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VanEtten Junction.  

Van Etten Junction on the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
a tour in 2003. Scot Lawrence

Van Etten Junction on the Lehigh Valley Railroad was located just south of Van Etten, NY.
The LV main pushed North (RR West) from Sayre to the junction, where the "Freight main"
veered off to the North-West (RR West) to Geneva and the "Passenger Main" veered off to
the North-East (also RR West!) toward Ithaca.

Today the "Freight Main" between the junction and Geneva is gone, the tracks are torn up.
but the "Passenger Main" is still in place between the junction and Ithaca, (and north of Ithaca
to the powerplant). This line is still in use by Norfolk Southern. (was Conrail from 1976-1999)

(see the system map for details)
The map is a little misleading in this area..
the passenger main really does turn toward toward the East at Van Etten,
before heading north again to Ithaca..this is not evident on the map.

Both lines were in place and in use by the LV until Conrail in 1976.
The freight main to Geneva was immediately abandoned by Conrail.
I dont believe Conrail ever actually operated a regular train over the line!
the tracks were torn up quickly after '76.

On April 14th, 2003, I was driving down to Waverly to visit my parents for Easter.
I have driven along route 34 though here billions of times, and I always knew the junction was "out there".
but this was the first time I actually stopped and looked for it.

Here we are directly on the ROW of the Freight Main..looking South (RR East) toward
Sayre..Geneva is to our back. The junction is at the base of the hill in the distance.

Turning around and looking North-West (RR West) down the Freight Main..toward Geneva.
The large barn-like building to the right is the Van Etten "Highway Dept" building.
(I forgot to write down the actual name! that is where I parked)
Its where they keep the road maintance trucks, snowplows, salt, that kind of thing..
its an obvious landmark in the area..

Getting closer to the actual Junction. Looking South (RR East) down the Freight main,
toward the passenger main. (the actual tracks which are still there)

Again, turning around and looking North (RRWest)
The passenger main is to the right, heading to Ithaca.
The ROW of the Freight Main heads off straight out of the center of the photo.

Just ahead is the actual junction..(looking South, RR East)
you can see a line of ballast marking the Freight Main.
There is a large concrete support off to the right, looks like an old signal or light support.

Telephoto shot from about the same position..
The truck and the car are driving South on Route 34.
There are big piles of new RR ties in the area! and many new ties installed on the track..
NS has been doing some work here!

At the junction! looking North (RR West).
From this point south to Sayre the tracks are the actual "LV main" and are still in place.
From the junction North (RR West) the tracks still in place are the Passenger main to Ithaca.
The ROW of the Freight Main to Geneva can be seen veering off to the Left..
(to the north-west, RR west)

Found a genuine "Black Diamond" along the tracks!
an old piece of LVRR Anthracite coal.
they are easy to find anywhere along the old LV..

There was also another LV line that passed through VanEtten.
The old UI&E / EC&N..the LV "Elmira & Cortland Branch"
it passed over the passenger and freight mains a mile or so north
of VanEtten junction..I didnt find any traces of it on this trip,
but I intend to look for it next time im in the area..

other tours from the same weekend:

1. Tour of Van Etten junction (this page)
2. Tour of Sayre.
3. The DL&W in South Waverly.

Back to Lehigh Valley Surviving Locomotives.

Scot Lawrence,
Rochester NY
April 2003