Ithaca to Geneva

Looking northwest at the Lehigh Valley passenger station in Ithaca, NY. The passenger cars can be seen to the left. From the 1970s until the 1990s, this station and the passenger cars served as a restaurant called "The Station Restaurant". Today, the station is now a bank, the Chemung Canal Trust Company. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
A closer look at the main entrance of the old train station, which still reads "Lehigh Valley" above the doors. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
The passenger station hosts several passenger cars and a caboose. The station is located near the intersection of Route 96 (West Buffalo Street) and Route 89 (Taughannock Boulevard) in Ithaca, NY. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
A closer inspection of the engine and passenger cars. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
The dark passenger car still reads "L.V. 946", and is labeled with the words "The Black Diamond". The Black Diamond Express was the famous premier Lehigh Valley passenger train that ran from New York City to Buffalo, NY from 1896 to 1959. It is suspected that these cars and the numbers have been repainted since this Lehigh Valley line was abandoned decades ago. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
A close-up look at the engine. The engine and cars have been parked at this location since at least 1976, although they may have been here longer than that. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
A look at the caboose and rear side of the station, facing south. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
About a dozen yards or a bit more to the south of the Ithaca station, an old Lehigh Valley Railroad bridge remains alongside Brindley Street (off of Route 79 or West State Street) over a creek extending southeastward off of Cayuga Lake Inlet. Aside from the rails located directly underneath these cars and a still-active former Lehigh Valley line just one block to the east, most of the other tracks in the area were pulled up during the 1970s or 1980s. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
A great view across the bridge, facing northward. All of the tracks and railroad ties have long since been removed, leaving only the metal bridge structure itself. The creek is visible through the bottom of the bridge. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
A look at the north end of the bridge. Several old railroad ties also remain in the brush at this end. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
View standing near the north end of the bridge, looking north toward the old Ithaca station. The old Lehigh Valley engine and passenger cars at the station can be seen beyond the stop sign. The Lehigh Valley tracks used to continue through to the bridge roughly where the cars are parked in the right-hand part of the photo. Today, the parking area is for a Goodyear Tire service garage. The brick building on the far left side of the photo belongs to Ithaca Grain and Pet Supply. It is not known whether or not the building is still in use, but there are several buildings in the area of the same era that may have once belonged to industries that utilized the Lehigh Valley line. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.
View looking south on Brindley Street. The old railroad bridge is visible just to the left of the one lane bridge over the creek. Two telegraph poles also remain. A few old wires hang from the pole on the nearside of the creek. Very little evidence of the old Lehigh Valley Railroad remain to the north or south of this bridge and the Ithaca station, probably due in part to a great deal of development and construction that has taken place between 2000 and 2006, although the line has been abandoned and the tracks and equipment removed so long ago. Photo by Kevin M. Smith, May 2008.

—  User Comments  —

where petes store is use to be a lumber yard called Robinson and Carpenters They use to have there lumber brought in by boxcar. The siding was about where the gas pumps are today. It would get very hot in those cars in the summer. The lumber was not sorted by size so you had to sort it on the truck then load it in the bins all by hand.

dave higgins
trumansburg, NY

my great grandparents lived and farmed at willow creek and used the willow creek station for passenger and freight service.the train at the lehigh valley station came in around 1966. we use to play in that train before they put it at the station.we also played in the station before they fixed it up.

david higgins
trumansburg, NY

This was the passenger main line connection to Geneva, which was by-passed in the late 1800s due to steep grades down into the valley. With the cessation of passenger service in 1961, it was removed between Geneva Jct. and Trumansburg, and from there to Ithaca in 1966. A 1967 flood control project completely eliminated the original LV yard and engine facilities; the yard which exists today was built then. The line from the south connects to the former branch up the east side of the lake to serve a salt mine and a power plant.

The one passenger car at the station, which was a restaurant for years before becoming a bank, is a former LV work train car, although what it was prior to that is unknown. The other car is Boston & Maine; the caboose former NYC; and the locomotive an industrial switcher.

Bill Kisselstein
Liverpool, NY