Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley
Batavia, New York
March 9, 1976

At one time the Lehigh Valley was one of five major railroads between the New York City area and Buffalo (the others being the New York Central, the West Shore, the Erie and the Lackawanna; the Pennsylvania also had a more roundabout route). The West Shore quickly became a secondary line of the New York Central; the other three, collectively known as the anthracite roads for the heavy coal traffic they carried, were devastated by the decline in the use of anthracite. By the second half of the twentieth century it was all too apparent that five railroads were too many for the available traffic and all were in financial trouble. Here we see the Lehigh Valley at Batavia, New York; in less than a month parts of it will be incorporated into the Conrail system and the remainder abandoned. Sadly, this was one of the segments that failed to survive.

In the distance the Lehigh's decaying Batavia station can be seen to the left of the tracks; the New York Central's mainline (also to be incorporated into Conrail) is just out of sight to the left. This view is looking east from the Creek Road bridge, now gone.

This page posted 2/1/2018. Text and photo ©2018 Lamont Downs.