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Allentown branchlines
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   Author  Topic: Allentown branchlines  (Read 42898 times)
A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #700 on: Nov 1st, 2016, 11:11pm »
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I'll end tonight with another Latshaw image captured on 12/19/75 near 5th & Sumner Avenue as the drill moved eastbound along the southern edge of Jordan Park.  Today's Sumner Avenue extension follows the right-of-way shown at this location.  The view is looking northwest from the end of N 5th Street.  Next time, the final 3 photos I have to share along the WEB.  -- Mark

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darktown2
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #701 on: Nov 2nd, 2016, 6:14am »
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I have got to say "thanks for the great photos and memories".  I worked both branches when assigned to the East Penn drill. Around the mid 1970's before Conrail.  The job also worked the mainline to Cementon.
  So sad to see it all gone.  But your great photos remain and I thank you again for those.
   Keith


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #702 on: Nov 2nd, 2016, 2:27pm »
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So glad to know that people are finding this thread is active once again and are enjoying the additions.  Any chance, Keith, that you were working the drill pictured above... being that it was from 12/19/75?  I can imagine to a guy like yourself who actually worked on the trains which ran over these rails that it tugs on your heartstrings a bit to look back, knowing that nearly everything (other than Corman's yard at Race & Linden Sts.) is now history.  I was just down walking along the remnants of the former Valley main between Union and Linden Streets yesterday morning... taking pictures of some of the remaining industries (mostly boarded up now) which sat next to the line in that area.  I'm going to use them as backdrops on my model railroad and wanted to photograph them before redevelopment changes their appearance or knocks them down.  It's quite sad to stand at the site of the former Union St. crossing (where Corman's track now ends) and think back to the days when many trains were rolling down that line each day.  Hey... at least we have the memories, and for those too young to remember those brighter days in local train chasing, you have the pictures I've posted here to help you envision what it was like.
Today's first two photos were, again, taken by local railfan, Bob Wilt, back on 12/29/76.  In the first photo (below), the Ironton Baldwin is crossing what was then Sumner Avenue, just west of N 5th Street, as it worked its way onto the siding which serviced the Allentown Refrigerated Terminal to pick up an empty before dropping off a load (pictured behind the caboose up on the main track).  This company was one of the final 3 customers along the WEB before its abandonment in 1982.  Today, the newer Sumner Avenue runs up where the train is sitting, along the edge of Jordan Park.  The road pictured here still exists, but has had a slight change of name.


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #703 on: Nov 2nd, 2016, 2:33pm »
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A little while later, after finishing its switching moves, the inbound drill is shown as it returned to the main track, ready to head back down to the small yard at Linden Street, today owned by R.J.Corman.  The view is looking northwest, just about at N. 5th St. intersection with the old Sumner Avenue.

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« Last Edit: Nov 2nd, 2016, 2:34pm by A-townbranchfan » Logged
A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #704 on: Nov 2nd, 2016, 2:54pm »
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Finally, in this last post along the West End Branch, Dave Latshaw stood facing northeast as he photographed the inbound drill as it moved along the final 100 feet of track, just south of the gated Gordon Street crossing and north of the bridge which ran across the Jordan creek.  The date was 9/23/76, though no sign of the then newly-formed Conrail appeared on this train.
As stated a number of times in earlier entries on this thread, my ultimate goal in posting these images from days gone by was a bit selfish at first.  I thought if I shared what I had, others would do the same and I'd get to view my favorite railroad branches as photographed through the lens of other railfan's cameras.  While I know there are pictures out there which will never appear on this site for whatever reason, I've become quite happy that I began sharing  these many images a few years back... especially because the many comments and questions from younger railfans who were born too late to ever see these things made me feel like my efforts were well worth the time invested.  In the weeks ahead, I'll check to see if I have any Barber Branch pictures which I didn't post the first time around... though I tend to think there are very few I skipped over in the past.  In the mean time, feel free to post your comments, memories, experiences... or even photos on this thread.  I'm always interested in hearing from others who also enjoyed seeing slow-moving locals out on those rusty-railed, weed-covered branch lines.  Keeping the memories alive -- Mark


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darktown2
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #705 on: Nov 4th, 2016, 7:25pm »
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More great photos and more great memories.  Sorry I was not working the branches when the Ironton 751 was in the area. I believe I was on the drill around 1973/74.  After that I  headed to Hazleton to work the mine runs. They are all gone now as well.    Thanks again I really do enjoy the shots.  Keith

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Charlie Ricker
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #706 on: Nov 7th, 2016, 11:18am »
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Mark (and everyone), I just wanted to take a few mins and thank you for all the photos you posted. It's great to see anything Lehigh Valley and I enjoy seeing what it was through the eyes of those who were able to capture the images.  
 
Thanks again!
 
Charlie


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~Charlie Ricker

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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #707 on: Dec 7th, 2016, 4:10pm »
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I saw this on eBay, and thought it might add to the discussion of the Barber Quarry branch.


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #708 on: Dec 8th, 2016, 10:10pm »
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Thanks for the contribution, FF.  Three things I found interesting about the drawing: (1) Lehigh Street was listed as Lehigh Ct. (Court, I presume.); (2) The drawing shows the LVT tracks running across the Little Lehigh on the east side of the bridge.  Though I was born several years after the LVT went out of business, the rails remained on that open grate bridge until sometime around the year 2000 and they ran down the center of the bridge.  (3)  My favorite notation was showing the west end of the Barber Branch main as heading to the "Duck Farm" as if it were some major industry or destination point on the line.  Rather funny that the duck farm would be well known enough that it was listed on such a drawing.  Again... thanks for adding something of historic interest pertaining to these long gone branches.  --- Mark

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JimE
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West End Branch image
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« Reply #709 on: Mar 11th, 2017, 5:08pm »
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I found this over on facebook, in the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society group, and I immediately knew where I needed to share it!
 
Here is the caption:
Quote:

Yes, Allentown had some street running! On May 17, 1974 LVRR # 223 has a train on the West End Branch on a back road near the intersection of 13th and Gordon Streets.  
Photo by Jacob J. Stofko



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JimE
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #710 on: Mar 12th, 2017, 10:34pm »
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JimE: Thank you very much for adding this to our branch line thread.  Though the date on this photo was from the years following my rides with engineer Harold Barwick (who was retired at the time this picture was taken), the image is a special one to me being that it was taken as the engine was beginning its "flying switch" maneuver at N. Madison & Scott Street... something I witnessed countless times in earlier years when visiting my grandparents' house at Madison & Gordon Sts.  One correction I must make is... though it's not clear in this picture, there actually was no "street running" along the WEB.  The main track ran along the edge of Scott Street... not down the street itself.  On the other side of the train is a second  track (a run-around track) which, along with the main, ran through a weed and grass-covered area... not down the street itself.   I'm not a Facebook user but if you are, Jim... is it possible to send a message to the person who posted the picture to make sure he knows about this forum?  Who knows... maybe he has more photos he'd be willing to share here.  Thanks again for your contribution!  I always enjoy seeing pictures taken along the Allentown branches which I've never seen before.  -- Mark

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gfluck1
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #711 on: Mar 16th, 2017, 2:36pm »
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This was posted the other day on FB by Greg Gunshore, BLW S12, LV 230 doing a little work adjacent to Jones Coal, unfortunately Greg did not know the who or when this was taken.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #712 on: Mar 17th, 2017, 12:28pm »
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gfluck1: Once again you've come up with a great, older photograph taken along the WEB.  Looking at the top of the J. Harry Jones coal facility, it's possible to make out some of the lettering, but it appears to be much less "white" than in the photo I posted from around 1950 back on page 9 (reply #177).  It just dawned on me that this picture must have been taken in the late 50s or early 60s.  I base that on the fact that I have a picture of me as a baby being held by my father in front of his parents' house on Gordon St.  In that photo, the brick building pictured to the right of the engine (with the bicycle leaning against it) had not been built yet, and I was born in the fall of 1955.  What a wonderful addition.  Thanks for adding it here!
Just one other comment regarding the previous photo posting and the "street running" tag line.  I may have been wrong in my assumption that the crew was beginning a flying switch move in that photo.  I say that because of the position of the caboose (end of train) and brakeman (walking west).  I was at college in May of 1974 when Jacob Stofko took his photo so I'm not sure whether the crews were still performing this type of move or not.  When I rode with the crew in the late 60s and very early 70s, the caboose was always placed behind the engine on the outbound run so the conductor could man the brake wheel on the east end of the caboose as the cars rolled east, down the slight grade between Madison and N. 13th Sts.  Also, it may have depended on how many cars were on the train on a given day, but most times I watched the crew begin their flying switch, the engine would actually start to pull the train east (after all individual air brakes were released while stopped at Madison St.), then tap the brake to create slack on the couplers between the engine and caboose.  At that point, the conductor would pull the coupler pin on the caboose and climb on board as the engine accelerated to quickly clear the next points-facing turnout (just east of the Madison St. crossing), allowing time for a second brakeman to throw the switch before the rest of the train slowly rolled by and onto another track.   Due to the fact that the brakeman pictured is walking several feet away from the train, I would doubt that those cars were rolling freely at the moment the picture was taken.  It's possible the engine was preparing to reverse after clearing a crossover switch (located just about where the space is between engine and first car) and run around the train on the adjacent track.  (See page 9, replies #163 and #167  for a better understanding of what I'm talking about.  These photos will also prove that this was not a section of street running along the West End Branch.) --Mark


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henryS
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #713 on: Mar 19th, 2017, 3:55pm »
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LV 230 is a Baldwin S12, not an Alco.

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barnabascollins
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #714 on: Mar 21st, 2017, 12:34am »
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I was curious if any one had any clue (no relation to the game) as to what happened to the switcher that was at the fuller company.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #715 on: Mar 27th, 2017, 12:34pm »
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I don't remember where exactly, but somewhere in the latter half of this thread I believe Dave Latshaw stated the switcher (and other railroad equipment) used at Traylor Engineering on the Barber Branch was sold after the last company who occupied the building went out of business... though I don't think he stated to whom. -- Mark

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DAVE-39
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #716 on: Mar 31st, 2017, 6:26pm »
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I have the same question. I don't know where the ex-Traylor GE switcher went. I can give a little bit of background notes but I can't answer the question.  
In early April 2011 the switcher rounded up the last eight remaining flat cars on the property and placed them together at the end of the yard. All 8 flat cars were ex-Reading flat cars from the 9400 series. By April 8th the flat cars had tags that said "Auction by Myron Bowling Auctioneer on April 14, 2011". The switcher was still in the yard on April 19th but gone by the 21st. The switches were lined that the switcher may have been moved back to the former Erecting Shop where it could be stored until it was picked up by the new owner. There was a road by the Erecting Shop where the switcher could have been loaded unto a highway trailer for transportation to the new site. The flat cars remained in the yard for a short time but were gone by early June. Soon after that all yard tracks were removed and the only thing remaining from that large yard were rotted ties.


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Dave-39
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #717 on: Apr 5th, 2017, 11:17pm »
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I must take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to JimE for the recent photo he found on Facebook and brought to this site.  Today I met with the photographer of that picture, Mr. Jacob Stofko, and spent several hours looking though his photo albums for other pictures taken along the West End and Barber branches.  Jake was kind enough to allow me to borrow a dozen or so pictures to scan and add to this site for all to enjoy.  Just when I thought I'd never find any more photos of these two long-gone branches, I was proven wrong.  I'm limited in time tonight, but I'll post the first two photos... the first one taken by Jake's father on 08/08/68 from a second floor window of the house they once rented.  I have no memory of any houses located so close to the Gordon Street crossing, just north of where the Valley's Linden St. yard (now R.J. Corman) is located.  Jake said they were torn down in the 1970s because they sat in the flood plain along the Jordan creek.  Anyway... if only all of us had such a view out of our bedroom windows.  Though the Jordan Loop tracks were gone at this point, the photo shows the West End drill heading north toward the Gordon St. crossing as it passed the old J.L. target signals and remains of a former coal trestle.  The picture was taken looking south and the houses visible at far right face N. 4th Street in Allentown.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #718 on: Apr 5th, 2017, 11:33pm »
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One more image for tonight's posting.  Another view of the West End drill taken again from a second floor window, this time looking northwest as it was crossing the only gated grade crossing on the line.  The date was 05/14/70 as engineer Harold Barwick took #291 and its train northbound out on the WEB.  Judging by the rust on the rails, it looks like some earlier rainfall and a few days of no traffic on the line was enough to oxidize the shine off the tops of those old rails.  Look closely and you'll see the remnant of the former westbound track of the Jordan Loop partially buried in the asphalt to the right of the still active eastbound track.  By the way, the building at left was recently razed... another bit of Allentown's industrial history gone for good!  Will have a few more West End and a half-dozen or so Barber branch photos to post in the next couple of days... a few of which are quite interesting.  Stay tuned!  -- Mark

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #719 on: Apr 6th, 2017, 1:03pm »
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Continuing on with my display of Jacob Stofko's photographs, here's one that was quite a surprise.  "Quakertown & Eastern" steam locomotive #4 is shown sitting just north of the Cedar Street crossing on the West End branch.  The track at left is the WEB main.  The siding on which old #4 was sitting originally serviced the abandoned Dougherty Foundry and was actually a continuation of the siding which served the McDermott Brothers iron works located just behind and to the right of the photographer.  Jake informed me the engine had been moved (dead) to McDermott Brothers for boiler work and was pushed to this point on the siding to keep McDermott's track clear until the work was completed.  The date was 01/20/68.  The building pictured and Cedar St. still exist today... just don't expect to find any tracks or trains at this location.
I, personally, was not familiar with the Q&E railroad, so I did a Google search and found some information stating #4 was privately owned at this time and in 1970, pulled an excursion train between this area and Warwick, NY.  There are even a few pictures posted showing the train in action.


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