• Allentown - West End Branch LVRR

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by BuddCarToBethlehem
Here's a question... What happened to most of the roadbed? What I mean is... Who took ownership of that land. I'm pretty sure that after the city built that bridge at the bottom of Ridge St. over Jordan Creek and bisected that junk yard they later removed the last of the remaining rail west of 6th St. along Sumner was removed before they widened the road which was somewhere between '98 & '02. I was working in Allentown when they did the construction. The city condemned a house on the SW corner of Sumner & 6th and tore that down. However the railbed from 17th (between 17th & Saint Cloud to be precise) & 13th between Gordon & Liberty remained fairly intact. Until the Wawa at Gordon & 15th expaned and built the addition right where the path was.

I made the mistake of asking a real estate attorney what the procedure would be... She had no clue... What was I thinking, expecting one of our corporate lawyers to know anything about the law!

I once asked the owner of Cope Carpet about it. The line ran right behind his building. He said he didn't know, and he never gave it thought before. On Google Earth you can see sections that are grass and other parts that are converted to parking or just paved with asphalt. Alas, the Ritter & Smith building has been torn down... I remember 15 years ago the employees complaining that Home Depot & Builders Square were killing their business... Ironically Builders Square went out of business first, though.
  by mrobinson
City of Allentown purchased anything that could be legally sold and then re-subdivided the parcels as needed. Some of the property was retained by the City for the relocation of Sumner Avenue, which was to follow a somewhat different route under 7th Street.

  by trapper
I remember working both the west end & barber branches once each off the trainmans exter list in 80 or 81. The west end
job the day i covered it had a fair amount of work, cant recall what industry we switched but it took forever to get out
just past the "ice city ?' part of the branch. I believe that was as far as the r.r. went at that time. With the bad track
condition and many crossings to flag it was a pain in the butt for the trainman.

The day i worked the barber branch i think we picked up or delivered cars at the company that made/machined large
machinery parts (Taylor ?). I do well remember going all the way out to the end of the line to get an mty gon or flat at
what at that time was a monument/gravestone business on Hamliton st. The track wound its way through the park and
we had to keep a sharp eye out for the wandering public. Also recall a couple of low wooden trestles over a stream or
pond that groaned as we passed over....

Had almost forgotten those days untill i found this thread.
  by BuddCarToBethlehem
trapper wrote:Also recall a couple of low wooden trestles over a stream or pond that groaned as we passed over....
I think a few years ago the city wanted to take out the remaining tressles from Little Lehigh Creek park. But the anglers protested. That part of the park and creek was purposely designed for fishing. A lot of anglers like to use the tressle to fish.

http://molovinskyonallentown.blogspot.c ... chive.html
(scroll down to the March 20 posting) I think he may have his dates a bit confused. I wouldn't consdier April 1976 to be the "early 1970's," but then again math was never my best subject.

Also, one87th is correct...
http://street-views.com/forums/viewtopi ... 54#p786053
That building on the southeast corner of N. 14th & Gordon was a carbarn for Lehigh Valley Transit Co. I don't remember what business is there now. I worked in that neighborhood for 5 years and in summer when they'd leave the garage door open you could see the tracks inside. Besides I think LVT used "Pennsylvania" gauge so connecting to the West End branch wouldn't have been possible. That must have a heck of a grade from Sumner Ave to 17th street as well.