Lehigh Division

Lehigh Division

The Lehigh Division is a rail line owned and operated by the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

The line runs from Packerton north to Mehoopany along former Lehigh Valley Railroad and Central Railroad of New Jersey lines. At its south end, it connects to the R&N's Reading Division and the Norfolk Southern Railway's Lehigh Line; its north end is at the beginning of the NS Lehigh Secondary.

The Norfolk Southern Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway have trackage rights south of Dupont.

History

The Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad opened in 1843 from White Haven to Wilkes-Barre, including the current line from White Haven to Solomon Gap. [http://www.gingerb.com/history.htm Black Diamonds to Tidewater: A Brief Historical Perspective] ] From Jim Thorpe to Beaver Meadows, the Beaver Meadow Railroad and Coal Company [http://oldrailhistory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=61&Itemid=91 (map)] opened a line in 1836. [cite book| title=Railroads and Canals of the United States of America| author=Poor, Henry V.| location=New York| publisher=John H. Schultz & Co| year=1860| url=http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=M0YKAAAAIAAJ| ] The portion from Packerton to Jim Thorpe was opened by the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1855, [http://www.gingerb.com/history.htm Black Diamonds to Tidewater: A Brief Historical Perspective] ] and the line from Penn Haven to White Haven, where the current line switches from the old LV to the old L&S, was opened by the Penn Haven and White Haven Railroad in the early 1860s.Fact|date=February 2007

The L&S opened the "Back-Track" from Solomon Gap to Ashley in 1867, including the present Lehigh Division from Solomon Gap to Laurel Run/Oliver Mills. [ [http://www.gingerb.com/cnj_back-track.htm Black Diamonds to Tidewater: CNJ Back-Track] ] From Oliver Mills to Duryea, the line was built by 1900 as the LV's Mountain Cut-Off.Fact|date=February 2007 After a short piece between Duryea and Pittston Junction (near Pittston), the Lehigh Division returns to the old Lehigh Valley Railroad main line from Pittston Junction to Mehoopany, opened in 1868 as part of the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad.Fact|date=February 2007

The Central Railroad of New Jersey (which leased the L&S) and Lehigh Valley Railroad began to work together in 1965 to eliminate redundant trackage. [ [http://www.gingerb.com/cnj_lehighton_to_wk_interlocking.htm Black Diamonds to Tidewater: CNJ Lehighton to WK Interlocking] ] Both companies were taken over by Conrail in 1976, and Conrail sold the Packerton-Mehoopany line to the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad in 1996. [ [http://www.readingnorthern.com/history.shtml Reading & Northern History] ]

References


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