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Allentown branchlines
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   Author  Topic: Allentown branchlines  (Read 43106 times)
one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #240 on: Dec 1st, 2010, 3:58pm »
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Henry: Thank you VERY much for posting that wonderful Sanborn map showing the Linden St. yard area (now R.J. Corman's facility) back in the 1930s!  I wasn't familiar with those maps but they look very detailed and showed me things I never knew were there.  My how things had changed by 1970!  Is access to these maps free and are they available for all areas in Allentown where the West End and Barber branches ran?   -- Mark
 
Mark,
Both Lehigh University and Kutztown University have digital access to the Sanborn Insurance map library. Kutztown's access covers the state of Pennsylvania. You must be a student, faculty or alumni to access them.
The Allentown Public Library has local Sanborn maps on microfilm.
The Lehigh County Historical Society museum has Sanborn maps for Lehigh and Northampton counties.
Mike


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NS3360
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #241 on: Dec 1st, 2010, 4:15pm »
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I'm a little late getting into this discussion, but I want to say thanks to Mark and the others who posted photos and contributed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread over the last few days.  
 
Mark, any idea how long Traylor leased the PBNE 42?
 
     Bryan


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one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #242 on: Dec 1st, 2010, 4:36pm »
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Mark,
Thanks for posting all those wonderful photos.
I dusted off my slide collection as I did some exploring at Fuller on the Barbers Quarry branch back in the late 80's-early 90's.
On a cold, wet Sunday, November 27th, 1988, I found the Fuller Company's 45-ton siderod switcher resting outside the plant.


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one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #243 on: Dec 1st, 2010, 4:39pm »
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Same day. Closeup view of the switcher looking north, with the Barbers Quarry main and Little Lehigh creek in background.

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one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #244 on: Dec 1st, 2010, 4:46pm »
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Friday, February 14th, 1992 I returned to catch the switcher in action. Here it is at 12:35 PM pulling a load westward in preparation for moving it to the track seen in the very lower left corner of the photo.

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one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #245 on: Dec 1st, 2010, 4:54pm »
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Three minutes later the switcher is on the lower spur. I grabbed my telephoto to accent the 23-story PP&L building in the background.

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one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #246 on: Dec 1st, 2010, 5:01pm »
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Final shot on 2/14/92 as the switcher, having uncoupled its load, returns westward.

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one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #247 on: Dec 1st, 2010, 6:06pm »
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Regarding my previous photos...
 
I always knew that factory as the "Fuller" company, while Mark refers to it as "Traylor Engineering". I did some research online and found that Traylor became a division of the Fuller Company of Catasauqua in 1959, hence the Fuller name on the switcher.
Even more importantly, I came across a preview of the book "Allentown" by Ann Bartholomew and Carol Front. It features numerous old photos including areal views of the Traylor Engineering plant, the Wire Mill, and even the Lehigh Valley's Foundry branch mentioned early in this forum.
 
I'll be picking up a copy of the book soon! You can preview the book/photos on Google's book site at this link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=n2BDo1eRw_QC&pg=PA15&lpg=PA15&dq=Fuller+company+allentown&source=bl&ots=h0SNl4AJPD&sig=IUasVhgnA26vc95Jh6CLHrJvsLo&hl=en&ei=d9D2TOjvLYKs8AaH_djeBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=11&ved=0CEMQ6AEwCg#v=onepage&q&f=false


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #248 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 1:25am »
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Henry & one87th (Mike): Thanks for educating me on the Sanborn maps.  I appreciate it greatly!
 
Henry: There is one other area I'd love to see from the same 1930s era, if possible.  The area from N. 16th to N. 18th Sts and from W. Allen to W. Gordon Sts.  This would be the site of the Trexler Lumber Co. and its numerous storage sheds.  I've always wondered what the track arrangement was like back in those days.  If posting this is a problem, I understand.
 
Dave-39: Thanks for confirming my belief that there was, indeed, a large black crane car parked under 7th St. back in the 60s.  Gif's picture from two days ago jogged my memory, but I couldn't be sure I was right since I would have only been 10 in the mid-60s.
 
NS3360 - Bryan: WELCOME!  Glad to have another person showing an interest in this subject.  Regarding the length of time PB&NE #42 was at Traylor... I can't give you a solid number of days/weeks.  What I remember was being told by the Traylor employees who were moving it around that day that they only needed it for a "short time" to help move a load around the plant that was too heavy for their little 45-ton switcher.  And speaking of that switcher:
 
one87th - Mike: Again I thank you for being one of few who has added to this collection of pictures from days gone by.  You have some really nice shots of that little side-rod switcher and, yes... Traylor was a "division" of Fuller Co.
 
Finally... a few postings tied to davidyur's talk of the small "yard" which used to be near the beginning of the Barber branch.  While I have no pictures clearly showing it, I thought I'd post 3 pictures shot in that area over the years.  The first rather dark shot (taken by Dave Latshaw, I believe) shows how things looked along the Jordan Loop by the Union St. tower on 06/24/1963.  That's the Morris Black & Sons building behind the tower.


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #249 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 1:33am »
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Next, how things looked under R.J.Corman's ownership on 07/06/1999.  The angle is a bit more to the west of the previous shot, though the train is on the same track.  The Union St. tower stood just about where the bushes are... above the white car.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #250 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 1:51am »
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And last, but certainly not least, a picture of the area as it looked around 1930.  Hard to believe it's the same location.  You can clearly make out Union St. tower and behind it and to the left, the same Morris Black structure pictured in thed 1963 shot.  If you look closely, to the left of the Morris Black building, behind the post of the barely-visible signal mast, you'll see a steam engine coming out of the mist.  It was either exiting the Barber branch or was possibly working some of those "yard" tracks davidyur was talking about.
 
The track second from the right is the only existing track today and the one shown in the previous 2 postings.  What a difference the passing of 80 or so years can make in the way an area looks!
 
It's very late... off to bed.     -- Mark


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Henry
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #251 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:01am »
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on Dec 2nd, 2010, 1:25am, A-townbranchfan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Henry & one87th (Mike): Thanks for educating me on the Sanborn maps.  I appreciate it greatly!
 
Henry: There is one other area I'd love to see from the same 1930s era, if possible.  The area from N. 16th to N. 18th Sts and from W. Allen to W. Gordon Sts.  This would be the site of the Trexler Lumber Co. and its numerous storage sheds.  I've always wondered what the track arrangement was like back in those days.  If posting this is a problem, I understand.
8<---

 
Mark,
 
Here's Trexler in 1932. I had to piece together pieces of three pages for this so it's not perfect, but it shows how things were arranged.
 
Henry


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Henry
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #252 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:09am »
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on Dec 2nd, 2010, 1:51am, A-townbranchfan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
And last, but certainly not least, a picture of the area as it looked around 1930.  Hard to believe it's the same location.  You can clearly make out Union St. tower and behind it and to the left, the same Morris Black structure pictured in thed 1963 shot.  If you look closely, to the left of the Morris Black building, behind the post of the barely-visible signal mast, you'll see a steam engine coming out of the mist.  It was either exiting the Barber branch or was possibly working some of those "yard" tracks davidyur was talking about.
 
The track second from the right is the only existing track today and the one shown in the previous 2 postings.  What a difference the passing of 80 or so years can make in the way an area looks!
 
It's very late... off to bed.     -- Mark

 
Here's the Union St Tower area in 1932.
 
Henry


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DAVE-39
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #253 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 3:46pm »
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David Yur- Looking at Henry's Sandborn map of the area around the Union St. Tower in 1932, in the lower right hand corner by the words "Little Lehigh", you can see a single siding curving to the right. Above the siding in faint letters you can see the words, "Full of Tracks". This is probably the location of the yard you were talking about at the entrance to the BQ branch. I believe the yard consisted of all stub end sidings, and was used more for storage of BQ branch cars as opposed to an active switching yard. I know the yard was still in use in 1926, however I do not know when they stopped using it. It still showed on track maps in 1943. My recollection of the area is the same as yours; lots of buried ties, but no rail.
Dave L.


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Dave-39
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #254 on: Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:13am »
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Henry: All I can say is WOW!  Thanks so much for adding those maps to this thread!  Looking at how things used to be long before I was around gives me a feeling as to how those younger railfans who "always thought there was a rail line which ran along Sumner Avenue" feel when they see the pictures posted from my collection.  I'm only sorry there wasn't someone taking photos of all of these areas back in the 1930s.  But then, who knows... maybe there was and when he died, his collection ended up in the trash.  Sad to think about how many photos and slides taken by fans years ago ended up being destroyed because the family didn't know how many of us would have loved to view or even buy what they'd captured on film.  I'm so glad maps like this still exist to help us all look back to the better days of railroading around the Lehigh Valley!  Again, Henry... thanks so very much for taking the time to post those gems!
 
While I have a number of other slides along the WEB and Barber branches, they are mostly similar in nature to what I've already posted.  Therefore, if nobody else has anything they're willing to post, I'll start to wind things down and start moving on to other subjects I photographed in the area during the 1980s and 1990s.  These will be started under different captions under Fallen Flags.  (I recently posted a few pictures from 1986-1988 taken along the Northampton end of the former N&B RR... when Horwith trucking first took over the old Atlas Cement plant.  It's under Fallen Flags / Fallen Shortlines... for those interested.)  Before I begin off on other ventures, however, I'll post some additional shots taken along the Jordan Loop's south end and within the small Linden St. freight yard.  Again, I'm hoping others will join in and post shots they've taken along these former LV, Conrail, and now R.J. Corman tracks.
 
In this first posting, the World of Mirth fair train has left the West End Branch and heads south across S. 3rd St. in Allentown as it prepares to exit the Jordan Loop and head back onto the Valley main and on toward Bethlehem.  This 09/26/1954 photo is from the Houser Collection.


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #255 on: Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:23am »
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On 03/22/1989, I shot the East Penn drill as it headed south across Union St. at 4:45PM.  The white, washed out sign to the left of the caboose was an advertisement for passenger service which was planned to be restored earlier during that decade.  The sign read "Future site of the Allentown to Philadelphia passenger train station."  Sigh...

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #256 on: Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:31am »
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At the end of my ride along the Barber branch back in 11/1969, I shot our special high & wide load as it slapped the Allentown Terminal RR diamonds near the Union St. crossing.  The top of the ATRR station tower is visible above the gondola's lettering.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #257 on: Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:36am »
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Another Houser Collection shot shows a busy day at the Allentown Station, looking north toward Hamilton St.  The slide was dated 08/18/1953.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #258 on: Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:46am »
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Things along the Jordan Loop had changed slightly by 03/02/1988 when the early morning sun washed out my shot of the East Penn drill as it passed the station's remains while heading north toward the Linden St. yard.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #259 on: Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:57am »
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A rather overcast morning on 11/05/1991 gave me a better exposed East Penn drill as I shot it at 9:00AM while aiming north from the Hamilton St. bridge.

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