I was on vacation with my parents in August of 1972 and persuaded them to spend the night in Allentown PA. I didn’t have much knowledge of the area other than several railroads ran through there. So in the late afternoon/early evening I borrowed the Impala and cruised around.
Dusk was fast approaching when I found the big Allentown yard. The first subject my eyes locked in on were two Delaware & Hudson ALCo PAs out in the yard. I was frustrated that they weren’t going anywhere soon, and I couldn’t get a picture.
Allentown Yard had until recently been a Central of New Jersey (legally Central of Pennsylvania) facility. The struggling railroad decided to pull out of Pennsylvania. Their main line paralleled the Lehigh Valley from Easton to Wilkes Barre, and the two roads had previously consolidated some trackage in the name of economy. An improved connection between the two railroads in Bethlehem allowed LV to use the big yard. Reading and Lehigh & New England also used it.
1. LV wreck service car was a converted boxcar. It had originally been assigned to Sayre PA. Bethlehem PA. 08-09-1972.
2. An eastbound LV freight is ready to leave. Bethlehem PA.
3. CNJ ALCo RSD-4 1614 has just finished a cut on the westbound hump. Bethlehem PA.
4. Well let’s just go down there and take a closer look! Bethlehem PA.
5. 6-axle 1600 HP ALCos were ideal hump engines. This was the last RSD-4; they also had one RSD-5 numbered 1615. Bethlehem PA.
6. Leased F7a 14 was ex-B&O 4582. CNJ had also leased 10 ex-Wabash F7s from the N&W. I’ve seen a photo of one of those used on this hump in tandem with the 1614. Bethlehem PA.
7. After getting instructions they head back to the receiving yard for another cut. Bethlehem PA.
8. At the engine terminal I found Reading GP35s 3653, 3652, U30C 6304 and GP35 3656. Reading renumbered the 35s into the 3600 series to make them compatible with C&O/B&O/WM’s in the 3500 series. Reading had 37. Bethlehem PA.
9. U30C 6304. Reading had 5 of these, the only GEs on their roster. Bethlehem PA.
10. The other side of 6304. Reading had two lines into the area. One line came up from around Philadelphia to Bethlehem. The other came up from Reading. Bethlehem PA.
11. CNJ built these cabs around 1942 from the familiar Reading design. The yellow ball was intended as a large marker. Bethlehem PA.
12. Lehigh Valley leased this Shawmut SW9. Bethlehem PA.
13. LV F7a 562 leads F3bs 521, 513 and GP18 303 out of Bethlehem on an eastbound freight. This lashup shows up in the MSB books and seems to have been kept together. Those were perhaps the last Fs in operation on the Lehigh Valley. Bethlehem PA.
14. No more light. I headed back to the motel. Abandoned JU interlocking in the background was controlled by Steel tower. Bethlehem PA.
15. I headed back to the Bethlehem engine terminal early the next morning, August 10th. CNJ’s only RSD-5 was getting attention from the shop boys. Bethlehem PA.
16. SD45 7601 was being serviced with two ALCo C630s. Bethlehem PA.
17. SW8s 265 and 250 are on the turntable. 256-273 were equipped with dynamic brakes for use on coal branches around Hazleton. 265 is one of that group. Bethlehem PA.
Better get back to the motel. I think we wound up in New York city later this day. I would have preferred to stay in Allentown and Bethlehem.
I have not been back since.