A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Lehigh Valley Railroad

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The Lehigh Valley Railroad (LV) was one of a number of railroads built in the northeastern United States primarily to haul anthracite coal. It was incorporated April 21, 1846 in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company. On January 7, 1853, the name was changed to Lehigh Valley Railroad. It was sometimes known as the Route of the Black Diamond, named after the anthracite it transported. At the time, anthracite was transported by boat down the Lehigh River. The railroad was

Lehigh Valley
Lehigh Valley
June 8, 1941
meant to be a faster means of transportation.(wik).In the 30's and 40's the Lehigh Valley connected with the Grand Trunk Western and the Canadian National to host a fine Pullman and coach train , the Maple Leaf, on it's run from Chicago through Port Huron, MI and Suspension Bridge NY to New York. The Suspension Bridge to New York segment fell to the Lehigh Valley.(rp)
Lehigh Valley Loco

Short History of the Lehigh Valley Railroad
The Lehigh Valley Railroad began in the coal fields of Mauch Chunk (later Jim Thorpe), Pennsylvania. Anthracite coal lay close to the surface and could be mined by hand with pick and shovels. The nearby Lehigh River offered transportation downstream to the markets of New York City and Philadelphia. Development of a good regional network of coal companies, canals, and railroads led to the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The desire to reach the western markets of the Great Lakes led to a mainline stretching 200 miles across upstate New York and other branches serving central New York and the Southern Tier.(lv)
1867 - The LV subsidiary, the Pennsylvania & New York Railroad, reached Waverly, New York to interchange coal with the Erie Railroad, a broad gauge line. LV coal was then transferred to Erie trains at Waverly, and the coal continued to Buffalo, New York, via the Erie.
1870 - The LV financed a third rail to be laid inside the Erie's broad gauge trackage so that LV coal trains could run all the way to Buffalo without being transferred to Erie cars at Waverly.
1870 - The Southern Central reaches Waverly to interchange with the LV and Erie. This railroad would later become the LV's Auburn division, and was mainly used to transport coal to Lake Ontario ships at Fair Haven, New York.
1876 - LV, through trackage rights on Erie reaches Buffalo.
1892 - LV lines in New York State completed, including large roundhouse and classification facilities at Manchester.
1895 - The LV completed its own mainline between Waverly and Buffalo, and transfer to the Erie at Waverly was no longer needed.
1890s - The Lehigh Valley Railroad stretched from New York Harbor to Tifft Terminal in Buffalo, passing through the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, and the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
1901 - The huge erecting shops are completed at Sayre, Pennsylvania. Sayre becomes the heart of the LV.
1918 - LV passenger trains start using Penn Station in New York.
1945 - The first mainline diesels arrive, in the form of EMD FT locomotives.
1948 - ALCO PA passenger diesels replace steam on all passenger runs.
1951 - Last Lima built locomotive a center cab diesel for LV.
1951 - September 14 - Last day of steam on the LV as Mikado 432 drops her fire in Delano, Pennsylvania.
1962 - Coal traffic, however, declined steadily after the 1940s and the Pennsylvania Railroad had acquired majority stock control of the LV.
1965 - LV & CRRofNJ form shared trackage to haul freight.
1967 - Penn-Central formed by NYC & Pennsy.
1970 - PC and LV in bancruptcy.
1972 - LV assumes PA trackage of CRNJ.
1976 - Balance of LV acquired by Conrail.
1979-1980's - Assets of LV estate spread.

LV map
Lehigh Valley timetable map 1941

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society.(lv)
Diesel Victory-Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Classic Trains - Kalmbach Publishing Co.-fall 2004
To contact our contributors please make a request by Email to: Richard Parks


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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 29, 2009, revised June 20, 2011