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Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England bran
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   Author  Topic: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England bran  (Read 3945 times)
The Scyther
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Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England bran
 
« on: Apr 28th, 2004, 11:46pm »
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As of 2004, does anybody know what is up with the Allentown Branch that goes to
Airport Road. It's great that it's still around compared to the Rittersville branch that comes off of it and points toward Hanover Boulevard(which in my opinion could still be used and profitable, but you know Conrail in the 80's, tearing up track that could
have been useful, Reading and Northern a prime example of track they gave up and another company made a profit off of it). But use it or just rip it up. I'd hate to see it be ripped up since it's part of Lehigh and New England history. But i hate to see it their and rot. Doesn't look overgrown though. Most use it more than i think. But does anybody know what is up with it, and why Conrail kept it so long compared to
other branches, and what NS plans to do with it. Plus, does anybody remember the tressle over the road on the Schoenersville branch that was up till around 98.


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The Scyther
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #1 on: May 15th, 2004, 10:32am »
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Person i know said he saw three wooden boxcars parked near end of track near Airport road last summer. NS must have been storing them there.

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NS3360
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #2 on: Jun 17th, 2004, 7:28am »
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Obviously its out of service, I think they're just keeping the track there in case customers (if any are left) want to resume rail service. Nice bridge over Pennsylvania Ave. Shame to see that go to waste!

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The Scyther
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #3 on: Jun 26th, 2004, 12:26pm »
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I to think that they're just keeping it there in case somebody moves in to that spices place or that stubborn at getting rail service lumber company near the end wants to get something. Would be a good place to store cars since there are no grade crossings. Or storing MoW euipment such as bunk cars.

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NS3360
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #4 on: Jul 13th, 2004, 4:02pm »
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Too bad the track dosen't still go all the way down to the old LNE station on Hanover ave. The station still stands.

« Last Edit: Jul 13th, 2004, 4:04pm by NS3360 » Logged

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The Scyther
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #5 on: Aug 22nd, 2004, 6:49pm »
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What a shame, that anti rail service lumber company at the end of the Allentown branch has either taken away or buried the track behind their place. The track is in on either side of where it is taken away. And the siding is still in. I don't work for them so i don't know behind the scenes stuff when it comes to good shipping of products there. But what a bad move if i may say so. And even though only 80 yards of track have been taking away. Tha's just more LNE history lost. At least the switch is still up nearby. But there is a new lock on it. So maybe the anti-rail service lumber company is going to stop being anti rail service and put some new track in.

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hummel1237
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
  allentown.jpg - 88048 Bytes
« Reply #6 on: Aug 22nd, 2004, 10:47pm »
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I found this in a book about Allentown but as you can see it doesn't say which yard this is - anyone know? There has got to be some crazy eights in this pic! Look at those large engines (CP 4-8-4s and Camelbacks?)
 
Jim...  


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LNE/allentown.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Aug 22nd, 2004, 11:42pm by hummel1237 » Logged
NS3360
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #7 on: Aug 23rd, 2004, 7:42am »
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on Aug 22nd, 2004, 10:47pm, hummel1237 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I found this in a book about Allentown but as you can see it doesn't say which yard this is - anyone know? There has got to be some crazy eights in this pic! Look at those large engines (CP 4-8-4s and Camelbacks?)
 
Jim...  

 
Jim, that photo is of the CNJ's Bethlehem Engine Terminal located IN the east end Allentown Yard. The roundhouse still stands.  


« Last Edit: Aug 23rd, 2004, 7:51am by NS3360 » Logged

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hummel1237
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #8 on: Aug 23rd, 2004, 10:20am »
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on Aug 23rd, 2004, 7:42am, NS3360 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Jim, that photo is of the CNJ's Bethlehem Engine Terminal located IN the east end Allentown Yard. The roundhouse still stands.  

 
Great and thanks! The book didn't say. Did CP come to this yard? Looks like a CP Northern at the bottom of the pic...
 
Jim...  


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F3_4_me
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #9 on: Aug 25th, 2004, 1:30am »
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that roundhouse was razed by conrail around 1997.  and the CP didn't run into allentown until they got the D&H  in 1991, that's prolly one of the CNJ mikes with a lima 12 wheel tender.

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NS3360
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #10 on: Aug 25th, 2004, 7:20am »
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I think that if NS dosen't want the Allentown Branch, a profitable short line to serve the remaining customers could become a reality. The track is in bad shape though. But those few big bridges look in good shape.  

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The Scyther
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #11 on: Aug 25th, 2004, 11:15am »
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I don't think it's that NS doesn't want the Allentown Branch. It's kust that no customers have been ringing their phones saying "we want to ship out this or we want this brought to us". NS is keeping it i believe just in case of a customer. Kind of like RJ Corman Allentown Lines with their line running up to Tarkett. What someone should do is buy the old Durkee Foods building that's been abandoned for how long.
That would be one customer. Then there is a customer not far away who has a siding and that could be another. As for the lumber company at the end. They probably don't do rail service cause all their lumber is from the same comany(has a cheetah or jaguar on the wrapping. And whoever that lumber comes from probably doesn't get rail service. But i bet if they start getting other wood prducts in that you usually see on centerbeams. Then they would probably get it. They ripped out the track behind their place but yet they still have the siding in. I'll check back over there sometime. See if their actually adding rail where it was buriied or torn out.


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OBB_1020
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #12 on: Aug 26th, 2004, 8:52am »
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NS added a $150 per car surcharge to switch
the lumber co.at end of Altwn.Branch. Had their
cars diverted to PBNE delivery in old BethSteel
Plant and car loads are transloaded onto truck
for delivery to Sherman St.plant. No traffic on
branch in over year. Last was two derailed
GP40's that turned over rail just west of the
Penna.Ave overpass. They sat here idling for
4-days until track was repaired and re-railed.
L&NE station at Hanover Ave.has been bought by
City of Allentown to be their East Side Police
Station. "New England Way" will take off at a
new intersection east of the building.(Where the two bumper blocks are now). Current traffic light in curve of Hanover Ave.will be abandoned. Go north from here, under Union Blvd
and past old Altwn-Beth Lumber Co.silos, to
connect with American Parkway after new bridge
over Lehigh River comes across onto East bank.
Current American Parkway on East side of river
now in service behind Lucent's old plant.
City interested in purchasing rest of Altwn Br.
to Club Ave./Penna.area to extend 2-lane road
from east of Airport road to City Line with
Bethlehem at above point if NS abandons.


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NS3360
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #13 on: Aug 26th, 2004, 9:22am »
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It's really a shame that what little remains of the LNE is going to be destroyed with that highway.  Let's hope NS dosen't abandon the track. I drove by looking at the branch yesterday and  there's nothing left of the Rittersville branch so I guess the only customer would be the lumber company. Also, its a shame those concrete bumper blocks will be destroyed. After they are gone, the only remaining LNE concrete bumper block would be on Main Street in Nazareth.
 
 
*300th post*  


« Last Edit: Aug 26th, 2004, 9:23am by NS3360 » Logged

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The Scyther
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #14 on: Aug 26th, 2004, 10:30am »
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Thankyou very much for the reply on the lumber company. It's good to know that they do rail service even though not directly. And even though they don't get it in directly, it at least gives PBNE more business. Thanks very much for the insider info.
The anti rail service lumber company is no longer anti rail service. Actually NS3360, a small part of the Rittersville track is still in. It's a place down near a fruit place down from the lumber company. The track is in the trees and a siding comes off to a building at one point. A part of it is also on the lumber company property. You can drive right down to it on that road next to the big tanks and that beer distributor.
Look close cause it's a grade crossing.


« Last Edit: Aug 26th, 2004, 10:35am by The Scyther » Logged

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NS3360
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #15 on: Aug 26th, 2004, 1:04pm »
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Thanks for the information on the Rittersville track Ironton.     You're right, it is hard to see because of all the weeds and trees. When I was there, I saw the switch but  the rest was in the weeds. Also down behind the durkee plant where a few buildings are, the track is in but the sidings are gone.

« Last Edit: Aug 26th, 2004, 1:10pm by NS3360 » Logged

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OBB_1020
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #16 on: Aug 27th, 2004, 1:36am »
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The two main sidings that took off the Altwn Br.had two names:
 
HIGH SIDE- Ran past the current Lumber Co. at
      Sherman and Columbia all the way to
      Union Blvd.Serviced SEARS warehouse
      on East side of track and Freihofer
      Bakery on West side of track. Also
      numerous other Ind.from where this
      track took off the main to End of
      track at Union Blvd. Most crews tied
      up by the Sears Warehouse for lunch
      between 1130a-1230p,as there were
      numrous eateries on Union Blvd.This
      track paralleled Quebec St.to the  
      west. It was known as "High Side"
      because it was built up on a fill
      about 10-15ft.high above the  
      surrounding area.
 
Low Side- This was the second switch off main,
     and again ended at Union Blvd.
     alongside the PP&L distribution ware-
     house.Parallels Plymounth St.to the  
     west.PP&L in L&NE days used to get
     flat cars of telephone poles via rail
     before the CNJ takeover in 10/61.
     Such named because the track was
     nearly level with surrounding turf.
In June-1961 a neighbor of mine and myself walked the entire Altwn Br.from Allen Jct.to
Hanover Ave.making a list of every possible
consignee with or without a siding and came up
with 53.Timetable track speed was 30 mph. L&NE
FA's appeared only on Snowplow trains and/or
Weed Sprayer trains in the summer.The daily
Mon.-Fri.local out of Tadmor was ALWAYS 2-RS2's
back-to-back. Occasionally, the Weed Sprayer
train would have 3-RS2's. This ALWAYS showed
AFTER the regular job had left for Tadmor, which was usually anywhere from 2PM -4Pm. The
'Sprayer' would surprise everyone anytime
between 5p-7p in the early eve. I have all the
Crew Call books from Tadmor yard office for the
last year of operation thru the CNJ takeover.
The Altwn Turnaround would always arrive anytime between 1030am and 1130am and spend the
remaining 3-4 hrs. switching the industries in
the area.I have 8mm movies of both L&NE and CNJ
days,plus slides of the later.After hiring out
on LVRR in June-1970,I started riding with the
former L&NE crews(now working for CNJ) on both
Altwn and Catty branches. On Duty point was the
former CNJ frt.house in Bethlehem by the Hill-
to-Hill bridge. Power was whatever the CNJ sent up from NJ. Alco 1067,GP7's-1532-1524 were
assigned for a long time here for use on L&NE
territory.


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NS3360
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #17 on: Aug 27th, 2004, 7:15am »
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Wow, great information OBB_1020!   You actually have movies and slides! Make sure you save those- you have history documented. Does anyone know when they ripped out the track down to the LNE station on Hanover Ave.? Was it before the CNJ takeover?

« Last Edit: Aug 27th, 2004, 7:22am by NS3360 » Logged

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The Scyther
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #18 on: Aug 27th, 2004, 10:39am »
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I believe the rip out was done around 82, last operated 81. The rails to trails page of DCNR has rail line data where you can click on a rail line in any PA county and it gives you info on when taken out. And some other stuff. They changed their site around so they may still have it. Freemansburg branch date is not given. Thanks for the info Obb 1020 :

« Last Edit: Aug 27th, 2004, 10:48am by The Scyther » Logged

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NS3360
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Re: Allentown Branch/other Lehigh and New England
 
« Reply #19 on: Aug 27th, 2004, 11:02am »
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Thanks Ironton    I just checked out that DCNR rail line data, you're right the track was abandoned in 1982.  It also said the Rittersville track was last used and abandoned in 1986.

« Last Edit: Aug 27th, 2004, 11:03am by NS3360 » Logged

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