• What are your interests in the L&HR?

  • Discussion of the L&HR and its predecessor the Warwick Valley Railroad for the period 1860-1976 at its inclusion with ConRail
Discussion of the L&HR and its predecessor the Warwick Valley Railroad for the period 1860-1976 at its inclusion with ConRail

Moderator: David

  by gawlikfj
The L&HR got shafted by PC and Conrail and didn't deserve it.

  by TSP5-TSP6
I had made three trips as a fireman on the Lehigh & Hudson River RR in the late 60s or early 70s for Penn Central. At this time I was working the Trenton extra list, and PC was operating some of their New England traffic over the LHR into Maybrook NY. I worked two of the trains from Morrisville PA to Maybrook NY via the Belvidere-Delaware Branch while the other assignment was running one light road diesel engine from Morrisville to Phillipsburg NJ (a 12 hour trip) then staying at a hotel in Easton PA overnight. The next morning we went to Oxford Siding in Belvidere NJ by taxi where the train had been placed with the engine we brought up from Morrisville along with two more road engines. LHR pilot crews would be assigned to operate the train from this point into Maybrook Yard.

I remember being impressed with the railroad, the LHR engineer pilots and its method of operation during these assignments. I believe the entire railroad's maximum authorized speed was 40 MPH - single track with passing sidings - automatic block signals in both directions - trains were operated by train orders (no Rule 261) - train order signals at train order offices - and for the most part we moved right along with little delay. This was the type of operation I had to be familiar with when I first started working in engine service for the PRR - in other words, one had to be intelligent as well as familiar with all operating rules and instructions to run trains in this kind of environment. Most train operations today have many improvements such as automatic block signals, cab signals, speed control, speed enforcement systems, computers, etc. Having retired from engine service for Amtrak in 2002 and knowing most T&E people as I do, operating a train without these improvements would scare the s--t out of most operating employees presently working.

I always thought the LHR was a good way around the bottleneck at Weehawken NJ for the Penn Central's New England traffic - too bad about the Poughkeepsie bridge fire in 1974.

  by NJ Vike
Hello TSP5-TSP6.

Thanks for the informative information on the L&HR. We have member in our train club who was also an employee of the L&HR. He currently works for NS now.

  by tech2187
greetings folks...

l&hr interest for me is from the maybrook connection and the poughkeepsie bridge. while those were heavily associated with new haven, l&hr, helped keep that bridge route alive (among other roads).

TSP5-TSP6, did you get to ride over the poughkeepsie bridge at all?

  by TSP5-TSP6
tech2187 -
My trips over the LHR were from Phillipsburg NJ to Maybrook NY only. I believe that all were through trains to New England in which case a former New Haven RR crew would take the train - the railroad from Maybrook to New England was former New Haven RR territory. The LHR main ran from Belvidere NJ to Maybrook NY with trackage rights over the PRR Belvidere Delaware Branch between Phillipsburg NJ and Belvidere NJ. The Delaware River bridge between Easton PA and Phillipsburg NJ was LHR property. Penn Central crews would be assigned to through trains to New England, apparently operating under trackage rights on the LHR to connect with Penn Central (former New Haven) at Maybrook NY.

  by SooLineRob

Thanks for joining in the discussion. I know it's been awhile, but do you recall if the L&HR crews would deliver trains to the Pennsy yard at Phillipsburg, or did the PRR/PC "always" come up to the L&HR Hudson yard to pick up their cars? I was curious about "unit trains", such as the piggyback train CB1/2 and coal trains... how the interchange was handled. Did the L&H drop their train at Hudson and a PRR road crew come up to get it?

Also, before I go "off topic", what were the PRR crew districs for the Phillipsburg work? I noted in your post you worked out of Trenton. If you don't mind a few questions about your career...

Was P'burg a home terminal for Road crews, or just yard/roadswitch/transfer work?

If P'burg was an Away From Home Terminal only, what were the home terminals for crews/trains going to P'burg?

About how many road trains ran daily ran into P'burg, and do you remember any symbols, such as NE-1, NE-2, and which symbols went where?

As far as the L&H/Maybrook jobs go, were the run throughs/trackage right jobs to Maybrook crewed by P'burg men or was Trenton the "supply point" for extra road crews out of P'burg?

Do you recall where the L&H pilots boarded the trains, was it G Tower?

Once you got to Maybrook, did you have to layover for a return train or was it a "one way and deadhead home" job?

I would venture a guess that the '74 bridge fire that devastated the L&HR also abolished many, if not all, road trains to Phillipsburg. Did any Bel-Del road trains continue along until Conrail, or did PC try and shut down P'burg immediately?

Thanks in advance for any responses. I'm not that familiar with Phillipsburg, but all the photos I've seen over the years show 2 to 4 sets of road locomotives at the P'burg yard during the PC years. Must have been a busy place in the PRR years! Take care and Happy New Year!!!

  by TSP5-TSP6
SooLineRob -
Tried twice to get back to you and wasn't able to post my reply - anyone have any suggestions????
Last edited by TSP5-TSP6 on Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by TSP5-TSP6
SooLineRob -
The LHR interchanged at Hudson Yard - a PRR transfer run would operate light with a cabin car from Phillipsburg to pick up cars and return.
Phillipsburg facilities included a flat switching yard, enginehouse with a turntable, yardmasters and crew dispatchers. A small extra list was maintained for extra assignments when needed, such as ore trains for steel plants and coal trains for power plants located on the Bel-Del.
If I remember correctly, all crew changes, boarding pilots for runs over the LHR, etc. were made at Phillipsburg Yard Office. Local freights between Belvidere and Milford were run with Phillipsburg crews. local freights south of Milford were run with Trenton crews. All regular and extra road jobs were divided between Trenton and Phillipsburg crews.
Run through trains to Maybrook would be worked with Trenton crews - they would pick up pilots at Phillipsburg and remain with the train to Maybrook. All my assignments were one way although I do know that some PRR-PC crews did work both ways.
In 1970 Penn Central started to divert New England traffic to the West Shore Line - this action left the LHR and the Belvidere Delaware Branch with local service only.In March 1976, the last road train ran over the Bel-Del (BL-6 - Trenton to Phillipsburg). Rails were removed in 1979 from the Bel-Del between Milford and Stockton and between Lambertville and Trenton.

  by TSP5-TSP6
SooLineRob -
Freight Train Symbols from PRR Timetable 23 April 1967:
BL-5 - Phillipsburg NJ to Edgemoor DE
CB-1 - Phillipsburg NJ to Morrisville PA
NE-3 - Phillipsburg NJ to Morrisville PA
BL-1 - Phillipsburg NJ to Morrisville PA

BL-6 - Washington DC to Phillipsburg NJ
CB-2 - Morrisville PA to Phillipsburg NJ
ABL-2 - Morrisville PA to Phillipsburg NJ
BL-2 - Morrisville PA to Phillipsburg NJ

Many trains ran as extras such as ore trains and coal trains for steel plants and power plants located on the Belvidere Delaware Branch
  by SooLineRob

Thanks for the very quick reply!!! Very interesting stuff! We, the members of this forum, certainly appreciate the insights, memories, and info that T&E folks are willing to share!

Nowadays, when youngsters like myself, see places like Phillipsburg, Maybrook, or Pot Yard, it's somewhat difficult to fully grasp what it was like to work there during your time. All the people, tracks, buildings, that are gone now! Today, we're left with burned out shells of once-busy yard offices, rocky, weed-covered fields littered with spikes, and a concrete milepost with "JC 19" hidden in a row of trees behind some townhouse complex!

Thanks again and have a GREAT 2007...

  by TSP5-TSP6
SooLineRob -

It is amazing how much has changed over the years. My last run was made on an Acela high speeder from New York to Washington - however the most enjoyable runs I made were in freight service on the Bel-Del and LHR Railroad. Nothing like it!
  by Potamus
I grew up just north of Philadelphia (Lower Bucks County, PA) and my parents had a house in the Pocono Mts. Frequently on our way to the Pocono's my parents would stop at the McDonalds in Easton, PA. It was here, at age 10, that I saw my first LHR C420 and fell in love with the paint scheme. Everytime we'd stop I'd hope and pray for a train to arrive on the tressel above or on the bridge to Phillipsburg, NJ. Once Conrail was created a series of books books highlighting the "Brief Look Before Conrail" came out and the LHR was one of the early ones in the series and from that point forward I've tried to find out as much as I could about the LHR. It wasn't until recently that I decided to model the LHR, in HO scale, from Belvidere to Warwick and began doing a "deep dive" into the LHR; particularly between the time period of 1963 - 1968. Given the large number of interchange railroads that did business with the LHR it makes modeling the LHR an opportunity to have lots of locomotives from these railroads present on the layout. Given the short distance of the line it makes modeling the railroad from one end to the other very practical and doable thing. The more I find out about the LHR the more hooked I've become. It truly was a great little railroad. The only thing I regret it that I was not old enough at the time the LHR was around to have explored the actual railroad and watch trains run over on it. I can only view pictures that other have taken and reminisce of those days gone by. Due to the time that has elasped since the trains stopped running it has been difficult trying to get any kind of idea at to what some of the businesses like PS Kramer, Gamma Chemical etc looked like. If any one has any pictures of these businesses when they were serviced by the LHR it would make my HO re-creation much more realistic looking.
  by Bradb14
I'm a model railroader and former ARHS member. Having served on the board of directors in late '80's early '90's I was chairman of the annual convention & fantrip held in Warwick, NY in 1988. W. Gifford Moore was the keynote speaker and he and his wife joined us for the fantrip also!
I'm building a new layout in HO Scale on the LHR Allentown to Maybrook!! having never seen the LHR in action, I love that they were an all Alco road & they stood toe to toe with the big roads to the very end!!

  by rfalcone
Glad to see the old thread has some life still in it.

Any modelling enterprise would be great to follow. I hope, as your layout evolves, you would be willing to post some pics so that we can follow the progress.

The experts are here if you need help!!