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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Manunka Chunk: 1900

Manunka Chunk: 1900

Warren County, New Jersey, circa 1900. "Manunka Chunk, east end of tunnel." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Beautiful photography

Shorpy shows this same train movement further east in a photo titled Bergen Tunnel: 1900. It is a one car train chartered by the Detroit Photographic Company. Judging by that other photo, the man leaning out of the cab in this view is the fireman.
Shorpy has an exquisite view of the facilities on the other side of this tunnel,
unromantically titled West Chunk: 1900. It shows the station facilities, turntable and the PRR's Bel Del line leading to it, in fine detail.

DL&W "old" Main

This was the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western's original mainline between Washington, New Jersey, and Portland, Pennsylvania (just across the Delaware River about five miles north of this photo -- the bridge still exists). It was made redundant by DL&W building the Lackawanna Cutoff in the first decade of the 20th century, which bypassed this line to the north and greatly decreased track curvature and grades. This line was abandoned by the Erie Lackawanna railroad in the early 1960s.

Would love to see some pictures of the Lackawanna Cutoff construction here on Shorpy -- it was an amazing engineering feat, with huge mile-long fills and beautiful concrete arch bridges (which still stand).

Spooky and sad

The current photos of those tunnels are spooky. Can you walk through them to the other side? How long are they? It must have been quite a job cutting them through all those rocks.

I think its a pity we have abandon so much of our once great railroad system. Trains are more cost-efficient than trucks and don't clog up our highways. And with all the concern about traffic jams and conserving energy these days we should be laying more track -- not abandoning it.

[Efficiency and energy savings are why the tunnels were abandoned in 1912 -- the New Jersey Cutoff was a shorter, more direct route. - Dave]

Chunky New Jersey

Only other "Chunk" name I've ever heard of that has been implanted on the landscape anywhere is the place in Pennsylvania once called Mauch Chunk. I wonder what "Chunk" in these instances means? Is it a land feature? (And hasn't the former Mauch Chunk been renamed "Jim Thorpe"?)

[According to the Interwebs, "chunk" is the Lenape Indian word for bear. Mauch Chunk = "sleeping bear" (after the shape of a nearby mountain). Can't find the meaning of "manunka." - Dave]

Train Pics

So many of these old train photos have a ghostly figure in them. Who is that on top of the hill on the right? Being in NJ, would love to know where this was.


View Larger Map

Manunka Chunk

"Manunka Chunk" seems to be a town. Given that, the caption makes more sense, even if the town's name doesn't.

Today

Current View

When you can see two pictures so dramatically different spanning over a hundred years, its almost like a memory. I can enjoy it, but it is so far past and impossible to recreate.

Extra Chunky

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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