Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. May 26th, 2017, 5:26am
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Allentown branchlines
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   Fallen Flags
   Lehigh Valley
(Moderators: Flemington Flyer, pontiac59, Charlie Ricker, LehighValley107)
   Allentown branchlines
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 ... 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28  ...  37 (last) ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint
   Author  Topic: Allentown branchlines  (Read 42112 times)
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
  DSC00012_763x509-8.jpg - 71193 Bytes
« Reply #400 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 1:07am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

FFW-1: While Gif is correct about the Ziegenfuss Quarry [see post/reply #147 on this thread, the 8th picture posted on page 8], it was not for this limestone quarry that the Barber "quarry" branch got its name.  According to the extensive research done by Dave Latshaw in his wonderful article on the Barber Quarry Branch in the 1988 edition of the Lehigh County Historical Proceedings, the BQB, and I quote: "traces its origin as a hauler of lime and limestone from deposits formerly located in Salisbury Township near the junction of Little Lehigh and Jordan Creeks.  Trackage first laid in 1883 served lime kilns and limestone quarries owned by Barber Brothers."  Dave also wrote: "The railroad company during 1890 purchased property from Tilghman Kline, Christian Schmid and Solomon Kemmerer and constructed an additional 0.90 mile of track to reach Gross & Albright limestone quarry at 20th and Fairview Streets."  This would later become the Ziegenfuss Quarry pictured on page 8.  Dave did a fabulous job researching and writing his articles on the BQB [1988] and West End [1992] branches.  I would highly recommend to anyone interested in more detail as to the origin and use of these lines that you take the time to stop by the Lehigh County Historical Society museum in the 400-block of W. Walnut St. in Allentown and read through their copies of these two proceedings.  Dave deserves high praise for the fine job he did!
 
Regarding the origin of flatcars and what's left at the former Traylor site, I'll yield to anyone who's explored the site in recent years.  I was last back there in December of 2001.
 
Moving west along the BQB, here's a shot I took in 1970 or 1971 along the main siding of the Robert A. Reichard fertilizer plant.  Notice the Norfolk Southern boxcar?  Of course, this was the "original" Norfolk Southern railroad, years before the mega-merger of Norfolk & Western and Southern railroads.  That's the BQB "main" in the foreground.  


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LV/DSC00012_763x509-8.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Jan 22nd, 2011, 12:19am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
  DSC00013_759x507.jpg - 88658 Bytes
« Reply #401 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 1:19am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

On 04/18/1977, Dave Latshaw caught this daylight delivery of blocks of granite on their way to Wenz Memorial at 20th & Hamilton Sts.  Conductor Eddie Kropf (right) looks like he's enjoying the ride on a nice early-spring day.  Former Penn Central power was being used this day as the drill pushes its freight westward, just beyond the Reichard Fertilizer Company.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LV/DSC00013_759x507.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Jan 22nd, 2011, 12:17am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
  DSC00014_758x462.jpg - 41489 Bytes
« Reply #402 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 1:28am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Gif Sander's shot from about 1970 of a single refer on the Hawk Flour Co. siding shows the sharply curving main at this point along the line, roughly 50 or so yards west of the previous photo.  The Cedar Creek lies just to the right of the trees.  The building still exists, though it's currently owned by Second Harvest Food Bank.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LV/DSC00014_758x462.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
  DSC00015_763x509-9.jpg - 41593 Bytes
« Reply #403 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 1:38am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Another shot by Gif from the same time shows two boxcars parked along Kemmerer's public siding, right by the S. 20th St. grade crossing (just off the picture at left).  This siding was just a few dozen yards west of the former siding which serviced the Ziegenfuss Quarry, which was just west of the Hawk Flour siding.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LV/DSC00015_763x509-9.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
  DSC00016_763x509-8.jpg - 58748 Bytes
« Reply #404 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 1:44am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Charles Houser was most likely standing on or just in front of Kemmerer's siding when he took this picture LV caboose #95126 as it crossed S. St. Elmo St. on 07/21/1966.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LV/DSC00016_763x509-8.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Jun 23rd, 2014, 11:19pm by A-townbranchfan » Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
  DSC00017_762x508.jpg - 84901 Bytes
« Reply #405 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 1:55am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

While Gif and I were mostly West End branch followers due to its close proximity to our homes, Dave was more drawn to the Barber branch for the same reason.  I, therefore, feel it only appropriate that I end this forum with two of his shots taken on the rarely photographed north-western end of the line.  Also from 04/18/1977, Dave captured the PC switcher as it returned from delivering its load of granite blocks to Wenz Memorial.  He was standing near the 20th St. crossing, facing north-east as the engine worked its way through the willow trees just south (railroad east) of the Union St. crossing.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LV/DSC00017_762x508.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
  DSC00018_718x479.jpg - 52208 Bytes
« Reply #406 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 2:02am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

And finally, another view of a delivery to Wenz Memorial Company at 20th & Hamilton Sts.  This 12/22/1977 shot of Dave's was taken looking north-east as the early-Conrail era train moves north (railroad west) across Walnut St. at 20th.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LV/DSC00018_718x479.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #407 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 2:23am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

To all who have viewed and followed this thread:  When I first started this forum back in November, 2010, I did so with the hope that posting "a few" photos of these long-gone Lehigh Valley branchlines in Allentown would bring forth postings from other railfans who photographed these same lines and others I never got to photograph.  It was never my intention to post so many pictures from my collection, but the interest shown by so many of you younger fans made the time I've put into this a very worthwhile effort.  I'm still hoping that others who have photos or slides taken along any of the former Allentown branchlines will continue to post what you have for others (myself included) to view.  While I've posted about 2/3 of my collection, I see no reason to post anything additional myself for most of the remaining images I have would be redundant.  I thank many of you for your positive feedback and interesting questions and additions.  For those interested in branchlines, I'll try to put together another forum (or possibly several small ones) featuring some of the other area branchlines and secondary lines which served the area.  In the mean time, I again ask that anyone who comes across this thread and has pictures to share of these lines posts what they have.  Sharing with the next generation is what keeps these railroad memories alive for all of us.  When you look at the map I've included in this thread and realize all that's vanished in the past 45 years, it makes clear the need for sharing so others can see the way things once were along the local railroading scene.  Thanks to all who keep this thread going in future weeks/months.  -- Mark Rabenold

Logged
geep39
Chaser
Posts: 77
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #408 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 9:15am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

I managed to wander along the Traylor complex a few years ago, and noted a number of ex-RDG class FMn flats which were used in auto frame service before they were retired.  Yes, they were cut down from gondola cars by the RDG.  There were also some shorter ex-PRR flats that were painted aquamarine and seemed to have red BLW stickers on them, which leads me to believe that they were from the Baldwin Locomotive Works.  There were also some CNJ/CRP "three board" gondolas that were used as flats.  The LV piggyback flat I also recall.  There was at least one very deep gondola of DL&W heritage.  There was a flat with roller bearing trucks that looked like it was an MDT mechanical reefer.  It seems that all but the RDG flats had been scrapped, unless there are some deep inside the plant somewhere.

Logged
DAVE-39
Enthusiast
Posts: 49
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #409 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 2:35pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

I looked up some of my notes on the cars at Traylor/Fuller/Schmidt/Allentown Metal Works etc. In the 1940's and 50's, Traylor had a few short (36 feet?) flat cars and gondolas for inplant use only. The flat cars were numbered in the 2000 series and the gondolas were numbered in the 3000 series. The cars were painted box car red, with TEMX reporting marks, but they did not leave the property. Often in the BQ branch siding outside the plant fence I would see hopper cars full of coal (rice or pea), gondolas with plate stell on the floor, a few box cars and empty gondolas and flat cars for shipping finished products out. I often saw the 10000 series LV flat cars there. I remember running on top of a whole string of the LVRR flat cars when they were brand new. I also saw LVRR depressed center flat car 9960 there.  
In Spring 1970 they received 15-20 gray Swift Refrigerator cars which had a builders date in 1954. Traylor cut the sides off and used the cars in yard service. These cars didn't last long. I guess they were not strong enough to hold the Traylor equipment because I remember seeing many of them with bent (bowed) frames.  
Circa 1975-76 Fuller purchased many second-hand flat cars from local railroads or Conrail. Between 1976 and 2000  I noted the following cars at Fuller.


Logged

Dave-39
DAVE-39
Enthusiast
Posts: 49
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #410 on: Jan 20th, 2011, 3:04pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

I'm having computer problems. If I don't complete this note I'll try later
Cars seen at Traylor/Fuller were:
PC aquamaine flat cars numbered 22252, 22255, 22256, 22259 and 22260.
RDG flat cars numbered 9408, 9412, 9415, 9420, 9427, 9428, 9431, 9442, 9443, 9454. They were all black with white lettering except 9443 was painted the RDG green with yellow lettering. The markings on 9408 indicated it was rebuilt by RDG in 7-64 and was class FMn. It previously was a gondola (Blt 8-42), the sides were cut off when it was rebuilt to ship auto or truck frames. The car was stenciled, " When Empty Return To Reading Co, Philmont, PA." The latest marking on the car was, "Lube RDG 10-27-73".
LV 11322 who had a date of S. 7-2-74 on the truck.  
Fuller had a number of flat cars that were painted blue and marked FRR. None of these cars ever left the property. I saw numbers 100, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 110, 115 and 119. These were also second hand flat cars and painted into the Fuller blue. I saw CNJ markings on some of the trucks.
Fuller also purchased two depressed center flat cars for shipping via interchange service. These cars were marked GAFX 1000 and 1001. They had a capacity of 243,000 lbs. Car 1000 was built in 11-75 and 1001 in 9-77. In late 1989 I countd close to 40 company cars in the sidings around the property. With the exception of 1000 and 1001, the rest of the cars were used to store and move equipment around the plant.
 
Currently, Allentown Metal Works closed Jan 15, 2011. I saw the yellow GE switcher out in the yard on Dec 14th and 15th, 2010. They have moved at least four flat cars out on the yard tracks. I guess the entire plant complex is up for sale.
 
Dave


Logged

Dave-39
100lbrail
TRAINing
View Profile  

Posts: 25
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #411 on: Jan 21st, 2011, 12:30am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

As a young teen I fished the little Lehigh and used BQB as a walking path,starting at Fountain park and often going as far union terrace.
some of cutomers served by Lv not mentioned was Allentown water works,where a deck bridge crossed little lehigh to deliver coal for steam pumps and chemicals for water treatment.
during construction of fountain park floodwall the water works siding was used to deliver carloads of bagged cement.
just beyond [bonemill] was Allentown streets dept Aspahlt plant they recieved liquid asphalt in tank cars.
Beyond Hawk flour mill was a coal yard,just befor quarry siding,I believe name was PL Desch.
As Photographer D.Augsbereger used to say,{if we could make slides from our memories,what collections}


Logged
F3_4_me
Historian
Posts: 425
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #412 on: Jan 21st, 2011, 1:27pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Thanks for the info on the Traylor captive fleet.  Once again, I was  born 30 years too late and not quite with enough money, either..  
 
-Micah


Logged

When I joined the ARHS in '92, my occupation was listed as '3rd Grade'.
DAVE-39
Enthusiast
Posts: 49
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #413 on: Jan 21st, 2011, 6:51pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

To 100lbrail, from your description of other industry along the BQ branch, I have the feeling that you and I were walking the tracks in the same time period. I remember playing in the fields behind Traylor and getting thirsty. We would walk across the trestle to the Allentown Water Works, get a drink of water and then tour the Water Works. I also remember walking through Reichard's (called the Bonemill). When they were burning animal carcasses the smell was putrid. You could smell Reichard's a mile downwind. I don't know how they worked there. I also remember that we had junior high football games on Saturday mornings. After the game I remember walking home on the BQ tracks. We started at 20th and Hamilton and  followed the tracks to the rear of Traylor. Then we walked up through the fields behind Mack Trucks to our homes on S. 10th St. Since I played in the band, we walked with our instruments, in uniform and once played the South Mountain fight song for the guys at Reichard's.
You mentioned the coal trestle on the siding to the Ziegenfuss Quarry. That coal yard was owned by Herschel Schankweiler. I wish I had a picture of that coal trestle. However Paul Desch owned another coal yard on the north side of Hamilton St. There were three sidings on the north side of Hamilton St. The first siding at 20th and Hamilton was used by Graybar Electric. However at times I saw refrigerator cars being unloaded there in the 40's and 50's. Does anyone know who the refrigerator cars were for? The second siding served the Paul Desch coal yard. The third and last siding on the BQ branch served Queen City Silk Co which later became Cedar Crest Silk Co. I believe they only received coal for fuel. That building at 2100 Linden St. (across from the ASD stadium) still stands and is used by the City of Allentown Parks Department. If you know where this building is you will now know where the BQ branch track ended.
 
Dave


Logged

Dave-39
gfluck1
Historian
Posts: 2687
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #414 on: Jan 21st, 2011, 8:11pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Were the carcasses from A&B?
 
I can remember driving up Union with brother and smelling that in the early 70's.


Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Allentown branchlines
  DSC00001_771x509.jpg - 80156 Bytes
« Reply #415 on: Jan 22nd, 2011, 12:53am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

My intent with this forum was to show and discuss the sidings along the branchlines which were in service or at least intact from the late 1960s on, rather than talk about the sidings which had previously existed.   Unfortunately, this is one of the worst pictures I ever took, taken sometime around 1969.  In spite of that, I decided to post it for you, Dave.  I took it standing along S. 20th St, looking west toward the remnants of the Ziegenfuss quarry spur as it dropped down and to the left where it would have joined the BQB main, just out of sight.  I'm adding this one additional post only because it shows (near the upper lefthand corner) a small part of the Shankweiler coal trestle of which you said you wished you had a picture.  I was more focused on the remnant of the quarry track when I took the picture than I was on the trestle.  I wish I would have been a better photographer at age 14 with a better camera.  I also wish I'd taken many more pictures than I did.  (Don't we all?)  This will have to suffice.   --Mark

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/LV/DSC00001_771x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
DAVE-39
Enthusiast
Posts: 49
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #416 on: Jan 22nd, 2011, 11:07am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

To gfluck1: Connecting A&B Meats with Reichard is a good question, but unfortunately I don't know the answer. My guess is that A&B was a large operation and I would think that they had methods on site to handle their own animal carcasses. I do remember seeing Reichard's trucks passing with dead animals but I assumed they were collected from local farmers. I also remember Reichard had tractor trailers that hauled sea shells into the plant to process into fertilizer. On hot summer days those trucks also were quite punget. In the 60's and 70's, Reichard used to receive a number of SCL box cars. The cars were covered with white dust that I assumed was phosphate rock shipped from Florida.  
To Mark: Thanks Mark. At least you photographed part of the Herschel Schankweiler coal trestle. I remember it had wooden rails, it was curved and ended next to the Cedar Creek millrace that powered the Hawk griding mill.  
 
Dave


Logged

Dave-39
100lbrail
TRAINing
View Profile  

Posts: 25
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #417 on: Jan 25th, 2011, 12:09am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

A&B in later years processed only hogs,and as some employees said they used everything but the OINK

Logged
geep39
Chaser
Posts: 77
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #418 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 10:28am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Feast yer eyes on these lads! A series of photos taken by the LV in the 1930's at 13th & Sumner, possibly as an accident investigation or litigation issue.  It shows Sumner Ave basically as a dirt path which didn't change much until the 1970's.  
 

 
A link to the full set of pictures: http://imgur.com/a/q4YiS


Logged
ClearBoard
Railfan
Posts: 105
Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #419 on: Jan 26th, 2011, 11:15am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Appreciate sharing the old photos; however, the characterization of Sumner Ave as “…basically as a dirt path which didn't change much until the 1970's…” is a reckless distortion of fact.  
 
Many of us have fond memories of that area, so let’s be fair to the younger guys whom did not have opportunity to walk the line in the 50s.  
 
I still recall the track gang building the last siding across the street just down the road from this intersection, the young boy killed in the elevator accident just off 9th, the 7th Street bridge replacement further east still, and countless other snippets.
 
I can’t recall seeing such a good photo of the oil distributorship intact.  Amazing how many businesses that building once housed.  I do remember the fire that day-lighted the upper story – it was the District’s school book depository then (I think).  
 
Once again, many thanks and no disrespect – hope you take the advice kindly.
 
CB


Logged
Pages: 1 ... 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28  ...  37 (last) ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint

« Previous topic | Next topic »