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Here the reader will be taken on a tour of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, presented with information on the operation of this beloved railroad by those who lived in its service area. Ride the great passenger trains that the Valley operated with pride right up to the end of passenger service in February, 1961. Such trains as The Black Diamond, The Maple Leaf, The John Wilkes, and The Asa Packer to name a few. Sample freight and passenger schedules, equipment rosters, principal commodities handled and Top Ten Freight Customers are also presented. Enjoy your trip over the Route of The Black Diamond.

The Lehigh Valley Railroad was originally chartered in 1846 as the Delaware,Lehigh,Susquehanna & Schuylkill Railroad, for all four of the river valleys that the railroad would eventually serve.Founder Asa Packer was ably assisted by Robert Sayre in building the railroad into a major trunk line carrier. To get acquainted with the Lehigh Valley Railroad in its final years, a 1973 profile of the Lehigh Valley Railroad would not be a bad place to start.

1973 Profile of the Lehigh Valley Railroad
Miles of Road owned, 1631.18
Miles of road operated,2103.56
Locomotives owned: 119
Locomotives leased: 35
Freight Cars owned: 2807
Freight cars leased: 1309
Cabooses owned: 99

Top 10 Commodities Handled
2.Paper Products
3.Food products
4.metallic ores
5.ceramic products
6.nonmetallic ores other than fuels
7.chemical products
8.primary metal products
9.Fabricated Metal products
10.Lumber and wood products
9 of Top Freight Customers of Lehigh Valley Railroad
1.Bethlehem Steel, Bethlehem,PA
2.Charmin Paper Company,Mehoopany,PA
3.New Jersey Zinc Company,Palmerton,PA
4.New York State Electric & Gas Corp.,Ludlowville,NY
5.International Salt,Retsof,NY
6.Swanee Paper Company, Ransom,PA
7.Cayuga Rock Salt Company, Ludlowville,NY
8.Jeddo-Highland Coal Company, Harleigh,PA
9.Blue Coal Corp.,Ashley,PA
To service these and nearly 300 other freight customers, the Lehigh Valley Railroad had 35 agents covering 83 stations to service these customers with waybill preparation,ordering cars for loading, any assistance in loading cars that might be needed, and other matters pertaining to moving the goods to market. Like most railroads, the Lehigh Valley Railroad was phasing out the station agent in favor of a centralized customer service center, which was the ultimate goal the railroad would not be around to see. In addition, to further support the freight service of the railroad, the Lehigh Valley had major terminals at Oak Island(Newark),Allentown,Sayre,Bethlehem,and Buffalo. Besides the through freight trains, the Lehigh Valley also operated 41 locals and switch runs to further service its customers. All schedule tables, diesel roster, passenger train consists will be shown in the supporting items section. It should be noted that the blocking of Lehigh Valley's through freight trains was relatively primative compared to its neighbors. Nevertheless, the railroad was able to block trains according to their destinations, connections, and pick ups and setoffs to be made enroute.

Schedules,Timetables,Roster,Consist Section

In this section,we will present freight schedules, passenger train schedules and consists, and the all time diesel roster of the Lehigh Valley Railroad.


Apollo 2.

Ar William St. Buffalo 1430

Lv William St. Buffalo 1530

Ar Sayre 2015

Lv Sayre 2115

Ar Coxton 2300

Lv Coxton 2330

Ar Lehighton 0200

Lv Lehighton 0230

Lv Bound Brook 0445

Ar Oak Island 0530

LV 2 Buffalo to Oak Island Manifest

Lv Buffalo 1500

Ar Sayre 2300

Lv Sayre 0300

Ar Coxton 0600

Lv Coxton 0630

Ar Lehighton 0930

Lv Lehighton 1000

AR Allentown (L&S) 1130

Lv Allentown (L&S) 1300

Lv South Plainfield 1600

Ar Oak Island 1700

Mercury 2.Buffalo to Oak Island Manifest

Ar.Buffalo-William St. 2330 received from N&W

Lv Buffalo-William St. 0030

Ar Sayre 0830

Lv Sayre 1930 train reclassified

Ar Coxton 2200

Lv Coxton 2300

Ar Lehighton 0200

Lv Lehighton 0230

Ar Oak Island ?


JB3 (Except Tuesday)Oak island-Buffalo Manifest

Lv Oak Island 0230

Lv South Plainfield 0415

Lv Bethlehem 0630

Ar Allentown 0645

Lv Allentown 0800

Ar Lehighton 0930

Lv Lehighton 1000

Ar Coxton 1300

Lv Coxton 1400

Ar Sayre 1700

Lv Sayre 2200

Ar Buffalo 0700

MERCURY 1.Oak Island-Chicago Manifest run through train

Lv Oake Island 2300

Lv South Plainfield 0100

Ar Allentown (L&S) 0330

Lv Allentown (L&S) 0500

Ar Lehighton 0630

Lv Lehighton 0700

Ar Coxton 1000

Lv Coxton 1100

Ar Sayre 1330

Lv Sayre 1530

Ar Bufffalo(William St) 2300

Lv Buffalo (William St) 2359 train delivered to N&W.

APOLLO 1.Oak Island to Chicago TOFC/COFC

Lv Oak Island 2200

Lv Bound Brook 2245

Ar Lehighton 0130

Lv Lehighton 0145

Ps Coxton 0445

Ar Sayre 0645

Lv Sayre 0800

Ar Buffalo(William St.)1300 train delivered to N&W

Mercurys 1 and 2 and Apollos 1 and 2 were run through trains operated in conjunction with the Norfolk and Western railway west of Buffalo. N&W power often mixed with LV units on these trains. Though all trains handled TOFC/COFC traffic, the Apollos handled piggyback traffic only.The Apollos were the nearest thing to a passenger train operating on the Lehigh Valley other than the railroad's handling of commuter trains of CNJ and Reading between Aldene and Hunter Interlockings to get these trains in and out of Penn Station-Newark.


100 years of passenger service on the Lehigh Valley Railroad ended on February 8,1961 when the last Hazleton Branch Budd RDC made its final run to Lehighton. The following listing is of the locomotive hauled passenger equipment the Lehigh Valley had in use during the final years of service.

AC Parlor Cars: 1551,1552(observation cars) gone prior to the end of service in 1961.

AC coaches-R68: 1475-1479,1500.R82 coaches:1501-1502,1515-1519,SC82:1503,1504

R92:1510-1514.Washroom, non airconditioned coaches:888,890,891,893-912,915,917.Cafe-Diner: 1000,1001,

1020,1021,Dining: 1007,1009,1010-1015.


Baggage: 1201-1234

Pullman Sleepers,10 Section,1 Drawing Room,2 Double Bedroom configuration: Scenic Forest,Scenic Highlands,Scenic Rapids,Scenic Ravine. 12 Section,1 Drawing Room: Oakner,Wesley;10Section,1Drawing Room,2 Compartment: Lake Ashley, Lake Long,Lake Tracy,Lake Vale. 8 Section,4 Double Bedroom: Emerald Glade,Emerald Glen;8 Section,1 Drawing Room,3 Double Bedroom; Peace Tower, Round Tower.

Typical passenger operations on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, like many of its neighbors, called for two sets of equipment to be assigned to each feature name train, such as the Black Diamond, The Maple Leaf, The Star, and The Major to name the principal New York-Buffalo trains. The following are the normal consist for each train and the train number it turns to or from at journey's end.


Car Origin Dest. Turns to Train

1 Bag-Mail(xSat). New York Buffalo 604

1 Baggage-Mail New York-Bethlehem 4

1 Baggage New York-Wilkes Barre 4

1 Baggage New York-Buffalo 4

1 Coach (WR) New York-Buffalo 4

1 Coach SC82 New York-Buffalo 4

1 Cafe-Lounge New York-Buffalo 4


1 Baggage-Mail(exSun) Buffalo-New York 611

1 Baggage-Mail(exSunMOn)Wilkes Barre-NY 611

1Baggage Buffalo-New York 611

1 Coach (WR) Buffalo-New York 611

1 Coach SC82 Buffalo-New York 611

1 Cafe Lounge Buffalo-New York 611

1 Sleeper (Tower Srs.)Buffalo-New York

1 Sleeper (Scenic or Tower)Buffalo-Bethlehem

1 Coach(X1,6,7) Lehighton-New York

2 Coaches (Mon) Lehighton-New York

1 Baggage Bethlehem-New York


1 Baggage Mail New York to Buffalo 608

1 Coach (WR) New York to Buffalo

1 Coach R76 New York to Buffalo

1 Sleeper 10-1-2 New York to Buffalo

1 Sleeper 8-4 New York to Toronto

1 Sleeper 10-1-2 Bethlehem to Toronto

1 Coach, R76 New York to Toronto

1 Cafe-Lounge New York to Lehighton

4 coaches (Sun.Only) New York to Lehighton


1 Baggage-Mail (x7) New York to Buffalo

1 Baggage New York to Buffalo

1 Parlor New York to Buffalo

1 Diner New York to Buffalo

1 Smoker SC82 New York to Buffalo

1 Coach R92 New York to Buffalo

2 Coaches(WR)(6) New York to Lehighton

1 Coach(x6) Bethlehem to Buffalo


1 Baggage-Mail Buffalo to New York

1 Baggage Buffalo to New York

1 Parlor Buffalo to New York

1 Diner Buffalo to New York

1 Smoker Buffalo to New York

1 Coach,R-92 Buffalo to New York

1 Coach Buffalo to Bethlehem

1 Coach(Friday) Lehighton to New York

5 Coaches (Sun) Lehighton to New York


1 Baggage-Mail Buffalo to New York

1 Coach (WR) Buffalo to New York

1Coach R76 Buffalo to New York

1 Sleeper 10-1-2 Buffalo to New York

1 Sleeper Toronto to Bethlehem

1 Sleeper (Glade Srs) Toronto to New York

1 Coach, R76 Toronto to New York

1 Sleeper (Scenic Srs.) Ithaca to New York

1 Cafe-Lounge Lehighton to New York

1 Diner (x6,7) Lehighton to New York

4 Coaches(DH)(Sun) Lehighton to New York

1 Baggage (Saturday) Easton to New York


29 7 Stations 8 28

1733 1955 Lv New York Penn Ar 0845 1020

1748 2010 Newark,NJ 0830 1005

1925 2135 Easton,PA 0700 0834

1942 2152 Ar Bethlehem,PA Lv 0639 0812

1947 2207 Lv Bethlehem,PA Ar 0626 0812

1955 2215 Ar Allentown,PA Lv 0616 0800

1958 2219 Lv Allentown,PA Ar 0612 0800

2033 2245 Ar Lehighton,PA Lv 0541 0723

---- 2256 Lv Lehighton,PA Ar ---- ----

----- 2423 Ar Wilkes Barre,PA Lv --- ----

---- 2433 Lv Wilkes Barre,PA Lv ---- ----

---- 0219 Lv Sayre,PA Lv 0225 ----

---- 0306 Lv Ithaca,NY Lv 0134 ----

---- 0403 Lv Geneva,NY Lv 2425 ----

---- 0536 Lv Depew,NY Lv 2321 ----

---- 0555 Ar Buffalo,NY Lv 2250 ----

---- 0640 Susp.Bridge,NY 2220 ----

---- 0920 Ar Toronto,ONT Lv 1950 ----

Table 2. Hazleton Branch RDC Service

29 7 Stations 28

2036 2256 Lv Lehighton,PA Ar 0713

2043 2304 Jim Thorpe 0706

2107 2328 Weatherly 0642

2129 2350 Ar Hazleton,PA Lv 0620

The Main line service was discontinued on February 4,1961 on which date the last train No.8 The Maple Leaf was terminated in Newark,NJ due to the increasing lateness of the train due to the snowstorms encountered on the trip from Buffalo. The Hazleton Branch service closed out all
regular Lehigh Valley passenger service on February 8,1961,with the remaining Budd RDC car being sold to the Reading soon afterward. Equipment from the final train No.7 stranded in Buffalo was then deadheaded to Sayre.

EMD SW 1 600 hp 112-119 8 units
BLW DS44-10 1000 hp 140-147 8 units
Alco RS3 1600 hp 210-219 10 units
EMD SW7 1200 hp 220-224 5 units
BLW DS44-12 1200 hp 230-243 7 units
EMD SW8 800 hp 250-276 27 units
EMD SW9 1200 hp 280-292 13 units
EMD GP9 1750 hp 300-301 2 units
EMD GP18 1800 hp 302-305 4 units
EMD GP38AC 2000 hp 310-313 4 units
EMD GP38-2 2000 hp 314-325 12 units
Alco RS11 1800 hp 400-403 4 units
Alco C420 2000 hp 404-415 12 units
GE U23B 2250 hp 501-512 12 units
Alco C628 2750 hp 625-641 17 units

The GP38-2s and Alco C420s were conveyed to the Delaware
and Hudson Railway prior to Conrail's start up. Alco RS3 No.211 is a rare hammer head unit and has a 12-567BC engine
of 1200 hp instead of the 1600 Alco 244 engine. It was equipped with a steam generator for passenger service. Most SW8 switchers, nicknamed 'Pups" were equipped with dynamic
brakes for local road service.