• Loosing the E & N

  • Discussion of the historical operations related to the Central Railroad of New Jersey; Lehigh & Hudson River; Lehigh & New England; Lehigh Valley; and the Reading Company. Visit the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society for more information.
Discussion of the historical operations related to the Central Railroad of New Jersey; Lehigh & Hudson River; Lehigh & New England; Lehigh Valley; and the Reading Company. Visit the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society for more information.

Moderators: metman499, scottychaos, CAR_FLOATER, Franklin Gowen, David, Marty Feldner

  by wis bang
 
This Sunday I came home to work on the motorcycle hillclimb in Steel City. Observed a number of trains on the old LV from the hillside during the race. After the event we all return to the club's facility in Palmer Township & I got my first ride through 25th street since they removed the E & N bridge & demolished the old Tredwell Corp property. Sadly another Home Depot is almost ready. You can see the utility poles along the old E & N ROW behind the new store.

It was amazing to see the changes at the Junction of Wm. Penn & 25th sts., the only evidence of the ROW is part of the abutment on the east side going into the old Dixie Cup plant.

when I left the club, I drove back down Tatamy road & turned east on Bushkill Park Dr. and the E & N rails are still in the street & looking back I could see the over grown bridge across the creek. Farther down at the old Binney & Smith plant, I drove around back & only a small amount of rail remains embedded in blacktop. The old factory has been converted to offices and only one small loading dock remains as evidence of rail service. The siding by the powerhouse that always had Wax tankcars under steam has vanished & it's hard to see where the ROW continued north of the plant.

Further down I also saw the bridge near Easton Iron & Metal but that's all. all of the rail down there is gone, comming down 13th street the old coal yard's elevated tipple is stripped down to just thh concrete supports.

Is there any other remains of the E & N? Is the short timber trussle still standing up in West Easton?

  by Urban D Kaye
 
The li'l bit behind my grandparents' old house on Spring Street is a trail...there's still one old telephone poll there...last I checked there were lots of insulators still intact.

Image

  by Urban D Kaye
 
Here's a view from the same spot, facing the opposite direction, toward the Xing...taken in 1976.

Image

  by wis bang
 
Up in West Easton there was a small trestle over a street, I think it was Iron street, where there was a section of the ROW on a fill. I remember thinking how I should get photo's of this [just like I wanted the Valley station b/4 they tore the top off, etc.] How did this area fit into the trail? I'd think the neighbors would want the fill out of their way...The ROW went past spring street & crossed Keystone & Iron sts on it's way to 25th street.

  by carajul
 
The E&N was abandoned by CR in 1983 because the bridge over the Lehigh River was unsafe, as were the wooden bridges along the line. The bridge pillars would sway 3' when a train ran across. Even in the LVRR times the bridge was an operating headache. It dated back to the 1880s and was never built with today's load weights in mind. Plus the row just over the Lehigh River bridge is all washed out. CR still served the branch from the northern end but told what few customers remained, mainly Mack Printing, to use trucks. As the above poster noted, almost all the large industrial customers are out of biz.

The BR&W tried to acquire the branch but failed due to sneaky politicians who sold the row to the township for a whopping $1 (that's ONE dollar). As far as CR, the cost to maintain the line was simply much higher then revenue. And the cost to repair the birdge...forget it. A lot of E&N traffic in LV times was interchange, but with all the lines under one road now, CR, that was no longer needed.

I tried walking the row north after it passes under Rt 22 but couldn't find it. There is still a very faded crossbuck along the original E&N main that paralelled Rt. 22 past 13th st Jct. Rails remain in many grade xings. The the approach signal mast is laying in the dirt on the north Lehigh River bank before the bridge.

E&N

  by railroadcarmover
 
I too made an attempt to see about aquiring the line for revenue service. Harcross Pigments was receiving 40 tanker trucks of "pickle liquor" from Bethlehem Steel on a weekly basis. This product was a waste item not needed by Bethlehem Steel and it was actually used by Harcross in their pigment making process. They also received caustic's and an occasional gon of scrap. Harcross was behind my attempts. I also spoke to the Palmer Township engineer and planners who considered the idea workable. The problem was Conrail sold the line to the township, BUT had also sold the rail for scrap and half the line was torn out before i could really act.
This would have taken many trucks off the road.

  by wis bang
 
I had a ride on the E & N around the age of six. The LV had stopped running passinger service and the Brotherhood of RR trainmen's picinic was in bushkill park. We rode three old LV passinger cars pulled by an Alco SW. We loaded at Easton Station; backed out over the Delaware & headed thru the yard & over the Lehigh to Bushkill Park. I remember being disapointed when my dad showed up after work & we went home by car.

My Grandfather told some stories about the bridge. I'm just amazed that the line that was "Always" there can be so gone already. Seeing the bridge over 25th street removed means the rest of the line is going to follow. I know the industry is long gone.......that's why I live in New Jersey now.

  by carajul
 
I know it's sad to see the line go, but let's face it, the RR is there due to economics. No customers = no revenue = no reason to be there. If the E&N were still there today there really are no big customers left that would have supported the property tax and maint.

If anyone can tell me where to follow the line north from 13Th St Jct I'd appreciate it. The only line I can follow is the E&N that paralleled Rt 22.

  by wis bang
 
It stays on the west bank of the creek following it past the two mill sites N of Elementis or whatever they call C.K.Williams these days. If you cross the bridge at the Binney & Smith plant you crossed the ROW before turning & going up hill. The old crayon mill is now offices but you'll see a angled Box Car high loading dock. The Row follows the creek

Going back on Bushkill Drive go north and make the next left, Bushkill Park Road & you'll see the Bridge & crossing. The park is on a penninsula surrounded by the creek & the ROW followed the east side around the hill before crossing back to the west side into Penn pump's plant.

Basically follow bushkill drive north and any bridge crossing over, used to cross the ROW too. All the way to the end of Bushkill Drive.