LVRR Operations

C628s at Easton Ed PainterPhoto by Ed Painter

What you’ll find here is information about how the Lehigh Valley Railroad operated, especially in its later years, when a good deal of its revenue came from bridge traffic. Who were its customers, what did they ship, what trains served them, which railroads did the LV interchange with and where, and what trains moved all this on-line and bridge traffic over the road?

These are the questions the modeler has to ask in order to operate a model railroad in a manner that bears at least some resemblance to the prototype. Operating your model railroad can add a lot of fun to an already fascinating hobby. To “operate” you don’t need to go “whole hog” with timetables and fast clocks, nor do you have to represent every train that the prototype ran. How far you go is up to you, but regardless of how deep you want to go, I think you’ll find that information about how the real LVRR did things will add to your enjoyment!

Information about the physical plant (locomotives and rolling stock, structures, etc.) will be found in the Equipment section.

On-Line Customers and Interchange Traffic

Chart of On-Line Shippers, Their Locations, and Traffic Generated (1969 – 1972)
This chart was assembled from over 150 pages of Traffic Track Diagrams issued by the Sales Department, plus Employee Timetables issued by the Operations Department. Carload figures are currently available for only these four years.

Example Traffic Track Diagram: Bethlehem Sales Territory, 1972 (447K PDF file*) Source: PSA MG-274**
Many people have asked about what the LVRR Sales Department called “traffic track diagrams,” or sometimes “track charts.” These were not graphical representations of the trackage, but lists of customers according to where they were located. Customers along the main line were shown as being on the north or south (railroad direction) of the tracks, and often had mileages listed for them. Branch Line customers did not have locations shown very clearly – neither N or S of tracks nor mileages, and often only grouped together by town, not necessarily in the order they were encountered. Since each Sales Territory issued its own Traffic Track Diagram, they did not all look the same. The one linked here is typical – neither the clearest nor the most obsure! It was chosen because it represents its entire Sales Territory in only seven pages, the shortest of all those issued.

Customer Lists, probably 1974  (398K PDF file*) Source: PSA MG-274**
It looks like these were probably submitted as a result of a request from the executive offices. The last two pages are from the Bethlehem Sales Territory’s 1973 Traffic Track Diagram, with hand updates for 1973.

Industries Page
Photos of LV customer plants from various sources.

 

Freight Schedules & Locomotive Rosters

Passenger Train Schedules & Consists

Operating Forms

Business Documents

Interlocking Towers & Telegraph Calls

 


* If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download a free copy here.

** Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA. Uncatalogued material in Manuscript Group 274.

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