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Conrail Reading Line

Conrail Reading Line

Allentown & Bethlehem, PA Photos
CR Lehigh Line Photos
Reading Line Railfan Trip

CR Reading Line Timetable
CR Lehigh Line Timetable


CP-Burn, located on Allentown's South Side, is a popular railfanning location. Burn marks the intersection of the Lehigh Line (from Allentown Yard) and the continuation of the Reading Line eastward to Bethlehem, where it reconnects with the Lehigh Line at the east end of Allentown Yard. This scene displays the kind of action that can be found at Burn.
Westbound ALHB-1 is waiting for UFM-999 to clear "The Hole", when it will follow UFM west. ALHB is a daily manifest from Allentown to Harrisburg, working at places like Reading, Lebanon, and Hershey. ALHB was powered by 5567 - 6041 - 6861 (SD60M, C40-8, SD60). UFM-999 is an empty coal train from Pennsyvania Power & Light's plant at Martins' Creek, heading back to the mine for reloading. PP&L trains use PPLX rotary-coupler 100 ton coal hoppers. On this day, July 21, 1996, UFM had SD80MAC's 4120 and 4103 for power. This photo appeared in a feature in
Railfan & Railroad, written by Peter McGilligan and myself.
Conrail piggyback train TV-62A passes CP-Burn, leaving the Reading Line #2 track for "The Hole". Once the main line of the Lehigh Valley Railroad"The Hole" is a single-track bypass around Allentown Yard. "The Hole" is considered the east end of the Reading Line (to CP-Bethlehem); #1 and #2 tracks east of Burn are part of the Lehigh Line. TV-62A runs from Harrisburg to Allentown. It will continue east on " The Hole" to the intermodal terminal on the South Side of Bethlehem.
Westbound manifest freight ALEN-9 is approaching the Basin Street Road crossing and CP-Burn with then "Brand New" C40-8W's on June 9, 1991. The train is crossing the Lehigh Canal, Lehigh River, and the former Lehigh Valley Railroad mainline (on the bridge in the background).
Photo by Lauren R. Lang
D&H 555 passes CP-Burn enroute to Allentown Yard, where it's engines will run around the train to continue northward on the Lehigh Line.
A CP Rail nuclear waste train departs CP-Burn, on February 22, 1997 behind CP 8244 and CP 5689. Train DGEX-2 was spotted from the Susquehanna Street overpass. The UGI gas tower and the former Neuweiler Brewery can both be seen in the background "Allentown skyline".
D&H train 556-08 is about to cross PA Route 100 in Macungie, PA behind a typical D&H variety of power: NS 8524-CSXT (Chessie) 8251-NS 2792-RF&P 143 (C36-7, SD40-2, GP38, GP40-2). 556 passed by at 14:26 on June 9, 1991. Just 30 seconds later, D&H 555 met 556 with another incredible lashup...
Photo by Lauren R. Lang
At Alburtis, ALCS passes the connection to the Catasauqua and Fogelsville branch behind CSX SD50 #8624. The C&F connects to many customers in industrial parks along I-78 in Fogelsville, such as Keebler, Nestle, Stroh's Brewery, and others. The C&F shifter (WPCH-11) called out of Chapmans, serves these customers and delivers the cars to Alburtis, where they are picked up by manifests such as PIAL and ALHB.
Eastbound CAAL-3 journeys towards its terminus at Allentown Yard. CAAL runs from Pavonia Yard in Camden, NJ; it occasionally hosts CSXT power. CAAL was powered by SD50 6725 and CSXT 8141, an SD40-2. Alburtis was once the division point between the Harrisburg and Philadelphia divisions. This is no longer the case, as the Harrisburg Division was absorbed into the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Divisions in 1996.
On a muggy summer day in 1996, train ALHB-2 pulls slowly west past an M of W crew welding on Track 2 at Alburtis, PA. ALHB's power is Conrail 6067 & Conrail 6832 (GE C40-8W and EMD SD50).
Delaware & Hudson train 556-12 is seen just west of Lyons, PA behind three Canadian Pacific SD40-2's: 5419 in the short-lived Dual Flags livery; 3254, an SD40-2B still in Norfolk Southern paint, reflecting it's former owner; and 5697, a CP unit in the traditional "Action Red" scheme.
This location is west of the Deka Battery plant in Lyons, PA. The train is PICC-2 (Conway, PA to Chemical Coast, NJ) behind 5536 - 6076 - 6847.
Fleetwood, PA is a good railfan spot on Conrail's Reading Line. ALPI is shown in downtown Fleetwood passing the old Fleetwood Motor plant in the winter of 1992.




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