Crane Junction to Catasauqua
Comments from Eric Augatis on this photo and abandoned line:
This is a picture of the long abandoned Shoenersville Industrial Track from the old Airport Road (PA 987) overpass. This was the former LNE Catasauqua Branch which in it's most recent years broke away from Conrail's Cement Secondary at Crane Junction (between Steuben & Bath, PA). There is a light industrial park located just west of here off Airport Road, where a consignee used to get cars up until about 1994 when the line was torn up back to Crane Junction. This is one of those aspects of railroad photography I enjoy, knowing that a train will never ply it's ROW again. This line shows in the Northeast SPV Atlas as intact/active, but indeed it's long gone (at least since I've been in the area since 1999).
Thanks to Eric Augatis for contributing information.
i was looking at this map and noticed abandoned rail.any information about abandoned rail or bridges would be greatly appreciated.thank you.
I don't know for sure if there is still rail in place in any section of the abandonment. On the LNE most bridges were left to rust with the exception of the high bridge over the Lehigh River between Palmerton and Slatington which after abandonment was subsequently cut up for scrap. The Eastern end of the abandoned section connects with NS's ex-LNE Cement Secondary which continues Northeast to Stockertown. This section really only represents a small section of the Lehigh And New England. Do you mind me asking why you are so interested in abandoned hardware, you've been posting things on almost all of the PA abandonments asking about it?
To answer your question Jason I just ask questions about what is left on these abandoned rail lines including this one because if I do go and plan on looking at these rail lines it makes it more worthwhile to see evidence of what was there when the rail line was in operation.I did grow up in Quakertown and my grandmothers house was within distance of the rail line that ran from philly to Bethlehem.Actually if you looked out the back door of my grandmothers house the rail line was on the other side of the alleyway.Brings back good memories.The reason why I asked about this rail line is because I am very familiar with the area and am wondering what might be gone or what is left.I never knew this rail line existed.
Well, from what I see there isn't much left along most of it. This could be attributed to it being abandoned about 15 years prior to the slaughter of branch lines under Conrail. The view is obscured by some greenage so I can't see everything. It looks like in Catasaqua there is some track left as well as several crossings with tracks still visible in them and possibly some switches.
Jason,thanks for responding and for the information on what might possibly be left of this rail line.I like the comment you made about conrail.As for ownership do you know who the present ownert of this line is or was?I think L&NE is no longer in operation if i am correct.I also looked on the satellite image and probably seen the same things you did so the best way to find out is to go there and look.
The Lehigh and New England has not been in existence since 1961 making, to my knowledge, the second class one railroad to abandon due to road/air competition (first on being the New York Ontario and Western in 1957 after over 20 years of bankruptcy). CNJ bought some of the LNE and I'm not sure if this part was. It is either NS's property or it has been broken into parcels after abandonment.
Jason,i wanted to ask you.I know this question has nothing to do with this rail line but since you give boyertown as where you are from,have you taken a ride on the colebrookedale train from boyertown to pottstown?Also i don't think there is no rail traffic beyond boyertown,is there?
Yes, I have. I'm not actually involved with them but I do know a few people who are. Its a nice ride covering 9.5 mile of what would have been considered "rare mileage" back in Reading Company days because it was rarely used for passenger service after the Colebrookdale Mixed became a freight only train. Further than Boyertown, the tracks were pulled between the 60's and 70's, the original terminus being in Barto. There was some chatter about rebuilding the track along the abandoned portion for passengers and for Martin's Quarry. In terms of abandoned equipment, there is at least one road crossing with rails still in but paved over and a railroad crossing post with out a crossbuck. The foundation to the New Berlinville flag stop remains near Boyertown oil, all bridges are entirely in place and stable, the stations at Bechtelsville and Barto still stand, remnants of a quarry spur along with a stone crusher foundation are visible in Barto, and there is rumored to be a section of abandoned track in Barto as well. Everything is basically in place to rebuild with the exception of two ROW breaches which could be resolved with some grading if service were ever again needed.
Thanks jason for responding.I saw that the colebrookedale rail line does run down to pottstown where it hooks onto the mainline that runs both north and south or east and west however you look at it.As for what is left above boyertown i was curious because i have seen rail and other equipment while down in the area.Who else to ask about this but someone from the area.This rail line would be interesting to hike and examine.Wouldn't you agree?
Jason,i didn't tell you this previously but i actually grew up in lansdale and went to school there so i am familiar with the boyertown area.Maybe you can answer another question i have.Did the colebrookedale line hook up to any rail lines up north?Let me know jason because like i said i am familiar with the area.I also have a question about this line.Are both rail lines at either end still active/
Where did you see said equipment while in the area? The Colebrookdale Branch connected with the Reading Company Minline in the South at Pottstown. In the North, the line made a dead end but during the 1920's there was a proposed extension that would connect with the Catasaqua and Fogelsville Branch in Gehmans or Wentzel (the branch split tow to ends less than a mile apart) via Forgedale and Huffs Church, following the west Branch of the Perkiomen Creek and some grading was completed. On the LNE line in question, the Western (timetable South) connection was made with the CNJ's line to Scranton, now owned by NS. The Eastern (timetable North) end of the line connected with thye LNE branch to Bethlehem. This is now NS's Cement Secondary and both lines are still active.
Jason,what i mean by equipment is actually anything along the rail line itself.Besides rail,ties spikes and plates For example the poles with insulators,junction boxes,crossbucks,signals,bridges and whatever else may be along the rail line.I have found abandoned items like what i mentioned on an abandoned rail line.I did want to mention i did see an article in the reading eagle about re-starting service to martin's quarry and also it was mentioned about going over wal-marts property.I guess that idea is dead in the water,huh?