The Lehigh Valley
(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
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
& Roselle Railway, the
Jersey City & Western
& 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.
LV did however connect to two railroads in this area, the
Valley Railroad (RV) at Roselle Park
and the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway (SIRT) at Staten Island Junction
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.
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.