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Lehigh Valley at Aldene

Along the Lehigh Line

In a similar view, a Lehigh Valley switcher heads up a freight. 12/31/1958. Collection of Bob Krone.

A Lehigh Valley freight rolls over the big truss bridge that crosses the CNJ mainline. 4/1/1972. Collection of Brian Woodruff.

The Lehigh Valley Railroad (LV) was a Class I railroad operating in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey up until the formation of Conrail in 1976. While the LV owned hundreds of miles of track, the focus of this page is a short stretch of the Lehigh Valley's two track mainline between Roselle Park and Union, NJ (including Aldene), known today as the "Lehigh Line."

The LV, having origins in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, expanded eastward towards Jersey City and Newark, NJ during the latter part of the 19th century. The extension was constructed in five phases. To construct these portions the LV formed five subsidiary corporations, the Roselle & South Plainfield Railway, the Newark & Roselle Railway, the Jersey City & Western Railway, the Greenville & Hudson Railway, and the Jersey City Terminal Railway. The extension was opened in February of 1891.

In early times the LV was a level, at grade, route through this area and connected with the CNJ at Aldene with a set of switch connections. The LV then utilized trackage rights over the CNJ to their eastern terminals.

The CNJ/LV connection was broken when the LV constructed its extension between Aldene and Newark. A large truss bridge was constructed over the CNJ mainline at Aldene and for many years there was no interaction between the two railroads here.

The LV did however connect to two railroads in this area, the Rahway Valley Railroad (RV) at Roselle Park and the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway (SIRT) at Staten Island Junction (see below).

While the LV at Aldene was elevated, the remainder of the line remained at grade. This changed as part of the Aldene Plan of 1967. The plan, created as part of an attempt to save the CNJ from the brink of financial disaster, called for the rerouting of CNJ passenger trains at Aldene onto the LV main to Newark. To accomodate the increased traffic, all grade crossings were eliminated between Aldene and Newark on the LV main.

A connection, in the form of a ramp, was forged between the LV and CNJ at Aldene. The Aldene Plan was implemented on May 1, 1967.

A trio of Lehigh Valley Railroad ALCo power is seen here heading a freight through Roselle Park. At the head end are, C-420 #413, RS11m #7640, and C-420 #415.  

We are on the scene of a wreck on the Lehigh Valley in Union. 7/1950.

Photo taken by John Dziobko

Here we see the LV wrecking crane lifting a set of bogies. 7/1950.

Photo taken by John Dziobko

The LV wrecking crane is a about to drop several ties, undoubtedly to replace ties damaged by the earlier wreck. 7/1950.

Photo taken by John Dziobko

The LV dispatched a wrecking train, with two cranes, to clean up this wreck in Union. 7/1950.

Photo taken by John Dziobko

LV 4-8-4 Northern #5218 is seen here, having hauled in the wrecking train. 7/1950.

Photo taken by John Dziobko

LV #3189 has joined #5218 on the scene of this wreck in Union. 7/1950.

Photo taken by John Dziobko

LV ALCo PA-1 #608 is seen here on point of passenger train #23, bound for Lehighton, PA. The train carefully makes its way through the middle of this wreck in Union, NJ. 7/1950.

Photo taken by John Dziobko

Here we see LV ALCo RS-3 #212 heading westbound, having just crossed Chestnut Street. The two tracks on the far left are the RV/LV interchange tracks, which terminate under the ballast pile. Note the difference in the size of tracks between the interchange and the mainline.

A Lehigh Valley Passenger Train meets the Rahway Valley.

Collection of Jeffrey J. Jargosch. Photo repair by Michael Kaplonski.

#15 and Caboose 102 meet a Lehigh Valley Railroad ALCo A-B-B-A sit at the interchange in Roselle Park on this cold winter's day. The street in the foreground is Locust Street. The original Roselle Park Station can be seen on the far right. The sign on the building at the far left reads "Suburban Insulating & Heating Corp." March 1952. Photo taken by Dr. L. Leggett. Collection of Jeff Jargosch. 

The result of the Aldene Plan can be seen here. A CNJ passenger consist has just come over the Aldene Connection and onto the LV mainline. The train slows for a stop at the new Roselle Park Station. On the far right can be seen the LV/RV interchange yard. 8/1974.

New Jersey Transit #4110 approaches the new Roselle Park Station on the old Lehigh Valley Railroad. The Rahway Valley's interchange yard can be seen at the right. 6/13/1979. Collection of Michael Desoi.


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