Tag Archives: Lehigh Valley

Conrail in the Bowels of New Jersey.

On the old Lehigh Valley, August 1, 1986.

It was a hot, humid and hazy morning. The sunlight was tinted by gauzy smog which softened the scene.

Bob Karambelas and I were exploring the junction at Hunter Tower in Newark, New Jersey, where the former Lehigh Valley crossed the old Pennsylvania Railroad electrified mainline.

Conrail on Lehigh Valley at Newark NJ 206pm Aug 1 1986 Mod-1 Brian Solomon 662698

A westward freight with a pair of SD40-2s was departing Oak Island yard and I exposed this view looking a down a grungy side street with a 200mm lens.

I’ve always been fascinated with urban images like this, where the railroad is prominent but not necessarily dominant, and passes through post industrial decay. Look at the grime on surface of the street and the great beat up old cars!

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Tomorrow: Farewell to an Institution!

Learn more about the evolution of the railroad network, see my book: North American Railroad Family Trees published by Voyageur Press.


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Genesee & Wyoming at P&L Junction, November 4, 1987

The Original G&W.

On the morning of November 4, 1987, I made a speculative foray to P&L (Pittsburgh & Lehigh) Junction near Caledonia, New York. At the time I was living in nearby Scottsville, and I’d occasionally check P&L to see if anything was moving.

Genesee & Wyoming at P&L Junction
Genesee & Wyoming SW1500 47 crosses the Peanut Line at P&L Junction. Thin autumnal high clouds softened the morning sun. The photo was exposed with a Leica M2 with 50mm Summicron on Kodachrome 25 slide film.

P&L Junction had once been a very busy place. Here the original Genesee & Wyoming had connected with Lehigh Valley, Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh, a branch of the Erie, and New York Central’s so-called ‘Peanut Line.’By 1987, the only railroads left were G&W and its Rochester & Southern affiliate.

I was fortunate to find a southward train and I made this image of a southward G&W salt train heading across the diamond with a vestige of the old Peanut Line (that G&W used to reach a couple of miles into Caledonia). A classic ‘tilt board’ crossing signal protected the diamond.

Today, it seems that G&W railroads are everywhere. I even saw a G&W company freight in Belgium a couple of weeks ago. Back then, I couldn’t have imagined that this New York state short line would reach so far!


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