An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Lehigh & Hudson River Railway


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The Lehigh and Hudson River Railway (L&HR) was the smallest of the six railroads that were merged into Conrail in 1976. It was a bridge line, with 95 miles of trackage, running northeast-southwest across northwestern New Jersey, connecting the line to the Poughkeepsie Bridge at Maybrook, New York with Easton, Pennsylvania, where it interchanged with various other companies. It status was diminished as the Interstate Highway system was developed, and as its connecting railroads entered bankruptcy. The final straw came with the burning of the decking of the Poughkeepsie
L&HR logo
Bridge in 1974.(wik) For a short time m before the 30's amd 40's the L&HR was host to the Pennsylvania's "Federal Express" which ran from Philadelphia into New England across the Hudson River on the "Poughkeepsie Bridge Route". This was from about 1912 to 1916. When the "Hells Gate Bridge" was completed at New York City in 1917 the Pennsy abandoned the Poughkeepsie Bridge Route in favor of Hells Gate Pennsylvania Station New York and the New Haven route into New England. By 1931 passenger service had decreased to a few daily motors from New York and Jersey City via the Erie through Middletown to Greycourt and then on the L&HR to Warwick, on only ten miles of L&HR trackage and two motor cars continuing to Belvidere, on74 miles of L&HR trackage. By 1940 all passenger service had been discontinued. (rp) The L&HR did service as a bridge line and was completely dieselized in 1940 with the purchase of 13 Alco RS-3 road switchers.(rf) The L&HR was merged into Conrail in 1975 and is now mostly abandoned.
A few historical facts about the Lehigh & Hudson River Railway
1860 - The Warwick Valley Railroad (WV) was organized March 8, as a branch of the New York and Erie Rail Road, branching from it at Greycourt southwest to Warwick, New York.
1862 - WV opened and was operated by the Erie.
cir 1870 - The Pequest and Wallkill Railroad (P&W) was chartered to build an extension in New Jersey, running from Belvidere on the Delaware River and Belvidere Delaware Railroad (BD) northeast to the New York state line.
cir 1870 - The Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad (L&HRrr) was chartered later as a competitor, planning to build from Belvidere to McAfee, with the Wawayanda Railroad (W) running the rest of the way to the state line.
c. 1880 - In the meantime, the Sussex Railroad had built a branch from Hamburg to South Vernon (McAfee). 1880 - The Warwick Valley Railroad had built an extension to McAfee.
c 1881 - The L&HR bough the Sussex Railroad branch from Hamburg to McAfee.
1881 - In the spring the L&HRrr, W and P&W merged to form a new Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad.
1882 - The WV completes line connecting Belvidere, New Jersey to Greycourt, New York.
1882 - The Warwick Valley Railroad joined the L&HR Railroad forming the Lehigh and Hudson River Railway (L&HR).
1888 - The Orange County Railroad (OC) was chartered.
1889 - OC opened, extending the line northeast from Greycourt to Maybrook. At Maybrook the line junctioned with the Central New England Railway continuing east via the Poughkeepsie Bridge over the Hudson River to New England. Trackage rights were obtained over a short piece of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway from the junction at Burnside west to the major junction at Campbell Hall.
1889 - The South Easton and Phillipsburg Railroad of New Jersey, and the South Easton and Phillipsburg Railroad of Pennsylvania were organized to build a bridge over the Delaware River between Easton, Pennsylvania and Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
1889 - L&HR obtains trackage rights from Pennsy's Belvedere Delaware Railroad from Belvedere to Phillipsburg, 13 miles.
1890 - Bridge completed, so the L&HR had a continuous line from Maybrook to Easton. At Easton, interchange could be made with the Central Railroad of New Jersey and Lehigh Valley Railroad, while interchange with the Pennsylvania Railroad was at Phillipsburg.
post-1890 - The L&HR eventually obtained trackage rights over the DL&W's Sussex Railroad from the junction at Andover south to Port Morris, where it interchanged with the main line of the DL&W.
post-1890 - The Mine Hill Railroad was the only branch built. It ran south from a junction at Franklin, New Jersey to the mines of the New Jersey Zinc Company at Sterling Hill, New Jersey.
1907 - The L&HR absorbed the Orange County Railroad.
1912 - The South Easton and Phillipsburg and Mine Hill Railroads were merged into the L&HR.
1912-16 - Until temporary discontinuance in January of 1916, the L&HR hosted the Pennsylvania Railroad's Federal Express passenger trains on the Poughkeepsie Bridge Route between Phillipsburg and Maybrook.
1917 - With the completion of the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City, the Federal Express resumed service via Penn Station and the New Haven Line direct.
1931 - Limited motor car passenger rail service on the L&HR, between Greycourt and Warkick and between Greycourt and Belvedere.
1940 - By 1940 the L&HR was freight only.
1950 - L&HR dieselizes with 13 Alco RS3's.
1972 - The L&HR filed for Chapter 77 bankruptcy partly due to Penn Central's decision to prefer other routes over the Poughkeepsie Bridge. .
1976 - The L&HR was merged into Conrail.
1976-presen t - L&HR has been largely abandoned. Portions in New York and northern New Jersey continue to be used by Norfolk Southern and the New York, Susquehanna & Western.

L&HRmap
Lehigh & Hudson River Railway - 1931


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guides- 1943 & 1950

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 29, 2009, revised June 16, 2011