Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Discussion related to the Lehigh Valley Railroad and predecessors for the period 1846-1976. Originally incorporated as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company.

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Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby zaboha » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:16 am

First off, glad to be part of this forum. This is my first post so hello to everyone.

I was recently hiking on the Lehigh River Gorge trail which I believe is the former location of the Lehigh Valley RR line. We entered at the Rockport access point which is south of White Haven and headed south and near Luke Falls there is a structure I'm interested in finding what its purpose was. This location is maybe about 1/4 to 1/2 mile below the old Rockport station where there was a water tank to replenish the steam locomotives, so my initial thought was a small water tower but that would seem to be redundant.

Lukes-Falls-Structure-Lehigh-Gorge-State-Park.jpg


I know a canal system operated before and concurrently to the early railroads but was destroyed by a flood and never repaired. Any thoughts, or opinions are appreciated.

Thanks
Z
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby BR&P » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:16 pm

Image

Can't give you an answer, but that's a neat-looking structure and it does suggest a water tank or tower. Could it have been a pump house of some sort, to raise the water to the elevation needed for the locomotives?
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby zaboha » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:02 am

I never thought of a pump house. There could be validity to that since the historic location Rockport Station tower is upgrade of this structure and Luke Falls which is directly adjacent to the line is also upgrade a very short distance. That would mean you could gravity feed the water to the pump house. I'll see if I can find a map to post.
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby zaboha » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:13 am

Here is a Google Map of the relationship of this structure to the Rockport station.

RockportMap.jpg


For Historic perspective, below is a picture of the Rockport station.

rockportcnj.jpg
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby JoeS » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:15 am

Looking at an old USGS map, it shows that the Jersey Central RR was on that side (west) of the river, while Rockport Tunnel and the Lehigh Valley RR were on the east side.

Maybe moving this thread to the CNJ forum would get more knowledgeable folks looking at it.
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby zaboha » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:16 pm

JoeS,

Sorry, I'm still getting used to all the divisions here. Might have been a better place to post. I'll check into how to move a post. Thanks!
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby JoeS » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:02 pm

No problems here. I assumed it was the LV myself until I got curious and started looking at maps.

I will defer to others with more LV knowledge to confirm my assertion that the trail is the former CNJ r-o-w.

As far as moving a post I think that can only be done by a moderator.
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby pumpers » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:37 pm

Yes, from just north of Jim Thorpe (at the Glen Onoko parking lot), the trail heading(on average) north up through White Haven is the former CNJ, with the active tracks being ex LV. A few miles north of White Haven, the trail switches to the LV and the CNJ ROW has the active tracks. It switches again before you get to the Wilkes Barre/Scranton area I believe.
JS
Edit. Just did some checking on the details. Heading north from the switch from the CNJ to LV Row (a few miles north of White Haven), the trail keeps going to Mountain Top and ends there (on LV ROW). The active tracks switch back from the CNJ ROW to the LV about 2 miles north of Mountain Top (at Laurel Run), but there is no trail at that point.
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby charlie6017 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:08 am

Hi Zaboha,

Welcome aboard! I posted your pic to a Facebook group and asked your question and it is indeed a water tower base. Apparently there
was a station stop right there and locomotives took on water at the location.

I'm not sure if you are already on Facebook, but here's a link to the LV Chapter NRHS group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/lvnrhs/

Charlie
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby zaboha » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:06 pm

Charlie,

Thanks so much for the information. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

My initial thoughts is that it was a water tower base but then when I found the pictures of the station about 1/2 mile upgrade it made me wonder why there would be two tanks so close together. I've been looking into it a bit and it appears there was the early railroads that ran up the gorge at the time of the canals. The canals ceased operation after a large flood and I now wonder if this was a first water tower and it was damaged or destroyed so a second one with a more permanent station and access out of the gorge was built??

I will definitely look up the group on Facebook, sounds like it would be a great source for info.

Thanks again!
Z
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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby charlie6017 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:29 pm

zaboha wrote:Charlie,

Thanks so much for the information. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

My initial thoughts is that it was a water tower base but then when I found the pictures of the station about 1/2 mile upgrade it made me wonder why there would be two tanks so close together. I've been looking into it a bit and it appears there was the early railroads that ran up the gorge at the time of the canals. The canals ceased operation after a large flood and I now wonder if this was a first water tower and it was damaged or destroyed so a second one with a more permanent station and access out of the gorge was built??

I will definitely look up the group on Facebook, sounds like it would be a great source for info.

Thanks again!
Z


You are welcome! I am thinking you are right.......I forget the year, thinking maybe late 1800's was the big flood
that wiped out miles of CNJ and LV tracks.

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Re: Rockport PA-Lehigh Gorge structure??

Postby lvrr325 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:52 am

pumpers wrote:Yes, from just north of Jim Thorpe (at the Glen Onoko parking lot), the trail heading(on average) north up through White Haven is the former CNJ, with the active tracks being ex LV. A few miles north of White Haven, the trail switches to the LV and the CNJ ROW has the active tracks. It switches again before you get to the Wilkes Barre/Scranton area I believe.
JS
Edit. Just did some checking on the details. Heading north from the switch from the CNJ to LV Row (a few miles north of White Haven), the trail keeps going to Mountain Top and ends there (on LV ROW). The active tracks switch back from the CNJ ROW to the LV about 2 miles north of Mountain Top (at Laurel Run), but there is no trail at that point.


Actually that's not quite correct. Per the D&L Trail website the section above Mountain Top is considered part of the trail however "although portions of this trail section may be passable on foot or mountain bike, this section has not been completed and improved."

There is a gap at Glen Summit that has to be detoured around, the website only says there is an obstruction, but a segment of the ROW is privately owned as close as I can gather.
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