Peter Brill 308 pages softcover
For approximately the last four decades of its existence, the Lehigh & New England Railroad's operations through New Jersey and New York were typlified by the image of either a massive E-14 class 2-8-0 or a three or four unit set of Alco FA/FB's hauling a long freight consisting primarily of two-bay coal hoppers, covered cement hoppers and box cars carrying bagged cement. The anthracite coal and Portland cement primarily originated on the L&NE in Pennsylvania while the bituminous coal was received from CNJ at Bethlehem Jct. via the RDG at Allentown. On the way to the New Haven's Maybrook Yard, the gateway to southern New England, traffic was interchanged with the NYS&W, DL&W, Erie, O&W and NYC. There were few online customers and they were switched by the road freights.There had been an earlier era, dating back to the days of the Pennsylvania, Poughkeepsie & Boston, when the east end originated loads of granite, limestone and milk. A modest steam-powered passenger service was converted to motor car service. A variety of locomotives dominated by various classes of 2-8-0's but also including 4-4-0's and 4-6-0's handled assignments. While this book concentrates on L&NE's operations in New Jersey and New York, it also presents significant information on Pen Argyl and the main line eastward to the Delaware River as this was the route of the freights to Maybrook. Much of this information is contained in the presentation of 28 conductor's train reports in 1945 and 1947 showing delays at stations including the number of cars set off or taken on and the assistance of pushers both east and westbound over sections of the route..In contrast to many of the anthracite roads which controlled their own coal companies until forced by the federal government to divest themselves of these operations, the L&NE was owned by an anthracite mining company, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, for the last fifty-seven years of its existence.The L&NE was also unique among the western carriers entering Maybrook Yard as its operations in New Jersey and New York primarily utilized the trackage of other carriers, particularly the NYS&W and the Erie/EL. After the L&NE ended operations on October 31, 1961, the NYS&W and EL soon responded by abandoning this trackage. This book features extensive coverage of the NYS&W main between Hainesburg Jct. and Swartswood Jct. and the Erie/EL's Pine Island and Montgomery branches.The L&NE was the modest culmination of a grand scheme envisioning a trunk line extending from north of Harrisburg, PA to Boston, the South Mountain & Boston Railroad Company. Construction of a much smaller railroad was still beset by years of financial difficulties and corporate reorganizations but the railroad that was ultimately built enjoyed about forty years of success as a heavy hauler of coal and cement to the New York and New England markets. SM&B, PP&B and L&NE along with a number of other short-lived corporate entities are all covered in this book.