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Allentown & Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Allentown & Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


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Conrail B23-7 2806 is shuttling cars at the west end of Allentown Yard on June 3, 1990. Note the yellow line around the snowplow, indicating that this unit is set up to run on Metro-North third-rail territory (from New York City to Poughkeepsie, NY).
Photo by Lauren R. Lang

 

DH555-05 is beginning it's westward journey up the Lehigh Line at CP-Allen, after having run the power around the train at Allentown. 555 was led by "Dual Flags" SD40-2 5688 on October 5, 1997.
Photo by Melanie Good

 

Conrail train ALCS-8 departs CP-Allen at Allentown Yard on October 8, 1990. ALCS is an interchange train with CSXT at Park Junction, Philadelphia, commonly running with CSX power. This ALCS has former Seaboard Coast Line and Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac power. The RF&P was merged into CSX around 1992 (anyone have the exact date?)

 

PRR 8429 is the leader on this very interesting ALHB-3 west of CP-Allen.  PRR 8429 is ex Conrail 6248, a C40-8W built in 1994. 8429 will become a Norfolk Southern-owned unit on June 1, the Conrail split date.  All Conrail units going to NS are being renumbered as "PRR" units, as all CR cars going to CSXT are being relettered "NYC".  To facilitate the Conrail split, it was split into PRR and NYC subsidiaries. PRR assets will become NS; NYC will become CSXT on "Day 1".
Photo by Melanie L. Good
The second unit on ALHB-3 on April 3, 1999 is Burlington Northern Santa Fe C44-9W 4384 in the "Heritage II" scheme.  4384 was built by General Electric at Erie, PA.  Contract work at Altoona and Corry, PA resulted in BNSF units roaming the eastern portion of Conrail in spring 1999.
Photo by Melanie L. Good

 

This is local train WPAL-12 running on the Allentown Industrial Track, in the fall of 1991. The Allentown Industrial was once the Lehigh & New England's Allentown Branch. Only about half of that remains to serve a lumber facility located a block from my home. This photo was taken behind the Weyerhauser facility as WPAL-12 was switching cars there. Also notice that CR 2258 is a GP35; it was brought back from the dead during a power shortage in 1991.

 

The gradual shutdown of Bethlehem Steel's Bethlehem, PA works has caused a proportionate shutdown of their switching railroad, the Philadelphia, Bethlehem, and New England. The PB&NE (which really only runs in Bethlehem) has reduced operations considerably since the blast furnaces shut down in 1995. This has caused a surplus of power - which is shown here stored on the south end of Bethlehem Steel's property in Hellertown.

 

PB&NE SW9 35 and Slug 10 drill cars at Saucon Yard in Bethlehem, PA on July 5, 1993 during a much busier phase of Bethlehem Steel's life. Before the Steel's shutdown, trains of Conrail, PB&NE, and CP Rail (D&H) could be viewed from the Lynn Avenue overpass arriving and departing Saucon Yard.

 

Bethlehem Steel's Bethlehem plant continued to decline through the mid-1990's. One of the last operations remaining at the plant was the Coke Works, turning coal into coke for steelmaking operations. While most coal and coke was handled by Conrail, CP Rail "got into the game" in the early 90's. DH858-20, a loaded CP Rail coal train running from Buffalo, NY, arrives at "Florence" (D&H connection to the PB&NE) on February 22, 1998. CP coal/coke trains were generally powered by solid sets of NS or CSX power - 858 is no exception with CSXT 7684, 8317, and 7046. In March 1998, the Coke Works was shut down, closing the last remaining operation at Bethlehem Steel's namesake plant.


This page was created and maintained by J. Alex Lang, 1997 & 1998
Last updated October 9, 1998

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