Lasting Landmarks on 6: Railroad History

Historic Railroad Landmarks Celebrate PA’s Impact on Industry and Transportation

From carefully preserved homes to architectural treasures, memorial monuments to natural wonders, countless “lasting landmarks” across the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor tell fascinating secrets and stories of northern Pennsylvania’s people, places, battles, and industry.

With such an important role in the Industrial Revolution and early railroad history, it’s no surprise that the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor offers many historic railroad sites and landmarks. Whether a railfan, history buff, or just a grandparent with grandchildren to entertain, you’ll find all kinds of railroad history along PA Route 6!

6 Impressive Historic Railroad Landmarks – Along PA Route 6!

  1.  D&H Canal and Gravity Railroad Landmarks – As host to the maiden run of the first commercial steam engine in the country and the historic home of the D&H Canal Company, Wayne County, PA, should be on every railfan’s bucket list. The Wayne County Historical Society does a brilliant job showcasing the region’s extensive railroad history through the preservation and maintenance of various historic railroad landmarks, including the Delaware & Hudson Gravity Railroad Depot in Waymart, D&H Canal Park at Lock 31 in Hawley, and an impressive Museum, featuring the Stourbridge Lion Replica, housed inside the historic building once home to the D&H Canal Company Office in Honesdale. Before your visit is up, make sure to experience rail history firsthand with a Stourbridge Line Train Excursion through the Northern Pocono Mountains!

2. Steamtown National Historic Site – Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of steam railroad transportation at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA. This preserved railroad yard and steam-era complex feature an “adaptively rehabilitated” Roundhouse (dating from 1902, 1917, and 1937) where mechanics care for the historic steam and diesel locomotives, Technology and History Museums, plus seasonal short train rides and special longer excursions.

3. The Kane Depot – This carefully preserved historic Pennsylvania Railroad Station (dating back to 1871) stands in the middle of the PA Heritage Community of Kane, PA, as an example of the community’s railroad roots that has been preserved and transformed into The Kane Depot, housing Station Shops at The Depot, The Kane Historical Society Museum, a Holgate Toy Co Display, and The McCleery Discovery Center.

4. Kinzua Skywalk at Kinzua Bridge State Park – Celebrated as the longest and tallest railroad structure and the “Eight Wonder of the World” at the time of its construction in 1882, the massive Kinzua Viaduct now draws attention for very different reasons: its mangled ruins caused by a tornado in 2003, the impressive Skywalk atop a remaining section, the Visitors Center with exhibits detailing the history, engineering, and science behind the bridge and disaster, and the incredible natural beauty of the Allegheny National Forest surrounding it all!

5. The Birthplace of the Climax Locomotive – Visit the PA Heritage Community of Corry, the home of the Climax Manufacturing Company, known for building over 1,000 geared locomotives, Climax Locomotives, between the 1880s and 1930s, which were used on logging roads across the United States and other countries and were key to the industry’s rapid growth. You’ll notice signs of the community’s Climax Locomotive pride throughout the town, such as in a large mural and locomotive-shaped bike racks downtown and train-themed playground equipment in Mead Park, but you’ll want to visit the Corry Area Historical Society Museum to see the real thing.

6. Meadville Railroad Depot & Park and Cambridge Springs Trolley Museum – Make sure to include Crawford County on your rail fan road trip! The communities have been working hard to preserve and showcase their railroad roots through various community organizations, including Northwestern Pennsylvania Railroad & Tooling Heritage Partnership and the French Creek Valley Railroad Historical Society. The results can be seen in Meadville‘s Pomona Park, where a Railroad Park displays railway equipment, and at the nearby Cambridge Springs Trolley Station Museum and Community Center. Current efforts focus on the restoration of the town’s 1881 Bessemer & Lake Erie Passenger Depot and Freight House to be the home of the future Meadville Railroad Depot Museum & Community Center, set to welcome visitors sometime in 2021.

More Historic Railroad Landmarks to See on 6:


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Photo Credit: D & H Canal Lock 31 (bulletproofsoul67) under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Kinzua Bridge State Park (Nicholas_Tunder CC BY 2.0 / Kinzua Bridge State Park Lookout (Krissy Bonning-Gould) / Conductor of The Stourbridge Line (Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau) / Cutaway in the Technology Museum, Steamtown Roundhouse (stepolunder CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Lackawanna Railroad EMD F3 663 + 664 – Steamtown National Historic Site (Pjedro22) under CC BY-ND 2.0 / Atlantic & Great Western Railroad in Meadville, 1829 Trial Trip of the Stourbridge Lion, Replica of the Stourbridge Lion Locomotive (Library of Congress) Climax Locomotive (Trainiac) under CC PDM 1.0