• Pen Argyl

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by OCtrainguy
 
I drove through Pen Argyl on my way to Slateford Jct. from Allentown on Friday. By looking at my map, there is/was extensive railroad trackage, including a yard in Pen Argyl. My question is: Which railroad served the town? Is there any current rail service there? I couldn't really tell that much as I was driving, though my map did indicate a grade crossing on Route 512 that I did not see.

  by cjvrr
 
This was the main yard and engine facilities for the Lehigh and New England Railroad. Several posts can be found about the yard and its possible redevelopment into a Walmart over on the Lehigh and New England Forum.

Chris

  by krobar
 
Pen Argyl was also the main car repair shop and they did heavy overhauls on the locos there. The DL&W and later EL had a spur that connected with the L&NE at the shops. That trackage came from the southeast to northwest in direction. If you look closely near the service road that enters the shops you can see the old roadbed, as usual it's easier seen in the winter. After the L&NE abandoned the EL operated a stub end section of the old mainline the ended just west of Broadway in Wind Gap to serve one or two customers. Of course that would later be abandoned shortly after Conrail :( . Hope this helps. :-)

  by mikedc3
 
About a year ago, there was a bus trip touring the DLnW BnP branch. Two retired DLnW men were with us. They showed us that in Pen Argyl there was a section of track that both the DLnW and the LNE used. It started near a bridge near the center of town. The two guys told us that there was a "Thing" stored near the beginning of this section of track. When the Lackawanna was using the track they would take this "thing" with them to show the LNE that they were up there. When the DLnW would leave, they would place this "thing" back on a hook. For the life of me I can't remember what the "Thing" was though. A bell or sign or something. I thought that was pretty cool.
  by henry6
 
The "thing" referred to was a "staff" which the engineer removed from its place and carried with him to show he had the authority to use the track. Description of its use and authority is found in employee timetables for the DL&W/B&P and LNE roads. From Pen Argyl the LNE main ran over to Portland for another DL&W interchange before jumping across the Delaware on th;e way to Maybrook, NY.
  by mikedc3
 
Nope, It wasn't a staff. The two retired DLnW guys explained the staff system to us while we were exploring Bangor yard. The staff system covered only part of the BnP branch. and were stored in a staff machine. They told us how the machine worked too but I don't recall exactly how.
The staff's were used to give rights to a section of track.

This Thing in Penn Argyl was something else. I think it was hung on a pole or something and was only used to show the LNE that the Lackawanna was using the tracks ahead.
I'm going to try to e mail one of the guys that put the trip together to ask him about this.
henry6 wrote:The "thing" referred to was a "staff" which the engineer removed from its place and carried with him to show he had the authority to use the track. Description of its use and authority is found in employee timetables for the DL&W/B&P and LNE roads. From Pen Argyl the LNE main ran over to Portland for another DL&W interchange before jumping across the Delaware on th;e way to Maybrook, NY.
  by henry6
 
a new one on me....can't wait for further explanations! Anybody got a LNE employees's table?

  by mikedc3
 
This is the responce I got from the guy who put the bus trip together. He doesn't remember what it was either. Leo, was one of the retired DLnW men on the trip.

<<<With out calling Leo, I think it was just a stone or ball? It was kept just on a wall, as in no one would ever take it, cause it was just somthing no one would ever think about using, cause it was worthless.

I don't think the DL&W ever went to the L&NE shops, That was EL after the L&NE went under. Could be wrong on that but................?>>>>

  by mikedc3
 
I think the trackage in question was here:
http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?t ... 8&z=18&w=2

I think the bus backed down the driveway to the baseball field to turn around whilt the DLnW/ guys explained the operation to us.
Last edited by mikedc3 on Sun Nov 28, 2004 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by mikedc3
 
This is just a quick hack job of the jct where the "Thing" was used.

Image
  by gravelyfan
 
mikedc3 wrote:
This Thing in Penn Argyl was something else. I think it was hung on a pole or something and was only used to show the LNE that the Lackawanna was using the tracks ahead.
I'm going to try to e mail one of the guys that put the trip together to ask him about this.
Mike, below are a few of my notes from the "Pen Argyl" portion of that 10/26/03 trip. It was a fabulous trip, by the way. Thanks to Bob Bahrs for putting it together.

Trip Notes begin:
The actual junction [Pen Argyl Branch junction with the B&P main) point was located on a short passing siding on the north side of the main track. The branch curved away from the main and paralleled the road into town and passed under an L&NE branch. The L&NE overpass was abandoned many years ago, and a grade level L&NE spur was constructed to link with the Pen Argyl Branch. Leo [Suprys, a steam-era DLW/B&P man who retired from Conrail, one of the tour guides on this trip] recalls that the “signal” for whether the L&NE was on the branch was an old bell that hung from a post. When the L&NE crew came into town they took the bell off the post and carried it with them until they came back.

We drove around the curve and into town. The 1926-vintage freight house still stands but did not appear to be used at this time. There is a 1911 picture of the earlier station and surrounding area in the Taber book (20th Century Volume 1 page 352). It appears that some of the houses on the opposite side of Main Street in the photo are still in existence.

The L&NE branch connection remained in place into the 1980’s. This allowed the EL and later Conrail to reach the L&NE shop area in Pen Argyl, which over time served a number of rail served businesses. It has been reported that the site of the L&NE shop complex may be demolished to allow construction of a giant retail complex.
End Trip Notes

Hope this helps!

  by thebigham
 
Didn't the L&NE - DL&W connection have a switchback?

Chris

  by thebigham
 
I'm going to Pen Argyl tomorrow to see what is left of the LNE shops.

Chris
  by thebigham
 
The L&NE shops are still there. Someone was plowing the area. A couple of dump trucks were in the shop building.

The cashier at the gas station near the shops said that WalMart is still going in there. She said the red flags next to the road was where a new road was going to be built ino the shops area.

Get your pictures now!

Is the roundhouse going to bulldozed too?

Chris
  by jrevans
 
I heard rumors that somebody was going to dig out the turntable for usage elsewhere. Any truth to that? Was it still there, buried in the pit?

I took some pictures from there a few years ago when I stumbled upon it while taking a motorcycle ride:

http://jrevans.fbody.com/pen_argyl_11162001/