Posts Tagged ‘Lehigh Valley’

Period Piece

July 16, 2020

The Alco RS2 in Lehigh Valley paint probably was the first thing you noticed about this image. But I see in this a nice period piece.

The grass growing between the tracks in the yard in Sayre, Pennsylvania, on July 24, 1973, says something about the lack of funds to do weed spraying.

Then again, maybe the railroad didn’t think grass and weeds growing in a yard was any big deal.

I also noticed the buildings across the street, which signify the type of working class neighborhoods that sprung up around railroad facilities or any other type of industrial facility.

Generations of railroads workers lived in those houses and patronized the stores, diners and taverns housed in commercial buildings in those neighborhoods.

Most of the tracks in this view appear empty although there may be cars out of view to the right or left.

Whatever the case, this suggests the state of railroads in the 1970s that would lead to the creation of Conrail just under two years after this image was made.

Lehigh Valley was among the bankrupt railroads folded into Conrail.

The story of the declining industrial base of the Northeast has been told many times and can be seen in its own way here.

Yet engine 213 goes about its business on this summer day because there are still cars to switch and trains to run even if there aren’t as many of them as their used to be here.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Fallen Flags Portrait

April 7, 2020

Everything you see here, the three Penn Central locomotives and the two box cars behind them are marked for fallen flag railroads.

Aside from PC, there is the Louisville & Nashville and Lehigh Valley.

The image was made in Cleveland on Oct. 26, 1974. By then Penn Central had been bankrupt for more than four years and the process that would led to the creation of Conrail was underway.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Variety of Lehigh Valley Motive Power

January 11, 2020

A variety of Lehigh Valley motive power sits in Sayre, Pennsylvania, on July 24, 1973. In the background is the bridge over the yard, and further back the LV shop complex can be seen.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Railroading as it Once Was: Delaware & Hudson Also Was a Colorful Railroad in the 1970s

February 9, 2017


While most know of the colorful early years of Conrail, the Delaware & Hudson wasn’t to be ignored either in the years after April 1, 1976.

The government allowed the D&H to expand as “competition” to the new Conrail and some of the newest power the Reading and the Lehigh Valley had was transferred to the D&H to help with their newly expanded territory.

In September 1976 a meet occurred on the Penn Division under the former Erie Starrucca viaduct in Lanesboro, Pennsylvania.

While this beautiful stone viaduct still stands and sees the occasional New York, Susquehanna & Western train, the D&H tracks below are all gone.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: CR Rarity

January 11, 2017
Certainly one of the rarer units on Conrail, this former Lehigh Valley Alco RS-3 with a high short hood rests at the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, engine service facility in October 1977. Built for the Pennsylvania Railroad with a steam generator in that tall hood, it went to the LV as its 211. It would be the only unit of its kind on both the LV and CR roster, and would even retain this car body after it’s conversion in the RS-3 mod program. I believe this unit survives today, although with an EMD prime mover.
Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Mixing The Motive Power Heritage of Conrail’s Many Components

November 19, 2016


Although in the end it would all homogenize into blue, Conrail’s first few years were interesting with the mixing of power from the component railroads.

With only four on the roster, these Lehigh Valley GP38ACs were always a nice catch.

Two months into Conrail, this westbound is drifting down Wooster hill with one of these Cornell red units leading two Penn Central GE U25Bs over this former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline.

In the distant future, Norfolk Southern’s LV heritage unit would wear a close version of this paint scheme, but would get its nose repainted into the more popular white stripe with large diamond look before the 2012 Spencer (North Carolina) celebration of Norfolk Southern heritage units event.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Outlawed in Hudson

June 30, 2016


A trio of Alco C-628s on an ore empty have “outlawed” at Hudson in November 1976. While the leader has had the “CR” (Conrail) treatment applied, the two Lehigh Valley units are unpatched. Along with the Alcos the Hudson station and platform are gone, too.

Photograph  by Roger Durfee

A Matter of Decades, a Matter of a Week

March 4, 2012

One of the last trackside remnants of Akron Union Depot fell last week. The last platform and section of an umbrella shed that stood between the main tracks of the CSX New Castle Subdivision were removed as part of a project to increase clearances through downtown Akron. CSX is undertaking a multi-million dollar project to increase clearances on the former Baltimore & Ohio route in Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland to enable double stack intermodal trains to travel the route.

In some instances, new bridges are being built. In downtown Akron, the tracks will be undercut to lower then. This is necessary to provide additional clearance beneath what was once the concourse of the Union Depot. The former concourse is now a walkway connecting the former Union Depot with another building that are both used by the University of Akron.

Roger Durfee went down to the Union Depot site on Saturday afternoon to record the progress — if that is the right word — of the platform and umbrella shed removal work. The shed was long gone and much of the platform had been ripped out.

Later that day, Roger dipped into his considerable slide collection and found a series of historic photos to complement his most recent images.

The top photo shows C&O SD35 No. 7428 westbound in December 1975. All tracks are still in, even the stub track for a setout sleeper. The bottom photo shows the same view today.

Here is a Penn Central Motor Yard (Macedonia) to Akron local in September 1975. It’s on the 103 track, which is the siding into the ex PRR South Akron yards. In the Same view today, the 103 track is long gone.

An eastbound Erie Lackawanna eastbound starts up after a pause at JO interlocking in January 1976. In the same view today, the EL tracks are all gone.

During Conrail’s first week in April 1976 a trio of Lehigh Valley U23Bs are on the point of OM-8 as it passes through downtown Akron. In the same view today, the old passenger platform is being removed so the track can be undercut to increase the clearances through downtown Akron.

Now for a difference of days. CSX westbound Q137 passes workers setting up to remove the platform and umbrella shed at the old Akron Union Depot on Feb. 24, 2012. Eight days  later the platform is mostly gone and the shed is history as CSX K311 passes by.

Photographs by Roger Durfee