Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley RHS
Laurel Lines Third Rail Insulators
Used To Support 650V DC Third Rail
Please note, contact with the 650V DC Third Rail would result in death or serious injury. This was before the time of OSHA, EPA, DER, etc.
Employee safety meant watch your step.
Most of the Laurel Line was powered by the Third Rail, except in Wilkes-Barre because the public had too much access to the rail line. Wilkes-Barre use overhead wires. In later years, Pittston was also converted to overhead wires.
This little item held the third rail in place and allowed the 650 volt dc to flow through the system without grounding out.
Besides the Laurel Line, many of the region's narrow gauge mine railroad also used DC power to drive the lokies and power motors, elevators and other equipment.
Many collieries, such as the Huber in Ashley had their own power houses that generated DC power.
The Laurel Line generated power from its own power plant in Scranton. Present day Brady Yard is the approximate location of the old power plant.
Here is a close up of a Third Rail Insulator used on the Laurel Line. It is a chunk of glazed porcelain almost 20lbs in weight. The insulator had 2 nibs on the side of it (one is broken off this one). The nibs held the third rail in place. This insulator held the third rail and the 650 volts DC up and away from the ground.
The Laurel Line used the third rail to power is locomotives, except in Wilkes-Barre, where overhead wire was used.
It is an interesting piece of local rail history.
Close up of another Third Rail Insulator. This one seems older that the first one. The glazing looks to have a silver sheen to it. In some spots it seems to have been eaten away. It is covered with a rusty, creosote like scale.