carajul wrote:Without this turning into a 500 page chat can I just get simple answers...
1. Is the Bethlehem Branch now officially abandoned?
2. Does NS still own it or did they sell it?
3. Why did NS not want it anymore? Was the closing of Beth Steel the final nail in the coffin?
Here's my take on it:
1.) From the split off of the ex-LV main by the Bethlehem Union Station, to just South of I-78, the line is officially abandoned. The City of Bethlehem persuaded NS to abandon the line so they could purchase it for their "greenway". I filed a protest with the STB, but to no avail. They said that passenger service could be retained by using PBNE trackage through the mill complex to reach the ex-LV main. Wrong.
2.) After service was abandoned, the City of Bethlehem bought the part that I mentioned above.
3.) As far as I understand, there was no use for it after Bethlehem Steel closed.
From just South of I-78, the Bethlehem Branch is owned by SEPTA and not abandoned. They really don't want service on it though and have recently leased out large sections of the ROW to be trails, but the agreement states that the trails will be removed if rail service is restored.
SEPTA had the "first right of refusal" to purchase the abandoned section of track from Bethlehem Union Station to just past I-78, but they passed on it, basically saying that Bethlehem wasn't a relevant service area for SEPTA to be concerned about.
Jim's train Web Pages
- (Actually, this site doesn't exist any more....)