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Re: (rshsdepot) Phillipsburg, NJ / Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton

Passenger trains to Phillipsburg and beyond are not quite that simple. 

The CNJ main was severed for I-78 and NJDOT built a connection, the
"Alpha Connector", to the LV main just west of Bloomsbury to allow the
one or two freight customers to be served from the west end. This ramp is
a tight compound vertical and horizontal curve that would have to be
substantially rebuilt for passenger service. Part of the project was the
construction of a double track bridge on the LV over I-78 [even though
the Valley was single track] to facilitate future service. 

The line between the last [eastern]  customer on the west end and the end
of NJT passenger service in High Bridge was abandoned by Conrail but is
owned by the state and remains intact.

West of the Alpha Connector in New Jersey all of the track has been
lifted and the major bridges removed all the way to Greens Bridge. All of
this could be rectified for through service - except that there would
need to be substantial grading on both sides of I-78 for a new overpass. 

West of Phillipsburg - Easton the CNJ ROW is more or less intact, the
biggest obstacle being a pylon supporting the a highway viaduct near
Freemansburg. [About two years ago a fan tried to block PennDOT from
installing the pylon claiming that it would interfere with the
restoration of service. I don't think he got very far.]     

Probably the biggest impediment to providing service to the area is the
city of Bethlehem wanting to take the Reading main through town for a
park. While it will not materially effect a direct New York - Allentown
service it will effectively block through service from Allentown and
downtown Bethlehem to Philadelphia and prevent the north end of the
Bethlehem Branch from serving as a feeder.

Mike Allen

On Fri, 31 Jan 2003 01:08:23 -0500 "Jim Guthrie" <jguthrie_@_pipeline.com>
> Paul asked:
> > 1) Is it feasible to put back the train to Phillipsburg? Or even,
perish the thought, just a little further west to link with the bigger
SMSA (I haven't used that term in years, forgive me)?
> Sure -- by way of the DL&W, LV or CNJ -- take your pick. The DL&W and
LV are used daily by NS freights. The NS is on the ex CNJ right of way,
but the CNJ exists intact all the way to the current end of passenger
service (though  not useable). CP actually has rights to use this line
(and have it restored at NS expense) if they are prohibited from getting
to Oak Island via the LV route for any reason.
> The ex DL&W line is subject to "study" as an expension from

> >
> > 2) or would this museum operate such a train(s)?
> >
> Doubtful. Despite the big plans, my guess is that anything beyond the
ex Bel Del (which would require major trackwork)  going souith is 
problematic. Where would they go? Share tracks with NJT & NS eastward?
Nah. Share tracks  with NS and NJT to Scranton? Nah. Share tracks with NS
> Never. Share tracks with NJT? Never.
> > 3) Which reminds me of a question: Why when a museum or tourist line
does operate at least seasonal service that could interconnect at one
terminus where said terminal is served by a AMTRAK train...why do they
rarely even try to have adequate connection times with the Amtrak trains?
> Isn't that the aim of Adirondack Scenic at Utica? I think they actually
connected last year, did they not?
> Sometimes there are issues between railroad employees and museum 
volunteers on safety issues -- this was a great problem in the NH&I/CR
(SEPTA) connection at Warminster years ago.
> I understand that a new Amtrak station plans for Leaman Place has
provisions for connections to Strasburg.
> OK -- where else do museum/tourist trains and Amtrak meet?
> Cheers,
> Jim
> =================================
> The Railroad Station Historical Society maintains a database of 
> existing
> railroad structures at: http://www.rrshs.org

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The Railroad Station Historical Society maintains a database of existing
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