Peter Brill 148 pages softcover
The "Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad" was Lehigh Coal & Navigation's unincorporated railroad that commenced operations in 1837 southward from Wilkes-Barre to White Haven where it connected with LC&N's Lehigh Canal. By 1868, the L&S had been extended to Easton with a bridge over the Delaware River to Phillipsburg for connections to the Jersey Central, Morris & Essex and Belvidere Delaware railroads which relayed LC&N's anthracite to tidewater in New York Harbor. In 1871, LC&N leased the L&S for 999 years to Jersey Central. It was CNJ's "Lehigh & Susquehanna Division" between 1871 and 1946 when it became, for tax purposes, the "Central Railroad of Pennsylvania" for a short period before becoming CNJ's "Pennsylvania Division" from 1953 to 1972. However, the development of the L&S into a sizeable main line railroad with a number of coal-originating branches was the culmination of approximately eight decades dating back to the initial discoveries of anthracite deposits in northeast Pennsylvania. In this period, a major mining industry developed in the anthracite fields and it spawned a system of canals which was soon superseded by a dense network of railroads that coalesced into the Lehigh Valley, Reading and L&S railroads. The ready availability of anthracite for fuel and coking purposes as well as nearby deposits of iron ore and limestone combined with the voracious needs of the expanding mining companies and railroads fostered the growth of the anthracite iron industry in the Lehigh River Valley as well as numerous foundries, several railcar manufacturers and other factories. These eight decades are explored in this book which is intended as the first in a series of five volumes which will examine the entire history of the L&S, its importance to CNJ, competitors, industries it served and the evolving relationship between CNJ and LC&N.