Switch Back Railroad
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Gosffo
N 40° 49.625 W 075° 54.225
18T E 423794 N 4519954
Quick Description: Gravity always wins!
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 10/8/2006 6:03:44 PM
Waymark Code: WMTKJ
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member The Leprechauns
Views: 27

Long Description:
Marker Text:


A gravity railroad was built along this mountain in 1827 to carry coal from the mines near Summit Hill to the Lehigh Canal at Mauch Chunk. A back-track and two planes were added in 1844 for the return trip by gravity. Railroad crossed the highway here.


This was the first railroad ever built to carry coal and the second railroad ever built. This railroad was the idea of Josiah White and was finished in four months. The cars used gravity to go down the hill and were returned up the hill by mules. You may ask, how did the mules get down the hill? The mules descended in specially designed cars that followed the coal cars to the river. It took 35 minutes for the cars to go down hill by gravity. And the mules took 3 hours to return the cars to the top.
Marker Name: Switchback Railroad

County: Carbon

Date Dedicated: 05/25/1971

Marker Type: Roadside

Location: SR 3012, 3 miles SW of Jim Thorpe

Category: Transportation, Railroads

Website: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Oscette visited Switch Back Railroad 6/7/2015 Oscette visited it