West Catasauqua to Lehighton

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Looking west from the old Lehigh Valley ROW towards the point where the active CP line leaves the old LV and travels on the old Central of New Jersey. Photo by Matt Gibbons.

This abandoned part of the Lehigh Valley main line along the Lehigh River extends from West Catasaqua to Slatington (where there was a connecting track to the Reading), to Lehigh Gap, Bowmanstown, to Lehighton. This section was reportedly torn out in the late 1980s, but was officially abandoned in the mid 1970s before the formation of Conrail. There was a LV branch from Bowmanstown to the southwest to Lizard Creek, Andreaus and Snyders (it paralleled a Lehigh & New England branch along this section), then to Rauschs, McKeansburg, Orwigsburg and to a connection with the Pennsylvania at Schuylkill Haven. This branch was apparently abandoned in the 1950s.

Matt Gibbons provides additional information about the picture: The signal you can see in the picture still faces east on the old LV main and is still displaying a stop indication for tracks that are no longer there. From what I have been told, the way the interlocking is wired, that signal has to remain standing and lit, otherwise the interlocking will not function. The track you a see curving to the right is the ramp the CNJ built in 1965 to get from its main to the LV main. This was part of the CNJ and LV efforts to reduce their redundant trackage. You can see the old CNJ main behind the signal. The bridge that was there was there was torn out a few years ago. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Thanks to Matt Gibbons for contributing information about this route.

The majority of this section is now Rails-to-Trails - the Slatington to W Catasauqua section is under developement.

Corax
eastern, PA
1/23/2010

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The LV main was not abandoned prior to the formation of Conrail. For the first few months of Conrail, the Delaware and Hudson trains ran the old LV main while CR trains travelled the old L & S to Allentown yard.

I was on one of the crews that removed these rails in 1986.

Keith
Jefferson, ME
10/17/2011

[Thanks for the picture, Keith!  —Greg Harrison]

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The "ghost " signal in the picture for the old LV main has since been removed by NS.

Andy Brandley
Langhorne, PA
12/30/2011

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i noticed possible abandoned rail on the map.does anyone know if there is any abandoned rail in the area on the map?please let me know.thank you.

george oakley
reading, PA
5/27/2013

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There are lots of Abandoned & Forgotten Railbeds.

Thanks to Russ Nelson, I have used http://www.openstreetmap.org/ to find them.

There are No Railroad Company Names on the Maps. But, they are easy enough to figure out, knowing some of the information.

Ed
Walnutport, PA
6/4/2013

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i know the rail line is owned by norfolk/southern through mergers.i did see abandoned rail on the line.i think it was near lehighton.i could be mistaken.if anybody knows of any abandoned rail on this line,please let me know.thank you.

george oakley
reading, PA
6/5/2013

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The Branch mentioned above is the http://www.abandonedrails.com/Pottsville_Branch

Andrew Carbine
Glenside, PA
1/23/2014

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andrew,there is a pottsville branch?i do not remember seeing a pottsville branch on the site.let me know where it is so i could look at it.thanks.keep in touch.

george oakley
reading, PA
1/24/2014

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George, the link posted right there in my last comment is the link to the Pottsville Branch. It's one of the newer ones added. I saw it wasn't listed and knew there used to be a branch there, because I used to camp along it and have seen two of the stone arch bridges that were part of the pottsville branch. I had found an old map that told me the name of the branch and that it connected with this one.

Andrew Carbine
Glenside, PA
1/24/2014

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thanks,andrew.you said you camped along this abandoned rail line.do you know if any rail,bridges,crossing gates or junction boxes are still on the line?let me know.in the meantime i will check out the site.keep in touch.

george oakley
reading, PA
1/25/2014

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