.  565 never made it to Newfoundland although it was listed on the MCC roster at the time.  Citro still owned 565 when the MCC closed down after 1980.

 In 1982 Citro sold it to Lewis "Junie" Meyers at New Hope, Pennsylvania. In 1983, Don Ball,Jr. the railroad photographer and author, bought the locomotive and moved it to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he sold it to Horst Muller. In December 1985, Muller sold No. 565 to the Steamtown Foundation at Scranton.

Ultimately acquired by the Steamtown Foundation, Locomotive No. 565 is the only motive power at Scranton that is on its "home railroad," The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western. It is one of only two D.L.&W. locomotives to survive, the other being "Camelback" 4-4-0 C No. 952, now preserved at the National Museum of Transport in St. Louis, Missouri. The only surviving Lackawanna 2-6-0, No. 565 is one of two Moguls in the Steamtown collection, and one of only about 50 specimens of the type that survive nationwide. The 2-6-0 Mogul class of locomotive became popular as freight, and sometimes passenger or mixed train, engines during the late 19th century. Manufacture and use of the type continued well into the 20th century, during which they appeared especially on branch lines and short line railroads. Thousands of locomotives of this type once operated in the United States.