LEHIGH & SUSQUEHANNA DIVISION
WHITE HAVEN TO NESQUEHONING JUNCTION
MP 142.36 TO MP 119.36
UPPER LEHIGH BRANCH (NESCOPECK BRANCH) - UPPER LEHIGH JUNCTION
DRIFTON BRANCH - DRIFTON JUNCTION
PENN HAVEN JUNCTION (AV INTERLOCKING)
NESQUEHONING JUNCTION (PQ INTERLOCKING)
 

Map of White Haven to Mauch Chunk

The north entrance into the Lehigh River valley began south of White Haven. From this point eastward to the Delaware River, the CNJ mainline ran along alternate banks of the Lehigh River - northward view, March 28, 1988 - Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick

MP 141.71 This CNJ westbound consist of empty hoppers en route to the mines has a heavy Mikado pusher on the rear. The track at the right is the connection to the Upper Lehigh Branch and the unoccupied track in the center the eastbound  main track (No. 1 track). The State of Pennsylvania enacted several railroad operating laws peculiar to their state that - amongst other things - required toilets on caboose cars, forbade wooded caboose cars in pusher service, and required outside mounted walkway handrails on yard and road switching diesels. The double arm signal in the distance is westbound automatic signal No. 1411. The upper arm regulates train speed through the normal route and the lower arm through the diverging route (in this instance a crossover to and from No. 1 track). Since the block is occupied, both blades indicate STOP. The Upper Lehigh Branch ran along the banks of Nescopeck Creek. Early CNJ literature refers to the Upper Lehigh Branch as the Nescopeck Branch. - southeast view, Circa 1947, Pennsylvania Historical  & Museum Commission

This double-headed westbound train of empties has an archetypical CNJ heavy Mikado on the point, as well as an atypical CNJ 810-814 series passenger Pacific. The train has emerged from the Lehigh George and is rapidly closing the distance to Upper Lehigh Junction. - southeast view, September 1946 - W. R. Osborne

At Tannery, PA, the Lehigh River began following a serpentine course carved through the mountains millions of years ago by the waters of an ancient melting glacier. After flowing through a sharp S-bend, the river was overwhelmed by the towering canyon walls of the Lehigh Gorge. The CNJ's turn-of-the-century Drifton Branch to Drifton, PA, left the mainline at Drifton Junction and followed the east bank of Sandy Run (a feeder creek flowing into the Lehigh River) while the LV's Hayes Creek Branch (the CNJ referred to the LV branch as the Lumber Yard Hayes Creek Line) crossed the Lehigh River and CNJ mainline before paralleling the Drifton Branch on the opposite bank of Sandy Run. - southeast view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick

MP 139.37 The CNJ identified the LV Lumber Yard Hays Creek Branch bridge across the CNJ mainline as bridge No. 139/37. It was constructed by the LV during 1911. The CNJ double track mainline passed under the wide, skew, deck, plate girder at the right. - southeast view, March 11, 1912 - Lehigh Valley Railroad Company Photograph/Pennsylvania Historical  & Museum Commission

Left - The LV Hayes Creek Branch paralleled the CNJ Drifton Branch for a short distance on the opposite bank of Sandy Run before turning southward to cross over both the stream and the CNJ branch. - March 11, 1912, Lehigh Valley Railroad Company/Pennsylvania Historical  & Museum Commission   Right - The CNJ originally constructed the 10.54-mile Drifton Branch in 1893 to reach mines operated by Coxe Bros. & Co., a large mining independent operating north of Hazelton, PA. Although the CNJ soon lost Coxe Bros. & Co. business to the LV, in 1921 2.37 miles of the Drifton Branch still remained intact (Drifton Junction to Scale Siding). The much reduced branch lingered until 1934 when it was finally abandoned. - Circa 1910 - Raymond E. Holland Collection 

MP 137.03 CNJ No. 55 with two ALCO RS-3s on a westbound mixed freight is between Drifton Junction and Leslie Run, PA. Flooding caused by Hurricane Diane devastated the double track mainline between Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe) and White Haven in August 1955. Instead of complete restoration, approximately 45 miles of track running between Nesquehoning Junction and Mountain Park was rebuilt as single track with Centralized Traffic Control. A wide embankment for a roadway to accommodate off-track maintenance equipment and to afford the track protection from ordinary high waters of the Lehigh River was also constructed (left of track). - southward view, Circa 1956 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey

MP 136.63 This CNJ eastbound freight is about to pass the site of the razed Leslie Run Station. The ripped up track in the left foreground once serviced a Company prepay freight station. - northeast view, May 7, 1950 - John P. Scharle

Traveling eastbound, the first sharp, reverse curve was at Mud Run. The CNJ named curves in the Lehigh Gorge for nearby streams, historical landmarks, and natural features. In this view the CNJ right of way is on the nearer bank of the Lehigh River. Eastward direction of travel is to the right. The mouth of Mud Run is on the LV bank of the river near the center of the photograph. - eastward view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick

Left - At Rockport, PA, the course of the Lehigh River made an almost complete circle around the west end of Summer Mountain. The LV mainline originally hugged the base of Summer Mountain. The route was shortened in 1884 by tunneling through a narrow neck between two mountain peaks. In this view the reverse course of the Lehigh River is visible above the western tunnel opening. - southwest view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick    Right - A westbound LV freight train has partially emerged from the tunnel. - southwest view, July 5, 1952 -  William T. Greenberg, Jr.

Left - Both west and east openings of the LV's Rockport Tunnel are visible in this aerial view, as well as the CNJ's abandoned right-of-way on the outside bank of the Lehigh River. - eastward view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick    Right - In this aerial view it is apparent that what nature could not do, LV civil engineers could. Although the river makes a sharp westward turn after being repelled by the narrow waist of Summer Mountain, the LV continues through it. This sharp bend in the river was known as Switch Tail Curve on the CNJ. - northwest view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick

MP 132.92 Left - The CNJ depot at Rockport was in a deep ravine cut into the mountain by Indian Run. Rockport derived its name from the rock outcropping in the center of this view and from its historical past as once having been a port on the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company's upper section. - northward view, May 7, 1950 - John P. Scharle   Center - This rail diesel car enthusiast train has stopped alongside Rockport Rock to permit its passenger a view of the station and facilities. The station and water tank are behind the outcropping. Less then a year after this fan trip, Rockport was obliterated by flood waters generated by Hurricane Dianne. - southwest view, September 19, 1954 - Jack De Rosset collection   Right - August 1955's Hurricane Dianne left little for future rail-fans to see at Rockport. In this scene the swollen Lehigh River has barely returned to its banks. - northwest view, Circa August 1955 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey/Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission

Left - During the steam era Rockport Station was the only CNJ depot in the Lehigh Gorge accessible to vehicular traffic. A road ran from Weatherly, PA, to the station. - eastward view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick   Center Left - The depot contained living quarters for the stationmaster and his family, as well as a prepay freight station run by the agent at White Haven. - northwest view, Circa 1950 - Clinton T. Andrews   Center Right - Water from the Lehigh River was lifted to east and west water tanks by power furnished from a waterwheel on Hunters Run, a mountain stream rushing into Indian Run near the west water tank. - northwest view, Circa 1940 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey/Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission    Right - This view taken from the road to Rockport indicates that the west water tank was situated opposite Indian Run (CNJ bridge No. 132/93) from the station. A water plug a few yards west of the water tank serviced westbound trains. - eastward view, Circa 1940 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey/Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission

This westbound train of empty coal hopper cars is on Rockport Curve in the vicinity of the eastbound watering station. The water tank is visible mid-train on the mountain side of the railroad. - southwest view, Circa 1950 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey

MP 130.00 Eastbound from Rockport Curve the CNJ mainline skirted the bottom of Bald Mountain to Drakes Point Curve, where it made a sharp turn southward. The outlet of Drakes Creek was on the LV side of the river. In this scene the CNJ mainline is on the near bank hidden by the mountain peak. Eastward direction of travel is to the right. - northeast view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick

MP 129.00 Left - The southeast face of Bald Mountain ended in a peninsula that jutted into the Lehigh Gorge. At Stony Creek Curve the CNJ reversed direction from compass southeast to compass northwest in a sharp, hairpin, curve. In this view the abandoned CNJ is on the near bank. The ravine at the top of the photograph on the LV side is Tank Hollow. Eastward direction of travel is to the right. - southeast view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick   Center - The mouth of Stony Creek was on the LV side of the river. Eastward direction of travel is at the top of the photograph. - westward view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick   Right - On  the ground the canyon wall ruggedness of the Lehigh Gorge was more apparent. In this view of CNJ MP 129 (the white milepost is visible across the river at the right) taken from the LV tracks in the same perspective as the preceding aerial, the drama of the serpentine course of the river bears witness to the bleakness and beauty of the gorge. southeast view, Circa 1935 - John P. Scharle

Left - On April 7, 1936, CNJ No. 931 - with an eastbound freight - derailed after hitting a rock slide between Stony Creek Curve and Penn Haven Junction. Rock slides and washouts were common occurrences in the Lehigh Gorge. The CNJ and LV historically maintained emergency detour agreements with each other. - northward view, April 7, 1936 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey    RightOn June 7, 1942, heavy rains occurring between 7:00 and 7:30 PM caused 45 rock slides between Rockport and Penn Haven, PA. - August 6, 1942 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey

  MP 126.21 Between Penn Haven Junction and Nesquehoning Junction (Coalport side of the river) the CNJ and LV occupied the same banks of the Lehigh River. Penn Haven was an important location on the LV. Their Mahanoy & Hazleton Division started with the Hazleton Branch at M&H Junction, a short distance east of their mainline crossing with the CNJ. - Both views, March 28, 1988 - Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick

Map of Penn Haven Junction

After leaving Stony Creek Curve the CNJ ran on a relatively straight southwest tangent for approximately three miles to Penn Haven where it then curved southward.  At Penn Haven Junction the LV switched banks of the Lehigh River and crossed the CNJ on diamonds. In this view taken from the LV's AV Interlocking Tower, the three tracks of the CNJ mainline are hugging the bank of the river while the LV is on the bridge. The center track on the CNJ mainline is a passing siding. This track arrangement was used in confined areas to allow east or westbound trains the opportunity to overtake slower trains. - northward view from AV Interlocking Tower, Circa 1942 - Charles Bealer photograph courtesy Kenneth A. Bealer

Left - The LV station at Penn Haven was an impressive structure for the wild and unruly Lehigh Gorge. The building occupied the former site of the Hazleton Railroad's coal pockets at the foot of their inclines (scars on the face of Bald Mountain behind the station). A much less impressive CNJ depot is out of view to the right, situated between the LV and CNJ mainlines. The two tracks at the far left, on slight elevation, are on the LV's Hazleton Branch. - northwest view, Circa 1895 - William H. Rau   Right - By the mid-1950s all that remained of the once grandiose LV station was the east tower, which - by the time of this photograph - had been converted into AV Interlocker. - northward view, Circa 1955 - Michael Rowland

Map of the  "Other" Penn Haven Junction

Prior to 1877 Penn Haven Junction was approximately one mile eastward (CNJ MP 125.00) of contemporary Penn Haven Junction (CNJ MP 126.21). Back then contemporary Penn Haven Junction was known as Penn Haven. The original junction had been with the LV and, from the perspective of the CNJ encompassed an interchange yard and diamond crossing. From the LV perspective there was also the junction of their Hazleton Branch as well as the restrictive, tight radius, S-bend crossing of the Lehigh River left over from the days of their  predecessor Penn Haven & White Haven Railroad.


The Penn Haven Planes:

Left - Before there was a LV, CNJ, or even Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad in the Lehigh River valley, there were three early rail lines operating in and out of Penn Haven (the site of contemporary Penn Haven Junction). The earliest line, and Carbon County's first steam powered railroad, was the Beaver Meadow Railroad chartered in 1830 to operate from mine sites along Beaver, Hazle, and Quakake creeks to a Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company landing on the Lehigh River and, later, as far east as Parryville, PA. This railroad was completed in 1836. Tragedy struck when the flood of 1841 destroyed all of their bridges and substantial sections of their right-of-way. The railroad was, then, cut back to Mauch Chunk. After the great flood of 1862, they were acquired by the LV (1864) and incorporated into that railroad's growing system. In this vintage view of Penn Haven, the Beaver Meadow Railroad tracks at the foot of the Penn Haven Planes are apparent. These  inclined planes had been erected by the Hazleton Railroad. This line originally ran between mining sites in Hazleton to a connection with the Beaver Meadow Railroad at Weatherly, PA. (1832 - 1852). After the Beaver Meadow Railroad's second washout in 1850, the Hazleton Railroad extended their line to the top of the mountain above the Lehigh River at Penn Haven. There they lowered their cars to LC&N coal pockets on the river for loading into canal boats. - northeast view, Circa 1860, Pennsylvania Historical  & Museum Commission   Right - It had soon become apparent that seasonal river navigation could not compete with non-seasonal rail transportation. In 1859 the Hazleton Railroad constructed a second incline (four-track plane at left) at Penn Haven to, once again, ship coal on the Beaver Meadow Railroad. In 1862 another flood wiped out the navigation above Mauch Chunk forever and destroyed much of the Beaver Meadow Railroad's right-of-way. As a result, the Penn Haven Planes were abandoned, and the Hazleton Railroad was eventually absorbed into the LV several years later in 1868. The third early railroad to make connection to the Beaver Meadow Railroad at Penn Haven was the Penn Haven & White Haven Railroad. This line ran west to White Haven and was absorbed into the LV during 1864 after the flood of 1862 severely damaged its right-of-way and eliminated its connections to the Beaver Meadow Railroad and the LC&N. - northwest view, Circa 1860 - Center for Canal History & Technology


The westbound LV John Wilkes is steaming toward the diamond crossing over the CNJ at Penn Haven Junction. Alongside on the CNJ mainline (two tracks at left) - the square bladed, double, interlocking semaphores are set to STOP. Name-train John Wilkes has an unimpeded, superior,  route over the crossing. - southeast view from AV Interlocking Tower, Circa 1942 - Charles Bealer photograph courtesy Kenneth A. Bealer

Left - Ox Box Curve, The Ox Bow, or Ox Bow Bend were all names given to one of the most photographed curves in the Lehigh Gorge. Both the CNJ and LV hugged the west bank of the Lehigh River, running alongside each other from Penn Haven Junction, around Ox Bow Curve, to Coalport. - southeast  view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick     Center Left - CNJ No. 812 with an eastbound consist of seven cars, including a Reading Company baggage at the rear, rounds Ox Box Curve in a moment that only hints at what railroading was like before interstate highways. - northeast view, Circa 1950 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey   Center Right - MP 122.79 This LV westbound passenger train is midway around Ox Box Curve at the overhead suspension bridge. This cable suspension bridge supported oil pipe lines and one 12-inch foot walk. The distance between the bridge's anchorage points was about 450 feet. The under-clearance was 32' - 6", and the bridge was owned by the Tide Water Pipe Line Co. - northeast view, October 25, 1936, Pennsylvania Historical  & Museum Commission   Right - During 1959 the CNJ conducted a survey of all bridges and retaining walls system-wide. The holes in Ox Bow Curve retaining wall were photographed and noted. - northwest view, March 1959 - Central Railroad Company of New Jersey

An westbound  LV passenger train closes the distance to Ox Box Curve, which is just around the next bend. In the distance the 1,700-foot peak of Pocono Mountain looms over the less intense east slope of the equally lofty Packer Mountain. The small building near the river is a CNJ section house. (The approaching curve has, in some literature, been referred to as Hetchel Tooth Curve.) - northeast view, October 25, 1936, Pennsylvania Historical  & Museum Commission

Hetchel Tooth was between Ox Bow Curve and Glen Onoko. Many of the location names in the gorge were carried over from olden days when the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company operated the upper section of Lehigh navigation. From this view above Glen Onoko looking timetable west, the area know as Hetchel Tooth is by the distant curve. - northeast  view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick

At Glen Onoko the CNJ and LV cross the Lehigh River at a double reverse curve of the river called the Turn Hole. This rugged location once provided the unlikely setting for a late 19th century resort. - southwest view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick


Glen Onoko and Hotel Wahnetah:

     

Map of Glen Onoko (CNJ Old Road)

Left - The Onoko Tavern opened in 1886 as a railroad sponsored mountain resort and was soon renamed Hotel Wahnetah. The resort included a 56-room hotel, dance pavilion, tennis courts, gardens, and stone-lined mountain trails.  A spectacular, spring-fed, set of waterfalls lay across the river in Moore's Ravine. Coincidental with the decline in the railroad served mountain resort business, the Hotel Wahnetah was partially damaged by a brush fire in 1911 and never rebuilt. The abandoned hotel lingered until 1917 when it was finally razed. The sign over the footbridge to the left of the hotel reads: HOTEL WAHNETAH - RESTAURANT - MEALS AT ALL HOURS. - southeast  view, Circa 1900 -  Lehigh Valley Railroad/Robert M. Kaufman collection   Center - Glen Onoko was served by the CNJ and LV. Both companies maintained stations on the west bank of the Lehigh River. In this view of the path leading up to Onoko Falls, both railroad stations below on the river are obscured by vegetation and the building in the right foreground. - southeast  view, Circa 1900 -  Lehigh Valley Railroad/Robert M. Kaufman collection   Right - Onoko Falls was named by the LV to romanticize the resort by associating the legend of the beautiful Indian princess Onoko with the falls (she tragically leaped from the upper falls to her death because of unrequited love). In this view of Moore's Ravine the cascade of water that formed both the upper and lower falls can be seen dropping down the mountainside. - northwest  view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick  


  Left & Center - The original alignment of the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad at Glen Onoko passed through the mountain in a short tunnel whose west bore opened onto the river. In 1912 the CNJ mainline was realigned around the west slope of the mountain. - northeast  view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick    Right - The old mainline at the west end of Turn Hole Tunnel opened onto CNJ bridge No. 120/28 at the Lehigh River. After 1912 the old mainline was used as a passing siding until its abandonment in July 1956. - northeast view, Circa 1901 - Clinton T. Andrews

This westbound CNJ rail enthusiasts train has stopped on CNJ bridge No. 120/29 in the Turn Hole of Glen Onoko to allow its passengers a glimpse of the west opening of the abandoned Turn Hole Tunnel, which is faintly visible beyond the lower left corner of the lead rail diesel car's Miss Liberty medallion. - southwest view, September 19, 1954 - Jack De Rosset collection

This LV wreck at the west end of their Lehigh River bridge at Glen Onoko graphically supports CNJ/LV joint policy to share emergency detour routes with each other. The bridge to the right is CNJ bridge No. 120/29 on the realigned mainline. The four box cars strewn to the left of the steam crane occupy the site of the former LV Glen Onoko passenger depot. - northward view, Circa 1950, Pennsylvania Historical  & Museum Commission

MP 119.60 Coalport was around the bend from Glen Onoko. Its facilities predated the hotel and resort by approximately 15 years (1871). After the flood of 1862 obliterated the LC&N's navigation above Mauch Chunk and the damage downriver, consequentially, had been attributed to failed LC&N dams, the Pennsylvania Legislature forbade the LC&N from ever rebuilding on the upper section. In its stead, the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad was extended from White Haven (it was originally conceived as a portage to conquer the mountains between the Lehigh River at White Haven and the Susquehanna River at Wilkes-Barre) to Coalport and  soon thereafter to the Delaware River at Easton, PA. The area selected for Coalport was one mile upstream of Mauch Chunk, near the junction of the Nesquehoning Branch, and across the river from the former site of the ancient gravity Rhume Run Railroad coal landings. - southeast  view, March 28, 1988 -  Robert F. Fischer/Warren C. Gearrick

Overall Map of Coalport               Map of Coalport Engine Service Area              Map of LC&N Coal Wharf at Coalport

MP 119.36 The CNJ and LV mainlines separated at Coalport. The LV continued on to Jersey City along the east bank of the Lehigh River while the CNJ crossed over to the west bank. The junction of the CNJ Nesquehoning Branch with the mainline was on the west bank immediately across the bridge. In this view, a CNJ heavy Mikado pushes against the steel caboose of a long, westbound, mixed freight as the train snakes its way past Nesquehoning Interlocking Tower crossing the river to Coalport and beyond. The branch passes to the left of the tower. - northeast  view, Circa 1949 -  Robert Guthlein collection

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