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Allentown branchlines
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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #40 on: Nov 13th, 2010, 2:39pm »
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The same train shown from the Linden St. bridge has just crossed the Gordon St. grade crossing located between what's now the American Pkwy and Jordan St.  This was the only protected grade crossing on the line and was only gated & signaled because of the fast freights and passenger trains that used to roll through the area.  You can see that this portion of the line was once double-tracked.  The building to the left still stands today and, the last time I looked, you could still make out part of the Rabinowitz & Sons sign partially pictured here.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #41 on: Nov 13th, 2010, 2:54pm »
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Taken 12/29/76 by well known local rail photographer, Bob Wilt, this picture shows a WEB visit from Ironton Baldwin #751 as it heads inbound under the old Tilghman St bridge (between 2nd & 4th Sts).  The train is pictured very close to the point where the WEB originally began.  At this point, the Jordan Loop spun off to the right on its path to reconnect with the Valley main.
 
Out of time for today.  More to come.


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F3_4_me
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #42 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 1:52am »
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This is wild..  In a few hours I'll be at 4th and Allen helping my stepfather work on a storefront replacement..  We started the job last sunday and took Gordon St past Rabinowitz & Son on our way across town to get some supplies..  I thought things looked kinda 'railroadey' right there..  Someday I feel like walking this ROW..  I've seen parts of it in other areas of town,  and would really like to get a feel for every bit left..  I'm no fool though and realize that certain areas are not the best bits of A'town to traverse solo...  Still, it's a piece of the LV that I'm thoroughly interested in..  
 
-Micah


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When I joined the ARHS in '92, my occupation was listed as '3rd Grade'.
A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #43 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 9:22am »
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Micah: When I first decided to share a part of my collection on the internet, it was with the hopes that others who had captured action along Allentown branchlines would share some of what they have.  I'm always looking for pictures of things or areas I may not have captured... especially along the former L&NE's branch on the east side of town.  While I still hope that will happen, I'm very happy to realize that there are a number of younger railfans who weren't around to see what I did, but still have a great interest in seeing what they missed.  I hope others viewing these postings will ask questions or post comments as well.  As long as I know there is continued interest, I'll be more than happy to post many more pictures taken along the WEB and Barber branches.  And now, back to our show!
 
Look at the previous picture and you'll see a long, industrial shed with snow on its roof... directly under the through-truss part of the Tilghman St. bridge.  This was the McDermott Bros. foundry.  I took the following shot during a ride with the crew in the summer of 1969 as they were pulling an empty flatcar from the slightly sunken, weed-covered siding which served McDermott.  The brakeman in the white shirt and hat was standing on top of the car, the very top of which can been seen if you look to the lower left of the engine.  You'd never guess that the box car partially visible to the left of the photo was sitting on the WEB's "main".  As previously stated, maintenance was virtually non-existant in later years on both branches.


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #44 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 9:40am »
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Just beyond McDerMott Bros, the WEB made a broad sweeping left-hand turn to the west which brought it somewhat parallel to "old" Sumner Avenue... east of the 4th St. bridge.  Just east of the N. Meadow St crossing (slightly south of Sumner Ave.)was a points-trailing turnout leading to another little used, weed-covered siding which served the Bonney Forge industry.  This track had a sharp turn and quickly-rising grade and saw very little traffic, making it very interesting to my buddy and me.  While we both lived near 20th & Washington Sts. and didn't often get to explore the lower end of the WEB, one of us had noticed a car on their siding during a weekend in the summer of 1970 (or '71).  We both decided to ride our bikes to Bonney Forge that following Monday morning with cameras in hand.  I arrived too late but my buddy was there on time and captured the following two images.  What a rare scene he recorded along the WEB!

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #45 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 9:54am »
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First brakeman, "Bill", prepares to flag the Meadow St. crossing as the drill pulls a gondola from Bonney Forge.  This shot is looking west, toward the 4th St. bridge.  Interesting tidbit:  The WEB's main which ran under the 4th St. bridge was a well-ballasted stretch of track in far better condition than any other part of the line during those final years.  Engineer Harold Barwick told me that stretch of track was rebuilt when the city built the 4th St. bridge.  It was a condition of the LVRR when the city applied for permission to cross over its right-of-way.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #46 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 10:07am »
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As most of you who know the area know, Sumner Avenue was part of a city street improvement project several years ago.  If you travel it heading east from 6th St, you're actually driving on the WEB's former right-of-way, especially the stretch around 5th St.  Following are two shots of the way things used to look where the WEB crossed old Sumner Avenue, both taken looking east (towards the 4th St. bridge) from slightly east of 5th St.  My friend took this picture in the summer, just a few minutes after he took the Bonney Forge shots.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #47 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 10:12am »
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This Bob Wilt photo give a less weed-obstructed view of the same scene during early Conrail days on 12/29/1976.  Again, note Ironton Baldwin #751 doing the day's work.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #48 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 10:26am »
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Taken just prior to the previous posting, Bob captured the WEB drill servicing the Allentown Refrigerated Terminal along old Sumner Avenue, 1/2 block south of the newer Sumner Ave.  He shot this facing south-west.  Sixth St. intersects old Sumner at the top of the hill.  This facility was one of the last active customers along the WEB, receiving carloads of produce into 1982.  The building (and a small section of rails) still exist today.

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IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #49 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 10:31am »
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Great pic!!! I Always wondered how the West End Branch crossed  Sumner Ave.near the Fourth St Bridge...The r.o.w. there is pretty much obliterated. So from that photo I'm guessing that the "New" Sumner Ave was built on top of some of the r.o.w. ? on Nov 14th, 2010, 10:12am, A-townbranchfan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
This Bob Wilt photo give a less weed-obstructed view of the same scene during early Conrail days on 12/29/1976.  Again, note Ironton Baldwin #751 doing the day's work.



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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #50 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 10:40am »
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Standing near 5th and old Sumner Avenue and facing west, Dave Latshaw caught action of an inbound drill still painted in LV colors.  The date was 09/23/76, nearly 6 months into Conrail ownership.  The turnout visible in the lower right is what led to the Allentown Refrigerated Terminal siding.  The tracks and tree line at right is about where new Sumner Avenue runs.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #51 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 10:51am »
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On a snowy school holiday early in 1969, I walked down the line and met the drill as it approached the N. 6th Street crossing.  This b&w print was taken with a Kodak Brownie camera, so forgive the poor quality.  You are looking east from 6th St. and today's Sumner Avenue runs to the left of the tracks, then curves to the right and follows the former right-of-way for a few hundred feet.  That white building to the right of the picture still stands.  Also notice the snow-covered rails between the main track and the building.  That was the public siding at 6th Street which used to service Lehigh Valley dairy and Eatmore Fruit company in earlier days.  The turnout for that siding is also visible in the previous posting... right in front of the engine.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #52 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 11:08am »
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This shot (which I purchased) is looking east from atop the 7th Street bridge.  Look closely and you'll see a LV Baldwin pulling its train across 6th St.  You can also see a boxcar parked on the 6th St. public siding.  Schneider's junk yard (on the south side of Sumner Avenue) is visible to the lower left.  The date on the slide was 12/15/63.

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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #53 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 11:15am »
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I took this shot in the summer of 1970 as the drill was heading inbound and stopped to pick up a PC gondola from the passing siding along Schneider's yard, the yard on the south side of Sumner Avenue.  I was standing just east of N. 8th Street, facing east.  The 7th St. bridge is in the upper left corner.
(Go back to what I believe was the second picture I posted on this forum and you'll see this same area in June, 1986.  Quite different!)


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A-townbranchfan
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« Reply #54 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 11:32am »
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And for today's last posting, one final view of Schneider's junk yard as the drill pushes an outside-braced gondola across Sumner Avenue to the northern half of Schneider's facility.  My buddy is looking west, north-west, sometime in the 1969, 1970 era.
 
Next time, moving further west of Lehigh St. along the Barber branch.    -Mark-
 


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Charlie Ricker
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #55 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 4:38pm »
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Hi Mark,
 
I'm definitely enjoying these photos. Even though I'm in Western NY State--not real far from where the "West End" ran, as an enthusiast of the LV--I enjoy every shot. Unfortunately, my 5th birthday was the last day of LV operations, so I was never able to really know or remember much from then.  
 
Having said that---PLEASE keep 'em coming.
 
Thanks,
Charlie


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~Charlie Ricker

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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #56 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 4:54pm »
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Thank you Mark, for sharing your pictures and knowledge.  Both are priceless.  I am hooked and look forward to your next postings.

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All Photos taken by Mark A. Fritz, unless otherwise noted, All rights reserved.
Matthew_L
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #57 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 6:59pm »
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on Nov 14th, 2010, 10:26am, A-townbranchfan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Taken just prior to the previous posting, Bob captured the WEB drill servicing the Allentown Refrigerated Terminal along old Sumner Avenue, 1/2 block south of the newer Sumner Ave.  He shot this facing south-west.  Sixth St. intersects old Sumner at the top of the hill.  This facility was one of the last active customers along the WEB, receiving carloads of produce into 1982.  The building (and a small section of rails) still exist today.

 
Is it still an active rail customer?  


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darktown2
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #58 on: Nov 14th, 2010, 8:26pm »
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Just would like to say THANKS for posting these photos. Brings back great memories. I held the 2nd trick Allentown drill in the early 1970's closer to 1973/74 . Some days the daylight job as well as the 2nd trick job would service the branch. A lot of work back then  on both branches. The second trick job also went to Cementon, Caty, and did the local work at Fullerton.Also shift the "ramp" and take the cars to East Penn Jct. so the FFW-1 could pick them up. We would also take the freight back to Allentown yard (CNJ) at the end of the day. Earlier we would tie up at the coal yard that was at the "Orange Car". It was a great job. I held it until some of the guys that were older then me on the roster figured out how good the job was and I got bumped. Thanks for those great photos.  Take err easy.  Keith

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #59 on: Nov 15th, 2010, 10:01am »
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Charlie6017: Thanks for your interest and comments.  Will continue posting more photos for you to enjoy.
 
LV319: So glad you're enjoying something which brought me so much enjoyment many years ago.  Hope you'll continue to view future images and post comments.
 
Matthew_L:  I know there's a lot of text to read since I started this forum so let me take a minute to repeat some things for clarification.  There are no remaining rail customers on either the West End or the Barber branches in Allentown, PA.  Both lines were abandoned under Conrail ownership.  The WEB was last serviced in 06/82 and was torn up about 4 years later.  The Barber branch lasted roughly 10 years longer and was torn up in the early 2000s under R.J. Corman's ownership.  (See the earlier posting by One_87th regarding the possibility that R.J. Corman may re-lay part of the Barber branch up to the former Traylor Engineering plant at S. 10th St.)
 
darktown2: Keith - Thanks so much for joining this forum.  I can still remember my dad driving us through Darktown when I was young.  He'd always let me blow the car horn as we'd drive under the railroad bridges.  I hope you continue to view my collection and input comments of your memories along the way.  If you worked the 2nd trick, I know you mostly worked the Barber branch.  Hope you enjoy the next batch of photos I shot along that line.
 
And the presentation continues...


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