Author: Peter Brill
Coverage of the final era of CNJ’s operations in Pennsylvania, 1947-1972, has required the splitting of volume V into two books. The contents of volume V-A, which focuses on operations, are as follows:
In the era 1947-1972, Lehigh Coal & Navigation’s Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad continued to be operated by CNJ. The Central Railroad of Pennsylvania, which conducted CNJ’s Pennsylvania operations, was merged back into CNJ on January 1, 1953. The Pennsylvania Division was created to absorb the CRP’s operations.
The L&S, built for anthracite traffic, funneled ever-dwindling hard coal tonnage eastbound to tidewater from Ashley, Penobscot and Mauch Chunk yards as CNJ continued to reconfigure operations with a focus on general freight traffic and unit bituminous coal trains via Allentown Yard. Operations in this quarter century, symbol freights as well as drills, are documented in a variety of paperwork including dispatcher’s sheets, WK tower sheets, Scranton engine terminal dispatchments, employee time books and time tables.
In 1965, CNJ, LV and RDG coordinated and rationalized their operations in the Lehigh Valley. LV and RDG closed smaller yards and moved their Allentown area switching terminal activities and interchange into Allentown Yard. CNJ and LV combined segments of their main lines.
The first road freight diesels, five EMD F3A-F3B-F3A sets, arrived in 1947 followed by five Baldwin DR4-4-1500 A-B-A sets the next year. The economic benefits occasioned the closure of Ashley Planes in 1948. The ranks of 2-8-2’s, 4-6-2’s, 0-6-0’s and 0-8-0 dwindled. Purchases of RS3’s, RSD4’s, H24-66’s, GP7’s, SW7’s and SW9’s resulted in complete dieselization of Pennsylvania operations in 1953. Fairbanks Morse Train Masters replaced the Baldwin double-enders in passenger service but the loss of mail contracts released these and other units such as RS3’s and GP7’s into freight service. The F3’s were traded in for SD35’s in 1965 and two years later CNJ took over the lease of ten B&O SD40’s. A second hand leased fleet of B&O and N&W F7’s was assembled in the late 1960’s.
Scheduled passenger service was gradually cut back to Allentown while the Interstate Express became a mail and baggage train before expiring in 1963. August 21, 1967 marked the end of all passenger train service between Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.
LC&N put the L&NE up for sale. In 1961, CNJ bought the trackage generating the anthracite and cement carloadings while the main to Maybrook Yard was abandoned. Operations of the Lehigh & New England Railway, CNJ’s new subsidiary, were initially based in Tadmor and Arlington yards. L&NE’s fleet of FA’s, RS2’s and S2’s was replaced by CNJ RSD4’s, GP9M’s, F7’s, SW7’s and SW9’s. CNJ ended operations on LC&N’s L&S Railroad on March 31, 1972. LV took over with the exception of the former L&NE operations which CNJ retained until 1974.
300 pages, soft cover, glossy paper, indexed, 145 photographs including 59 in color, 12 maps, 5 illustrations and 131 examples of newspaper and magazine articles plus railroad paperwork.