- Lehigh Division
The Lehigh Division is a
rail lineowned and operated by the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroadin the U.S. stateof Pennsylvania.
The line runs from Packerton north to Mehoopany along former
Lehigh Valley Railroadand Central Railroad of New Jerseylines. At its south end, it connects to the R&N's Reading Divisionand 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 Railwayhave trackage rightssouth of Dupont.
Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroadopened 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 Railroadin 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 Railroadin 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
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 Conrailin 1976, and Conrail sold the Packerton-Mehoopany line to the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroadin 1996. [ [http://www.readingnorthern.com/history.shtml Reading & Northern History] ]
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