The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad's predecessor to the Phoebe Snow, the Lackawanna Limited, second section of train No. 6 arriving at Slateford Junction, Pennsylvania, on the Delaware Water Gap, in September 1949. The train is headed by a Pacific type locomotive. The train was discontinued one month later. Click to enlarge. (["The Lackawanna Limited" pulls into Slateford Junction, Pennsylvania]photographSeptember 5, 1949; ( June 21, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Museum of the American Railroad.)



The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Railroad introduced the crack train the Lackawanna Limited in 1901. It ran between Hoboken, New Jersey, and  Buffalo, New York until it was replaced in 1949.

Its route traveled across New Jersey, passing over the Paulinskill Viaduct and the Delaware River Viaduct of the Lackawanna Cut-off; Pennsylvania, passing over the Tunkhannock Viaduct; and the Southern Tier region of New York.

The Lackawanna Limited was known for its fast time as well as the scenery of the route. It included a Pullman full vestibule parlor car, sleeping car, dining car and coaches. Running during daylight hours, scenery included the Delaware Water Gap, Pocono Mountains and the Susquehanna and Genesee River valleys. The fast train stopped only at principal cities.

Around 1900, the DL&W launched a marketing campaign around the fictional character of Phoebe Snow to emphasize how the exhaust from its steam locomotives was cleaner than competitors' locomotives, as a result of using anthracite coal. This character was an integral part of the Lackawanna's advertising for years. The train that replaced the Lackawanna Limited took its name from the character.

Lackawanna Limited Wreck 

 See main article.

On August 30, 1943, the Lackawanna Limited wrecked in Wayland, New York, when it sideswiped a local freight that had not cleared into a siding, killing 29 and injuring more than 100. 


The Lackawanna Cut-off: The Lackawanna Limited at Paulina, NJ, 1912. Click to enlarge. (Wm B Bunnell, DL&W RR, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Lackawanna Limited, the Daylight Flyer between New York and Buffalo, ca. 1910. Click to enlarge. (Buffalo News Company, Buffalo, NY, Public domain, W. Lenheim Collection)


On November 15, 1949, the DL&W inaugurated a new streamlined passenger train named after its long-dormant promotional symbol. Launched by DL&W president William White, the new Phoebe Snow represented the DL&W's modernization of its passenger train fleet and image, as it became Train No. 3 (westbound) and No. 6 (eastbound), which previously had been assigned to the railroad's former premier train, the Lackawanna Limited.


Postcard photo of the observation car of the Lackawanna Limited, October 1930. Click to enlarge.

(Lackawanna Railroad, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York
First Service: 1901 / Last service: November 14, 1949
Former operator: Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W)
Route Termini: Hoboken, New Jersey / Buffalo, New York
Distance traveled: 396 miles (637 km)
Service frequency: Daily