CNJ Allentown Station

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: http://www.jcrhs.org/

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CNJ Allentown Station

Postby NJTRailfan » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:48 am

Over the last weekend I saw the now abanoned CNJ Station in Allentown. Unfortionatly the tracks were taken out and quite a bit of the surrounding have been developed. Would it be possible to rextend the tracks back to the station or will NJT use another spot for Allentown, Also I noticed a coach car there. Who was the road name?
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby JasW » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:53 am

NJTRailfan wrote:Over the last weekend I saw the now abanoned CNJ Station in Allentown. Unfortionatly the tracks were taken out and quite a bit of the surrounding have been developed. Would it be possible to rextend the tracks back to the station or will NJT use another spot for Allentown, Also I noticed a coach car there. Who was the road name?


I just mentioned in the P'burg thread that if there is service to Allentown, the old LVRR line on (and the old LVRR station site to) which it would presumably run is right next door. There just seems to be a parking lot between the LVRR line and the CNJ station, so I would think it would be theoretically possible. It's a gorgeous station and would make a helluva terminal.
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby Bethlehem Jct. » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:02 pm

I believe that when SEPTA funded a brief extension of Conrail's Bethlehem trains (ex RDG) to Allentown, the Allentown terminus was on the former LV passenger loop on the north side of Union St. It wasn't at the former LV passenger station site, rather it was a few hundred feet south of it, give or take. It wasn't a good location. John R. Pawson mentioned in his book Delaware Valley Rails that most Allentown riders drove to Center Valley and caught the train there.

I think that for NYC-Lehigh Valley commuter train service, ignoring the concerns of NS for the moment, Allentown could use two stations. One near the Auburn St. grade crossing and the other near the Lehigh St. interchange with I-78.
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby NJTRailfan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:40 pm

Would be nice that once the train ran there would be shuittles to Dorney Park in the Summers and year round shuttle service to the airport.
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby NellieBly » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:23 am

I rode the SEPTA service to Allentown in 1979, and it terminated at a gravel parking lot within sight of a large building that I think was the former CNJ station. The point at which the RDC stopped seemed to be literally in the middle of nowhere, with nothing obvious nearby. We just waited until the train departed back to Bethlehem.
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby Bethlehem Jct. » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:32 pm

NellieBly wrote:I rode the SEPTA service to Allentown in 1979, and it terminated at a gravel parking lot within sight of a large building that I think was the former CNJ station. The point at which the RDC stopped seemed to be literally in the middle of nowhere, with nothing obvious nearby. We just waited until the train departed back to Bethlehem.


That was on the LV's former passenger loop through Allentown. The RDC's stopped just shy of the site of their former Allentown passenger station. Had you walked up the rails (compass north) a bit, you'd have found the concrete platform and the foundations as you approached the Hamilton St. bridge that crosses Jordan Creek.
Even today, there's still not a whole lot around there. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the former CNJ/RDG station is not a good location for a passenger station today. It was 100 years ago however.
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby CarterB » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:42 pm

Where exactly was the old LVRR station in Allentown? Was it to the E or W of the LV tracks and did it 'span' Jordon Creek? How exactly did CNJ passenger trains approach/leave the CNJ station (back in, front out, wye, ???)
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby 56-57 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:11 pm

The LV station spanned Jordan Creek, and 'sided' (the front faced the tracks) on Hamilton St, on the 2nd floor the building.

The Allentown Terminal Railroad was located where the American Parkway now runs, to CNJ passenger trains from the north just rolled right in. The only backing moves were for the Queen of the Valley, and the Harrisburger. They'd come in from East Penn Jct, make their stop, then back out.

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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby JasW » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:39 am

From these postcard pics, I would say the front of the building was technically on Hamilton, with passengers descending to the tracks alongside:

Image

Image

Image
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby CarterB » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:53 am

Grand old station for sure, too bad no-one could find a post RR use for it. Looks like the foundation steel over Jordon Creek still exists N 40.60399 W 75.46433
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby JasW » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:34 pm

No doubt it had to go when they widened Hamilton St. and the bridge.

(Note to self: Do not build a train station flush with a two-lane bridge.)
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Re: CNJ Allentown Station

Postby BuddCarToBethlehem » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:53 am

Does anyone remember that sign that stood in front of what is now Modern Plumbing (a former LV Transit building)? It was next to Union St. beside the tracks. It said somthing like "Future site of Allentown - Philadelphia high speed rail line." I also think it was dated 1965. I remember it there when I was in high school and college in the early-mid '90's because I would drive past it when my brother and I went to Zandy's for steak sandwiches. When Modern moved in they painted their sign right over it. I know that the sign is no longer there.

I've discussed this with "Bethlehem Jct." before but I don't recall if you remember it or not.

Also the Hamilton St. Bridge wasn't replaced until 1973, and I believe that the LV station was demolished in '62. Besides it wasn't exactly in a prime location. They literally had water streaming through the crawl space.
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