Bethlehem Branch Stations and Signals

Discussion of the CNJ (aka the Jersey Central) and predecessors Elizabethtown and Somerville, and Somerville and Easton, for the period 1831 to its inclusion in ConRail in 1976. The historical society site is here:

Moderator: CAR_FLOATER

Bethlehem Branch Stations and Signals

Postby Jeremy Zella » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:02 pm

I am looking for any pictures or known locations of the stations on the Bethlehem Branch between S. Bethlehem and Perkasie. I cannot seem to locate where they were exactly. Also I am looking for any documentation of where the signals were located along the branch. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Jeremy Zella
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 1:03 pm
Location: TX/PA/CA/NY/MD

Re: Bethlehem Branch Stations and Signals

Postby Franklin Gowen » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:45 pm

Hello, Jeremy. Is this interest for the sake of just personal curiosity or are you trying something like building a model-railroad layout of the line? if you go to the Blue Comet website, there's an assortment of mid-to-late 1970s photos of those stations. At least with Bing or Google Maps you can follow the line and get a pretty good idea of where the surviving stations are.

As for precise locations of automatic block signals, unless you can somehow luck into pre-1981 railroad documents I'm afraid you're out of luck. I might recommend contacting the RCT&HS, but their archives have been mainly inaccessible to outside researchers for long enough that I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope. The kind of data you're looking for is almost certainly not online.

SEPTA still owns almost all of the Bethlehem Branch, but unlike some other commuter railroads or mainline freight railroads, copies of their employee timetables or other internal engineering documents are not available at train shows or railfan swap-meets or other informal sources for fans. That closes off the other possible major avenue of discovery.

Almost all of the masts which once held the block signals (even if the heads are vandalized or just removed entirely) are still standing north of the electrification's end at Lansdale, going as far north as the Lehigh/Bucks County line. Beyond that point, all are slated for removal as part of the "so-stupid-it-hurts" hike-and-bike trail that's being put in where the railroad once was.
Franklin Gowen • • • • READING COMPANY forum moderator
The long-hoped-for return of this railroad's Fallen Flag forum is here!
In 2018, the RDG overlaps with SEPTA, NS, CSX and several shortlines - that's life . . .
User avatar
Franklin Gowen
Posts: 730
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:19 pm
Location: Philly 'burbs

Re: Bethlehem Branch Stations and Signals

Postby scotty269 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:18 pm

I have 1981 & 1997 Conrail ETT. Any information you think you could use from them, ask away and I will see what I have! I do not have signal locations, but I do have MP locations for Stations, sidings, and what rules were in effect and where.
Posts: 2724
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:47 am
Location: Manayunk, Philadelphia, PA

Re: Bethlehem Branch Stations and Signals

Postby glennk419 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:53 am

User avatar
Posts: 2913
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:44 pm
Location: Southeastern PA & Cape May County, NJ

Return to Central Railroad Company of New Jersey

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest