Lehigh Valley Now

Scenes along the LV in the 90's, by location:


Not a lot of changes here, the brush has grown up and the railroads have changed, and the little station is long gone. This shot by Frank Czajkowski of the east portal from summer 1998


Shots of the station which still stands, Frank C's east view from this year and my own westward view from 1995




Frank Czajkowski got shots of both the stations at Towanda, which still stand adjacent the tracks of the Towanda-Monroeton Shippers Lifeline (huge name for a tiny railroad!). Note next to the passenger station a Lehigh whistle sign, these are virtually non-existant on Conrsil-operated portions of the railroad.

Passenger Station

Freight Station


Sayre today is but a shadow of it's former self, with the locomotive shops, facilities and even the yard footbridge gone. GE Railcar uses the yard, Conrail uses a few tracks for setouts and pickups between the Gang Mills-Mehoopany turn and the Ithaca turn, and coal trains to Ludlowville. The Ithaca job now runs out of Sayre, since it's closer to home for most crewmen, and Conrail still maintains one tiny brick building there. Here are a few shots from 1995; I have many more I can add.




More Shops

More Sayre: Shades of things to come

First, CGAL complete with one NS unit tucked into the consist in the winter of 1992, and from June 16, 1998 the TES-301 with CR 1933 and Norfolk Southern track geometry cars. This train was only in Sayre to run around and get water, a planned trip to Ithaca was scrapped.




This UNL is westbound under the EL.. err Southern Tier Line at State Line, June 17th 1998. Only 3 of those engines are under power; this train took 3 hours to get out of Sayre after needing to swap engines around. West end of the yard is out of service and getting overgrown.


Lockwood looks much as it did 20 years ago. Only changes are the CR-style milepost and whistle signs.


Ithaca went through the most changes during the flood control project of 1967. Today Conrail runs in and out from Sayre, abandoning the yard office in 1981 and later using a hotel room in place of a yard office. Little has changed although the DL&W storage tracks were finally abandoned and the Rt 13 overpass removed.


From street level on 224 you wouldn't know the LV has been gone. The overpass remains although the ROW to each side is heavily grown up with brush. Here are three shots of the overpass from 1998. Ironically the next major overpass east, at RT 13, was removed and it took me 3 trips through to figure out where it used to be(!)



On the bridge


There aren't many of these left. From 1992 on a then-Conrail, now Finger Lakes Geneva Industrial Track, a forlorn, empty mast signal stands sentinel over a quiet former main line.


Finger Lakes runs south (East) to Kendaia via the old interchange track up to Geneva Jct. West of there all overpasses, many abutments and even some of the embankment is gone. Geneva Station still stands however and is being restored slowly by the current owner.

Shot 1

Shot 2

Shot 3


Finger Lakes serves what track remains, less than a mile all told to the Agway, about 100 feet of the Southern Central to Orchard Street and some of the LV independent line to Cayuga for the rest of it. Most of the roundhouse is still standing, one of 3 in NY state.


WAGY-12 (Conrail) at Agway


A yard and crew change point, under the LV it was slowly phased out and by 1972 only used for local service. Today it's a part of the Ontario Central RR, although reduced to but a single track with a few spurs. Still home to 4 LV 40' box cars and a couple of wood cars on blocks too. Most of the yard buildings still stand, the roundhouse, coal tower (Is this the only remaining LV coal tower?) and others, although CH tower and the bunkhouse are long gone as is the station. The overpass for Rt 96 is shown as well, by 1995 it was replaced by a grade crossing - on Ontario Central 5 cars is a long train. The shot of the 86 was taken from the foundation of CH tower. This engine could have run through here when it was NKP 865 or NW 2865.

ONCT RS36 86 in 1995

Rt 96


Roundhouse 2

Roundhouse 3

Coal Tower

More to Come


The other end of the Ontario Central, and home to it's biggest customer - Ironically served from a connector to about 1/3 mile of NYC Auburn road trackage still remaining. Railroad Street is built over part of the mainline ROW in town. Tracks run west to one last customer, who has not seen a car in some time. Also here is the neat Black Diamond Hotel, who's logo features a nice representation of a LV streamlined pacific. There's 3 passenger cars stored here now as well.

East at Railroad St.

West along Railroad St.

West at Maple St.

East at RT 251

West at RT 251

LV 40' Box Car


Hotel sign

Rochester Jct.

Prepare for a shock. Compare to pics in "The Lehigh Valley Railroad in Western NY" or Archer's "Lehigh Valley Railroad."




The westernmost remaining mainline track, operated by the Depew Lancatser & Western RR division of Genesee Valley Transportation. A connector from former Erie track leads to this segment with one real customer and an out of service siding to a gravel company. It ends west of the station site, about 100 yards short of the crossing that wasn't a crossing 20 years ago - it was blocked off and an overpass a block over was used. When road salt killed the overpass, half of it was removed and the road was reopened.

This is a mixture of photos from 1997 and 1998 (some yet forthcoming) showing what things look like now in the general area of the LV station, plus an eastward view from the Rt 5 overpass. Also a 1992 shot of a now-unused overpass west of Batavia.

At Rt 5

West at BR Dewitt n

East at Station

BR Dewitt siding

East past siding

Abandoned electric switch lock

Former interban powerhouse

Road sign

Bridge west of Batavia

What if?

What if the LV still existed today? What kind of power might they have? Here are two HO-scale possibilities:




Any of your own contributions are welcome!