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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

No More Lehigh Valley Signals on the Lehigh Line

Just got back from a road trip and to my disappointment I discovered that the remaining Lehigh Valley RR signals had been removed from the lower half of the Lehigh Line between CP-67 and Bethlehem, PA.  Caught up in this sweep were the former CNJ/Reading interlockings of CP-ALLEN, CP-CANAL and CP-JU (previously re-signaled by Conrail).  

The project had been underway for well over a year and I had taken the opportunity to document as much as I could, however I missed the two LVRR automatic signal locations at MP 71 and MP 74 as when I passed them by last October they did not appear to be under threat.

Of course the most devastating loss will be the classic LVRR Gantryleaver signal at the site of the former Easton, PA station.  This stout structure was in no structural danger and had been upgraded over the years with railings and walkways, but it appears that NS's commitment to its heritage is limited to more PR friendly devices like locomotives :-(

The former CP-RICHARDS was replaced by a new crossover a few miles to the west as once again the block lengths were stretched to reduce the number of signaling locations. Rule 251 was then replaced by 261 between CP-RICHARDS and CP-BETHLEHEM.  

I was also disappointed to have missed documenting CP-JU.  Although the original CJU plant with pneumatic points and signal bridges had been replaced by Conrail, it was nevertheless a great example of Conrail signaling, complete with searchlight dwarfs.

Finally, the odd arrangement between CP-EASTON and CP-PHILLIPSBURG wherein trains crossing the Delaware River could not get an Approach indication.  Signals would only display Clear or Restricting for following movements.  This was possibly due to some previous restriction regarding trains being stopped on the bridge, however NS appears to have remedied the problem and trains can get Approach at both locations.  I should also mention that CP-PHILLIPSBURG had already gotten new Darth Vader signals installed within the last 5 years for...reasons.

This is yet another lesson about not taking things for granted.  If you have the oppurtunity to photo something, do it ASAP, even if you think you'll have time enough to catch them "later".  If you would to see what I was able to document my Lehigh Line Amtrak Autumn Express photos can be found here and my Easton Roadtrip photos cam be found here.

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