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 through Townley (Union), Roselle Park, Roselle, and
Cranford, known today as the "Lehigh
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
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.
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
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.