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Allentown branchlines
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   Author  Topic: Allentown branchlines  (Read 41176 times)
A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #340 on: Jan 5th, 2011, 1:29am »
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Figured I should include one more in-the-cab shot... this time of engineer Harold Barwick himself.  Camera shy, he wouldn't agree to face me for the picture.  I finally got him to agree to a profile shot.  Taken 11/04/1969 along the Barber branch, just west of the Lehigh St. crossing.  We were again waiting for the crew to return from their lunch break.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #341 on: Jan 5th, 2011, 2:19pm »
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Found a couple more B&W shots I took with my Kodak Brownie camera during the winter of 1968-69.  Sorry about the rather poor quality.
This picture was taken looking back on the train from my cab window seat during our outbound run on the West End branch.  You're looking north-east from a spot close to the 17th & Tilghman St. crossing.  The large building to the left and rear of the last boxcar was the G.E. warehouse, soon to become Harold Stephens Co. and, today, the A-1 Restaurant Supply Co.  For those who know the area well, we were positioned in front of Peterson's Seafood (and Walley's Home of the Hog Deli).  The rear of the train has just crossed N. West St.  The two cars behind the caboose were empties pulled earlier from industries along Sumner Ave.  The second last car will be dropped at G.E's siding on the return trip, shortly after the Frisco boxcar gets spotted at the Hess Bros. warehouse siding near 17th & Liberty Sts.


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #342 on: Jan 5th, 2011, 2:38pm »
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In this west-facing shot taken at N. 13th & Scott Sts. (Scott St. is the alley to the left of the train, just north of W. Gordon St.), the drill is performing its "flying switch" maneuver with conductor, Eddie Kropf, manning his usual position and applying just enough pressure to the brakewheel of the Valley caboose to keep the train from rolling too far.  What makes this shot quite unusual is the fact that the engine is sitting on the lead to tracks 3&4 while the free-rolling train is proceeding east on the lead to tracks 1&2.  In the many dozens of times I watched the crew perform this move over the years, the engine always traveled straight down the lead to 1&2 while the caboose and other cars were diverted onto the lead to track #4.  I don't know why this particular day things were reversed, but glad I was there with camera in hand.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #343 on: Jan 7th, 2011, 1:22am »
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Just a "heads up" for anyone from the Lehigh Valley area viewing this thread:  I just posted 8 shots of a CNJ wreck that happened at Weisport, PA (across the river from Lehighton) during the late 1960s.  You'll find it under the Jersey Central Lines section.
   
One more thing for you young computer geeks out there.  Using my new printer/scanner, I scanned a map of Allentown from the 1960s upon which I hi-lighted all of the local rail lines from that time.  Problem is I ended up with a pdf file rather than a jpg and I don't know how to post it to this thread.  Is there any way to turn a pdf into a jpg?  I'm sure the map would be a big help to anyone following this thread.  If you can give me some advice on doing this, please send me a message directly through this site, rather than posting your information on this thread.  Thanks again guys!  --Mark


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #344 on: Jan 7th, 2011, 12:35pm »
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Thank you Gif and Ralph... I think I got it.
Hopefully this map will help those of you who've followed this forum.  The yellow at top was the West End branch.  The pink at bottom was the Barber Quarry branch.  Below the Barber branch was the RDG's Mack Branch.  The blue to the right was the Valley main.  The blue cutting in to the left then back to the right was the Jordan Loop.  The dotted blue/yellow was initially Jordan Loop track, then became the West End branch lead after the JL was taken out of service.  The pinkish mass of tracks was the Linden St. yard, now R.J.Corman.  Also shown in purple was the CNJ/RDG "Allentown Terminal" trackage... as well as parts of the former CNJ & RDG mains.  Hope this gives you a clearer image of the way things used to look about 45 to 50 years ago.  Sorry I didn't post this back in the beginning of this thread.   --Mark


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Henry
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #345 on: Jan 7th, 2011, 5:17pm »
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Mark,
 
I can insert it into the first post if you want so people visiting for the first time will see it.
 
Henry


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Ashley_John
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #346 on: Jan 7th, 2011, 5:40pm »
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on Jan 7th, 2011, 5:17pm, Henry wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mark,
 
I can insert it into the first post if you want so people visiting for the first time will see it.
 
Henry

 
I know I'm not Mark, but that would be a great idea.
 
John


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Riding the rails of the past via media and exploration.
A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #347 on: Jan 7th, 2011, 11:41pm »
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I agree, Henry... that would be GREAT!  Thanks!

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Henry
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #348 on: Jan 8th, 2011, 11:37am »
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Mark,
 
I added your description and map to the first post in this thread.
 
Henry


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #349 on: Jan 8th, 2011, 12:53pm »
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Here's another B&W shot of the West End drill as it approached the crossing at 17th & Tilghman Sts -- this time from the other side of the train.  You're looking east from the parking lot of Peterson's Seafood.  The Harold Stephens warehouse (today A1 Restaurant Supply) is visible above the caboose.  Local railfan Kermit E. Geary, Jr. took and gave me this photograph which I believe he said was from 1974 or 1975.  I don't recognize either of the crew members shown, but it's obvious conductor Eddie Kropf was either retired or off on vacation this day because he always waited for the inbound trip before picking up any loaded gondolas from Compressed Steel.  In this shot, the train is still moving outbound on the WEB.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #350 on: Jan 10th, 2011, 1:08am »
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A few more shots of sidings near the 17th St. loop of the WEB.  In this 1970-1971 shot by Gif Sander, the depth of the Harold Stephen's siding is more obvious.  The WEB "main" is partially visible just above the edge of the parking lot.  As mentioned before, Gif and I referred to this siding as "the pit".

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #351 on: Jan 10th, 2011, 1:14am »
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From the same 1970-71 era, here's one I took of another fallen flag visitor to the Ice City siding, just north of Allen St.  You're looking east, south-east from N. St. Cloud St.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #352 on: Jan 10th, 2011, 1:23am »
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Bruce Kleppinger (same person who shot the World of Mirth photos posted earlier in this thread) took this shot around 1958.  The street in the foreground is N. 17th St. and the trees in the background were along Liberty St. in the Allentown Fairgrounds.  The view is facing south-west and the two LV boxcars were most likely on one of the sidings which had served the Trexler Lumber sheds located between Liberty & Allen and 17th & 16th Sts.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #353 on: Jan 10th, 2011, 1:29am »
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Dave Latshaw braved the elements during a wet, winter-like day on 12/19/1974 as he shot the West End drill heading south-east across 17th & Liberty Sts.  The view is facing north and looking up N. 17th St. on the right of the picture.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #354 on: Jan 10th, 2011, 1:39am »
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Thirty or 35 years earlier, an unknown photographer captured this stock car from the World of Mirth fair train as it sat on one of the Trexler Lumber Co. sidings on the south-east corner of 17th & Liberty Sts.  The view is looking north-east.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #355 on: Jan 10th, 2011, 1:48am »
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And for my final post of this session, here's another shot from the early 1900s of the same area pictured in the last post, though this time looking south-east from 17th & Liberty Sts.  This would become the site of the warehouse used by Hess Brothers department store during the 1960s and early 1970s.
 
Hope you're still finding these images interesting.  Again I ask anyone who has their own shots taken along any Allentown branchline to jump in and post them at any time.  -- Mark


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DAVE-39
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #356 on: Jan 10th, 2011, 6:30pm »
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The last picture is an interesting picture of part of the Trexler Lumber Co. taken in about 1910. I received the original picture from Elsie Bogh whose husband was an owner of the Trexler Lumber Co. The track on the left divides into Tracks #3 and #4 at Trexler Lumber Co. The center track is the WEB main track that ran to the 12th St. yard. The two tracks branching to the right served the small LVRR freight depot on the NE corner of 17th and Gordon Sts. In the center background is a steam crane used by Trexler Lumber Co. to lift heavy wooden timbers. It is on either Trexler #1 or #2 sidings that came in from 16th St. Look at the size of some of those timbers. Trexler Lumber supplied the lumber for many of the homes, churches and industrial buildings in the West End of Allentown. Trexler Lumber Co. had a total of nine sidings between 17th St and 16th Sts.,and  between Gordon and Allen Sts. The smoke stacks on the building in the far right center are at the rear of the Allentown Hospital heating plant. One of the two sidings that ran to the freight depot ended in a coal trestle. Maybe they unloaded coal for the Allentown Hospital from this coal trestle?
 
When one looks back at these old pictures we are amazed at the involvement the local railroads had in every aspect of community life.


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Dave-39
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #357 on: Jan 11th, 2011, 10:28am »
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Atown:
 
Thanks for the map and marking it-now the photos of the branch make more sense to this person sitting out here in the tundra of North Dakota!  I can match the photos to the branch now.
 
Alan


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #358 on: Jan 12th, 2011, 12:31am »
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photoman475/alan: I should have thought about that old map right from the start.  Just glad I spotted it while going through my train closet the other day.  I spent a week in the western part of South Dakota about 10 years ago and was fascinated by some of the branches I saw which followed the roads I traveled.  Seemed like they went in virtually straight lines for miles at a time, moving up and down along the way as they followed the rolling terrain.  Just wondering what drew you to this forum?  Were you from this area originally?
 
Well, speaking of frozen tundra, here are 3 more shots from the winter of 1968/1969... unfortunately not very sharp and deteriorating images, but still worth a look.  In this first post, the West End drill is backing out of "the pit" after delivering one car to what was then the General Electric warehouse (today's A-1 Restaurant Supply).


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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #359 on: Jan 12th, 2011, 12:45am »
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Brakeman Leroy Hunsicker walks east along the 1400 block of Sumner Avenue as he prepares to couple the engine and caboose to the rest of their train after a boxcar was dropped on the siding at right.  Again, this is the passing siding which serviced Compressed Steel at 13th & Sumner and was also used from time to time as a spill-over track for the Hummel Warehouse at 15th & Sumner.

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