Due come its tiny size and operations in a market dominated by bigger railroads choose the new York Central; Pennsylvania Railroad; and also even the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western; the Lehigh valley Railroad is no well remembered for its passenger train services.

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However, the did have one significant train that has actually left its mark over the years and was part of the railroad’s slogan, “Route the the black color Diamond,” the flagship Diamond itself. The train activate between new York and also Buffalo and also is most well known after receiving streamlining in 1940.

due to stiff competition and also slower running times the Lehigh Valley, a marginal railroad after world War II, bowed out of the passenger organization by the at an early stage 1960"s. Today, the Diamond is lengthy gone together it most of the LV"s new York-Buffalo main line.

In the modern-day era that is regularly fascinating come play "what if"s" through so many railroads abandoned due to the fact that the 1970"s. 

There are several corridors which can likely still be profitable today however alas, the LV is unlikely one of them.  over there were plenty of systems offer the very same market and many boasted far better routes.


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Lehigh valley PA-1 #613 has actually the "Black Diamond" (New York - Buffalo) close to Trumansburg, new York circa 1959. The train"s accommodations right now included a parlor, cafe diner, and coaches. Today, this ar of the old LV key line is abandoned.

The Lehigh valley Railroad may have been the smallest railroad to serve the Buffalo to brand-new York City market. However, it is one of the many fondly remembered through its colorful locomotives, fascinating history, and also local appeal because that the neighborhoods it served.

The LV was among the countless anthracite railroads i beg your pardon popped increase in eastern Pennsylvania, new Jersey, and brand-new York looking come tap the well-off clean coal the an ar had to offer (other railroads contained the Reading, central Railroad of new Jersey, Lehigh & new England, and also Lehigh & Hudson River).

for years the railroad, i m sorry dated back to 1853, profited fairly nicely from this website traffic as that was steady for residents and businesses alike for both fuel and warmth. 

Related Reading...

Lehigh Valley, "Route of The black Diamond

A history Of The Streamliner

A 1958 black color Diamond Timetable



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However, following human being War II the LV started to seriously battle as need for anthracite dried up as the public quit using the coal to heat their homes. Through 1956 the rail would display its final annual profit and also every year following it slipped further into the red.

With a key line the simply might not complete with nearby competitors favor the Pennsylvania, new York Central, and even the Erie/Erie-Lackawanna the was ultimately forced into bankruptcy in the early 1970s and was soaked up into the Conrail system in 1976.

Today, nearly nothing stays of the initial LV. Regardless of the railroad"s weak place this go not prevent it, however, from competing in the passenger market and even jumped right into the streamliner fray once the craze hit in the 1930s.


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Lehigh sink PA-1"s have the westbound flagship "Black Diamond" (New York/Jersey City - Buffalo) at Lehighton, Pennsylvania throughout a cold, wintry day in 1959. Keep in mind that the RDC link for the Hazleton Branch can be watched at right. Doug Wornom photo.

The black Diamond was no the only noteworthy passenger the LV operated and was in reality the critical to obtain streamlining. The Lehigh Valley started delving into the streamliner industry in 1938 once it hired noted industrial designer rose oil Kuhler to modernize that train (who likewise styled together trains together the B&O"s imperial Blue, Milwaukee Road"s Hiawathas and also the GM&O"s Rebels).

The very first two trains come receive really modest, yet noted, streamlining were the Asa Packer and also John Wilkes.  After see the success these streamlining efforts brought the Lehigh valley Railroad made decision to walk all out on that flagship, the Diamond.

(The below Black Diamond timetable is dated reliable October the 1940.  For more consist and timetable information about the train please click here.)


Read under Time/Leave (Train #9)MilepostLocationRead UpTime/Arrive (Train #10)Time/Leave (Train #317/Reading, Philadelphia Section)MilepostLocationTime/Arrive (Train #328/Reading, Philadelphia Section)Time/Leave (Train #9)MilepostLocationTime/Arrive (Train #10)
11:05 am (Dp)0.0New York, NY (Pennsylvania Station)8:20 pm (Ar)
11:50 AM26.5South Plainfield, NJ7:34 PM
12:49 PM77.0Easton, PA6:33 PM
1:05 pm (Ar)88.6Bethlehem, PA6:13 afternoon (Dp)
11:20 am (Dp)0.0Philadelphia, PA (Reading Terminal)8:10 afternoon (Ar)
11:26 AM2.9Philadelphia, PA (North large Street Station)8:02 PM
11:31 AM5.1Wayne Junction, PA7:58 PM
11:40 AM10.8Jenkintown, PA7:49 PM
11:59 AM24.4Lansdale, PA7:30 PM
12:03 PM27.1Hatfield, PA7:24 PM
12:07 PM29.6Souderton, PA7:19 PM
12:10 PM30.9Telford, PA7:15 PM
12:15 PM33.6Sellersville, PA7:10 PM
12:19 PM35.0Perkasie, PA7:07 PM
12:29 PM40.2Quakertown, PA6:57 PM
12:55 afternoon (Ar)56.6Bethlehem, PA6:30 afternoon (Dp)
1:14 afternoon (Dp)88.6Bethlehem, PA6:04 pm (Ar)
1:26 PM93.3Allentown, PA5:56 PM
2:09 PM122.7Mauch Chunk, PA5:13 PM
145.7White Haven, PA4:28 PM
3:40 PM176.0Wilkes-Barre, PA3:32 PM
3:56 PM184.0Pittston, PA3:09 PM
4:28 PM207.0Tunkhannock, PA2:40 PM
5:18 PM254.8Towanda, PA1:48 PM
5:47 pm (Ar)271.0Sayre, PA1:20 afternoon (Dp)
5:52 pm (Dp)271.0Sayre, PA1:15 pm (Dp)
6:49 PM307.1Ithaca, NY12:25 PM
7:45 PM344.5Geneva, NY11:31 AM
7:59 PM354.4Clifton Springs, NY11:16 AM
8:33 PM379.5Rochester Junction, NY10:46 AM
392.9Caledonia, NYF 10:30 AM
F 9:08 PM410.5Batavia, NYF 10:11 AM
9:50 pm (Ar)447.6Buffalo, NY (Lehigh sink Terminal)9:30 am (Ar)

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Lehigh sink 4-6-2 #2090 with what is most most likely the railroad"s premier "Black Diamond" service at Towanda, Pennsylvania in April, 1948.

While the LV did purchase a small fleet the lightweight, centralized equipment for the Diamond many of the cars used for the streamliner trains were built by its very own shop forces of enlarge heavyweight equipment.

The initial version that the black Diamond unveiled through Kuhler featured a handsomely systematized 4-6-2 Pacific kind steam locomotive bedecked in a striking livery that Cornell red and black, play on the theme of the railroad’s motion of anthracite coal. 

The inner of the train likewise featured themes of coal and also "black diamonds" and was rather classy, also while the Lehigh valley Railroad was always pressed because that cash (the on plank attendants even wore uniforms v the name of the train and also the diamond logo). 


A pair the Lehigh valley PA-1"s race westbound through Clark Township, new Jersey with train #9, the "Black Diamond," on may 12, 1955. Joe stark photo.

In 1948, the LV upgraded its power for the Diamond with American Locomotive"s beautiful brand-new PA passenger diesels (the Lehigh valley was the very first railroad to check this locomotive ~ above June 26, 1946).

The locomotives were adorned in a striking brand-new version of the LV’s Cornell red and black passenger livery (red changed black as the conquer color, with the last used in a pinstriping pattern comparable to the “cat whiskers” offered on the Pennsylvania Railroad"s GG1 electric locomotives).

this locomotives had a fleet the fourteen numbered 601-614 and were stunningly beautiful despite never owning any "B", booster units and also the train"s only marginal success.

as competition prospered through the 1950s and also the LV began to sink further and further right into red octopus it decided it to be time to bail out of the passenger business and petitioned the ICC because that approval, i beg your pardon was eventually granted, and the railroad end all through operations in 1961.

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Electro-Motive Database

In 1998 a gentleman by the surname of Andre Kristopans placed together a net page highlighting virtually every unit every out-shopped by general Motors" Electro-Motive Division. 

Alas, in 2013 the site closed.  However, Don Strack rescued the data and also transferred it end to his UtahRails.net website (another well resource). 

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SteamLocomotive.com

Wes Barris"s SteamLocomotive.com is simply the ideal web source in the study of heavy steam locomotives. 

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Researching Rights-Of-Way

A famous pastime for many is researching and/or trying out abandoned rights-of-way. 

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If you are researching energetic or exit corridors you could want to examine out the United states Geological Survey"s (USGS) historical Topographic Map Explorer

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