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Allentown branchlines
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   Author  Topic: Allentown branchlines  (Read 42103 times)
IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #540 on: Feb 7th, 2012, 12:20pm »
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West Portal of the Front St underpass/tunnel today (2-7-12) . As you can see it has been filled in more since i took that pic a few postings back

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IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #541 on: Feb 7th, 2012, 12:25pm »
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After a short stroll through a cemetery i was greeted with this sight..The Western abutment of the Jordan Creek bridge!! Still in pretty nice shape though it appears that the " J 94" sign is long gone..Not too shocked by that though...LOL!!!

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IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #542 on: Feb 7th, 2012, 12:27pm »
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Standing on the Eastern abutment and looking across the CHASM!!! You can see some of the old industrial buildings once served by the West End Branch in the upper right hand corner of the photo

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IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #543 on: Feb 7th, 2012, 12:30pm »
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This pic gives a better ides of the location of the LVRR bridge/VS the concrete Sumner Ave bridge

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IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #544 on: Feb 7th, 2012, 12:34pm »
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Ground-level shot of the skeletonized single-storied wooden structure seen in the aerial views...The r.o.w. has been filled in almost completely here.

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IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #545 on: Feb 7th, 2012, 12:39pm »
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The Eastern abutment viewed from slightly above..The red arrow points to a moss encrusted line pole stump.. Hope yall enjoy the pics.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #546 on: Feb 7th, 2012, 1:04pm »
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IRR: Nice job exploring the ruins of what once was.  It's easy to see that this is the best time of year to take such pictures as most of what you photographed today wouldn't be visible once the leaves are on the trees.  I especially enjoyed the shot showing the Sumner Ave. bridge along with the western bridge abutment.  Such an angle makes it easy to figure out where the JL tracks would have crossed the new road, were they still in place.  Another great addition.  Thanks for your time and interest.  
I'm still hoping others will come forth with their photos or stories to keep this thread active.  Remember, I'll be happy to post your pictures for you if you don't have the ability to do so... just give me a call.   -- Mark Rabenold


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CandF
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #547 on: Feb 9th, 2012, 3:10pm »
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When was the CNJ line from WK to the east side of the river abandoned?  I remember hearing that it might have been in the early 70's due to a derailment.  Another question about that trackage, what trains used it from the late 60's to abandonment?
 
I also wonder how the construction of the new American Parkway bridge across the Lehigh might affect things.  Is the CNJ underpass of Front St. going to be removed/replaced?  What about the CNJ Lehigh River bridge?  I would think that part of it might be in the way.


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IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #548 on: Feb 10th, 2012, 9:16pm »
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on Feb 9th, 2012, 3:10pm, CandF wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I also wonder how the construction of the new American Parkway bridge across the Lehigh might affect things.  Is the CNJ underpass of Front St. going to be removed/replaced?  What about the CNJ Lehigh River bridge?  I would think that part of it might be in the way.

Found this Penn Dot link   http://www.dot.state.pa.us/penndot/districts/district5.nsf/4a6d48b02abaf59085256a540067b74f/51657cbb55ba1938852571f4004cd887?OpenDocument It says the bridge at Front Street will be replaced...There's no mention of the former CNJ/Allentown Terminal RR bridge though...Found several articles about the bridge project on the net but NONE mentioned the CRR of NJ bridge


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #549 on: Feb 10th, 2012, 11:19pm »
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CANDF: You asked about when the track from WK to the "east" side of the river was abandoned.  I'm assuming you meant the west side of the river, being that WK was located along the eastern bank of the Lehigh river.  Unfortunately, I personally know very little about the Allentown Terminal trackage and date the section north of Gordon St. was abandoned.  I called Dave Beazley today and he said the track was still in service at the time he took his photo... even though WK tower was closed at the time.  While he didn't date his slide, he's sure it would have been from the mid-1960s.  Other than servicing Horlacher Brewery and a former scrap dealer just north of Gordon Street, Dave didn't remember any other industries being served in that area.  I can remember there being a 3-way turnout located in the small "yard" between Gordon St. and the Tilghman St. underpass.  It stands out in my mind because I had never seen one on the prototype before.  I'm sorry I don't have more information for you at this time.  Maybe someone else could give better answers to your questions.  -- Mark

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NS3360
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #550 on: Feb 11th, 2012, 7:27am »
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Despite the loss of passenger service, the ATRR was still used regularly by CNJ until they left PA. They had a drill that worked the industries on this trackage until they left PA in 1972. In addition to the Horlacher Brewery, Lehigh Structural Steel, Smith Trucking, and Call Chronicle were customers served. I don't know anything about the scrap yard mentioned. Now whether the Valley ran on it for a while afterwards, I can't say. Maybe someone else knows more, I only know what I know about it from research and reading. But the CNJ did use it up until '72.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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CandF
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #551 on: Feb 13th, 2012, 7:50am »
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I do remember seeing some CR pups on the ground at Horlacher in the late 70's.  I don't remember, but will assume, that they accessed the brewery area from the east (Allentown Terminal side).  I was actually wondering if the CNJ/LV used the track from WK through the Allentown Terminal for any main line (bypass?) moves.

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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #552 on: Feb 14th, 2012, 12:36am »
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CandF: Dave Beazley dug through his files and came up with an article on the Allentown Terminal RR  from the early 1970s.  According to that article... "Through freights used ATRR as an escape route if there was trouble on the CNJ main."  Don't suppose you had your camera with you when you saw those derailed CR SWs at the brewery... did you?   -- Mark

« Last Edit: Feb 14th, 2012, 12:39am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #553 on: Feb 14th, 2012, 2:03am »
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Was this the location of Horlacher brewery? I matched up the unique facade of the building ( marked with the orange star) To a photo on page 67 of this soft cover book i recently acquired titled "Allentown 1867-1950" showing the Horlacher Brewery..My best guess is that the rear portion (which shows evidence of railcar loading doors) is all that's left of the brewery

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one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #554 on: Feb 14th, 2012, 2:24pm »
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Mark, glad to see this forum renewed!
 
IRR, yes, that is the location of the former Horlacher brewery. The brewery closed in 1978 and portions of it (offices) were razed in 1984. I believe a company called ASGCO still occupies the remaining extant portion.
 
Here is a 1925 aerial photo which relates to some recent conversation. It looks southeast towards the newly constructed Tilghman Street bridge. The Allentown Terminal swings in from lower left, crosses the Lehigh Valley main, and ducks under Front Street. Note the interchange with the LV. Sofransky scrapyard sits just north of the Tilghman Street bridge, while Lehigh Structural Steel is to the south. Across the river is the CNJ mainline, and farther up the hill in a VERY RURAL East Allentown is the L&NE's Allentown branch.


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one87th
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #555 on: Feb 14th, 2012, 2:43pm »
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Another 1925 aerial looking eastward at the LV and CNJ Allentown freight yards. Jordan loop tracks run from lower left (crossing Jordan creek), pass under Linden Street bridge, pass the Phoenix's Co.'s Adelaide silk mill, and run under Hamilton Street at the LV passenger station (at far right).
Behind the Lehigh Valley freight station (nicely lettered on the roof) is the C.A. Dorney furniture factory. Just to the south (right) of that is the joint CNJ/RDG freight station and Allentown Terminal tracks. Farther south is the CNJ passenger station.
 
Now a question. Although the Allentown Terminal was constructed by the CNJ, it was jointly used by the Reading. A 1954 Freight Shippers Guide on "The Reading Modeler" website
 
http://www.readingmodeler.com/modules.php?name=FSG&op=fsg_station_report&sid=170
 
shows several Allentown industries (Aldrich Pump, Arbogast & Bastian, Horlacher Brewery) served by but not physically on Reading tracks. Did the CNJ provide switching services for the Reading, or did the Reading actually also physically switch industries in the Allentown terminal area?


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« Last Edit: Feb 14th, 2012, 8:18pm by one87th » Logged
A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #556 on: Feb 14th, 2012, 4:58pm »
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IRR: You're becoming a master at using those birdseye satellite views.  Keep 'em coming!
one87th: Hi Michael... welcome back.  As usual, your additions of rare vintage photographs always brings a bit of excitement to this thread.  Thanks!  And just to clarify -- for those not from the area -- the Jordan Loop bridge shown in the second picture is not the same bridge shown in Dave Beazley's pictures.  The JL tracks twice crossed over the Jordan Creek and Dave's pictures were taken at the more northeastern (RR west) crossing of the creek.
I haven't had time to read through everything Dave sent me on the ATRR, but he and I had a discussion on the ATRR's joint ownership of their track.  I told him I always thought the RDG was only involved up to the Allentown Station.  I said I always assumed that the CNJ was sole owner/operator north (RR west) of Linden St, being that the north end led only to the CNJ's main at WK... unlike the south end which led to both CNJ and RDG trackage.  The article Dave sent me verified that the whole line (to WK) was under joint ownership.  Regarding your question as to whether the RDG ever switched any of the industries listed, I can only say that Dave -- whose grandparents lived near Front & Linden Sts and who spent many hours with his grandfather watching trains roll in to Allentown Terminal Station -- said he never saw any RDG power run north of Linden St.  I would, therefore, have to assume that those may have been Allentown customers of the RDG, but they were all served by CNJ or LV power/crews.  If anybody knows anything to the contrary, please add your comments.  --Mark


« Last Edit: Feb 15th, 2012, 12:09am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
photoman475
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #557 on: Feb 14th, 2012, 8:57pm »
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The overheads of Allentown in 1925 are just wonderful!  
 
The LV freight house just happens to stand out, doesn't it!  
 
It also shows just how important railroads were in city life at one time.  Too bad we've lost all that since then.


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A-townbranchfan
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Re: Allentown branchlines
 
« Reply #558 on: Feb 15th, 2012, 12:06am »
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Photoman475:  You said it!  I just counted close to 80 freight cars sitting in the Lehigh Valley's Linden St. yard alone!  Even if RJCorman had the business, they wouldn't be able to fit anywhere close to that number of cars in the yard as it exists today.  Many of the tracks shown in the 1925 shot were removed during the days of Conrail... though the total destruction of the Valley's freight station during the fire of 1972 (see Gif Sander's post-fire photo back at the top of page 16 of this thread), as well as general losses in car loadings to increasing growth in the trucking industry, led to less of a need for such a yard years before the birth of Big Blue.
Giving credit where it's due, both photos posted by one87th were taken from the two-volume "History of Allentown" books published by the Lehigh County Historical Society a couple of decades ago.  --Mark


« Last Edit: Feb 15th, 2012, 12:17am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
IRR
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Re: Allentown branchlines
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« Reply #559 on: Feb 15th, 2012, 4:02am »
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I found this '30's aerial on Penn Pilot that shows what appears to be a railroad bridge crossing from the present day Allentown Canal Park..and Across the Lehigh River and LVRR main..I have noticed a single surviving pier on the LV side from the canal park..My guess this is a CNJ bridge but if so what did it serve?


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