Learn more about the Lehigh Valley RR

(January 19, 2008) The Cornell Railroad Historical Society (CRHS) has put itself in a position to help rail historians answer questions they have about the Lehigh Valley RR. We consider the LV to be our home line, and include a number of former LV employees among our members. But our biggest resource is a collection of more than two dozen books and articles on the Lehigh Valley, most of which our organization donated to The History Center in Ithaca, NY in 1998. (At the time this museum was an active component for the DeWitt Historical Society of Ithaca, NY, but the name has now been changed to The History Center.)

Books on the Lehigh Valley: The collection is in the museum's hands and should be fully available to use soon, after the staff is able to catalogue it. Call ahead before going, to see if the books you are interested in are ready. The museum's phone is (607) 273-8284. It's at 401 E. State St., Ithaca 14850; fax: (607) 273-6107; and e-mail the community liaison: community@TheHistoryCenter.net. The museum is open 11-5, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays except holidays. Closed major holidays, Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Website for research at The History Center [Ithaca's history museum] : https://thehistorycenter.net/

Other resources: 

There is a very fine RR historical society that has specialized in the Lehigh Valley Railroad and five other anthracite lines: The Anthracite Railroads Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 519, Lansdale PA 19446-0519, https://www.anthraciterailroads.org/ ARHS publishes several issues a year of the magazine Flags, Diamonds & Statues plus an informal newsletter The Anthracite Extra on club and current news. They ask a SASE for an application. The annual dues are $20. You should write them directly if you have questions. CRHS is a member.

We also recommend The Historical Guide to North American Railroads compiled originally by George H. Drury, librarian of Trains magazine. A second edition became available in 2000, at a cost of $28.95, and runs to 480 pages (8 1/2 x 5 1/2" format, soft cover) from Kalmbach Publishing in Wisconsin, but it is currently not listed by the publisher. It may be available from used book dealers. The book has basic data on all Class I railroads, and how to do research on them.

And we recommend the National Model Railroad Association, which maintains the Kalmbach Memorial Library, a source of drawings, 72,000 photos, 3,500 books, 35,000 magazines, rosters, etc. on railroads and model railroads. Members have use of its resources. NMRA membership is $32 a year, 4121 Cromwell Rd., Chattanooga TN 37421 (423) 892-2846. CRHS is a member. The NMRA has one of the most extensive websites we have ever seen -http://www.nmra.org/

You may also consult both the national organizations and local chapters of the two national railroad history interest groups: The National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) and the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society (R&LHS).

What we can't do: Historical societies are seldom equipped to do research for you. The most we can hope to do is assemble information and make it available to you. This website lists as much current information as we have. And, we will continue to pursue additional information and publish it in future uploads to the site. You will have to do the actual work, including coming to Ithaca or some other community that has the rosters, employee timetables, and other records that have been preserved for some railroads, and in some instances for the Lehigh Valley. Or you may be able to buy books or copies of rosters.

Book dealers: Here are four dealers from whom you may be able to buy many of the books on the Lehigh Valley or of other railfan interest that we list:

Cal's Classics, 1058 E. River Rd., Nichols NY 13812 (607) 699-3172 (W.E. Caloroso, CRHS member).

Book Barn of the Finger Lakes 198 North Road Dryden NY Hours: Monday
-Sat 10- 5:30 Sunday Noon-5 (The barn is NOT LOCATED ON ROUTE13) - Vladimir Dragan 844-9365

Rails & Shafts, Box 300, Laurys Station PA 18059 (610) 261-0133 (Paul Koehner).

Ron's Books, Box 714, Harrison NY 10528 (11-6) (914) 967-7541.

The CRHS is always seeking additional information to include in this site. Please contact us at the following email address: CRHS Website E-Mail.


The CRHS/History Center collection on the LVRR

The following books and articles are potential sources of information on the Lehigh Valley. All are in the Tompkins County Museum, though a number had yet to be catalogued in early 2000. Books in the museum are softcover, approximately 8 1/2 x 11, with black and white photos, unless otherwise indicated. H for hard cover, C for color photos inside:

Lehigh Valley RR books

Archer, Robert F., The History of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, Forest Park, IL: Heimburger House, 1977, 372 pp H.

Bednar, Mike, Lehigh Valley New York Division, Laurys Station, PA: Garrigues House, 1994, 128 pp HC.

Bossler, Craig T., CNJ/LV Color Guide to Freight & Passenger Equipment, Edison NJ: Morning Sun Books, 1994, 128 pp HC.

Connell, John, Mr. Cornell's Railroad and How It Grew, Ithaca, NY: Concepts Design & Printing, 1982, 122 pp, 10 1/2 x 8 .

Dann, Mary Hamilton, Upstate Odyssey: The Lehigh Valley RR in Western New York, Rochester NY: Railroad Research Publications, 1997, 136 pp.

Greenberg, William T. Jr., and Fischer, Robert F., Lehigh Valley East of Mauch Chunk, Martinsville NJ: Gingerbread Shop, 1997, 192 pp.

Greenberg, William T. Jr.; Kramer, Frederick A.; with Gleichman, Theodore F. Jr., Handsomest Trains in the World, Westfield, NJ: Bells & Whistles, 1978, 120 pp.

Lee, Hardy Campbell, revised and enlarged by Winton Rossiter, A History of Railroads in Tompkins County, Ithaca NY: DeWitt Historical Society (DHS), 1947, 1977, 64 pp 6x9 w/map.

Lehigh Valley Railroad Centennial 1846-1946, Bethlehem PA: privately published, 1946, 12 pp, 5 1/2 x 8 .

Marcham, David, Lehigh Valley Memories: A Tour of the Lehigh Valley RR in New York's Finger Lakes Region 1941-59, Ithaca: DeWitt Historical Society, 1998, 88 pp.

Mickey, M., and Warfel, D., Lehigh Valley Passenger Cars, Flanders, NJ: Railroad Ave. Enterprises, 1980, 64 pp 17x11.

Pennisi, Bob, The Northeast Railroad Scene: Vol. 1: The Lehigh Valley, Flanders, NJ: Railroad Avenue Enterprises, 1976, 60 pp 11 x 8 .

A Pictorial Review of Sayre, Pennsylvania on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, Vol. 1-7, Sayre, PA: Valley Railroad Museum Assn., 1982+, 32 pp each.

Plant, Jeremy F., and Steinbrenner, Richard T., Lehigh Valley-3 in Color, Scotch Plains, NJ: Morning Sun Books, 1999, 128 pp, HC.

Railroads in the Lehigh River Valley, Kulp, Randolph L., editor, Allentown PA: Lehigh Valley Chapter, NRHS, 1956, 1962, 1974, 116 pp 6x9.

Rails North: Lehigh Valley in New York State, Marcellus NY: Central NY Chapter, National Railway Historical Society (CNYC:NRHS), 1971, 48 pp.

Reifschneider, Felix E., Interurbans of the Empire State, Orlando FL: privately published, 1949, 52 pp, 5 1/2 x 8 .

Rules of the the New York, Auburn & Lansing R. R. Co. for the government of the Operating Department, Canandaigua NY: privately published, 1908, 48 pp, 4 1/2x8 1/2 H.

Steam Railroads of Central New York, Central New York Chapter-NRHS, 1973, 32 pp.

Steckler, Carl, Lehigh Valley Railroad Diesel Paint Schemes (1925-1976), Ithaca, NY: Hiker Publications, 1993, 100 pp.

Trice, Herbert V., The Gangly Country Cousin The Lehigh Valley's Auburn Division, DeWitt Historical Society of Tompkins County, 2004, Ithaca, NY, 162 pages, illustrated (soft cover).

Yanosey, Robert J., Lehigh Valley in Color, Morning Sun Books, 1989, 128 pp HC.

Yanosey, Robert J., Lehigh Valley 2 in Color, Morning Sun Books, 1991, 128 pp HC.

Yungkurth, Chuck, The Steam Era of the Lehigh Valley, Andover, NJ: Andover Junction Publications, 1991, 112 pp 11 x 8 .


Lehigh Valley articles

Andrews, Clinton, "Lehigh Valley Steam Locomotive Roster-Pre-1905, Part Two, Flags, Diamonds and Statues, Vol. 14, No. 3, Lansdale, PA: Anthracite RR Historical Society (ARHS), 1999.

Dover, Dan, "Lehigh Valley Final Roster," Parts 1 & 2, Extra 2200 South: The Locomotive Newsmagazine, Issues 76 & 77, Cincinnati OH: Railfax Inc., 1982.

Greening, Harold, The LVRR in the Genesee County Area 1890-1976, Batavia NY: copied newspaper articles, 1976, 106 pp.

Jahn, Richard W., "LV-Auburn NY," ARHS Flags..., Vol. 14, No. 3, 1999.

"Lehigh Valley Buffalo Division," ARHS Flags..., Vol. 11, No. 4, 1994.

"Lehigh Valley Reclassification Program" [1905 locomotive renumbering], Railroad Magazine, undated.

Leilich, George, "A night in the life of a trainmaster," and "The reincarnation of Lehigh Valley [engine] 582," ARHS Flags..., Vol. 13, No. 49, 1997.

Pennypacker, Bert, "Big Steam on the Valley: The personality of LV power," National Railway Bulletin, Vol. 57, No. 1, Philadelphia: National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), 1992, 6x9.


Books of other lines in Ithaca

Casey, Robert J., and Douglas, W. A. S., The Lackawanna Story: The First Hundred Years of the D. L.& W., McGraw Hill, 1951, 224 pp, 6x9 H.

The Historical Guide to North American Railroads, second edition, Waukesha WI: Kalmbach Books, 1999, 480 pp, 8 1/2 x 5 .

Kerr, Richard D., The Ithaca Street Railway, Forty Fort PA: Harold E. Cox, 1972, 48 pp w/map.

King, Sheldon S., The Route of the Phoebe Snow: A Story of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, Railroad Avenue Enterprises, 1986, 184 pp.

Lackawanna Route in Central New York, Central New York Chapter-NRHS, 1977, 32 pp.

Palmer, Richard F., Ithaca-Auburn Short Line: New York, Auburn & Lansing RR, Central New York Southern RR, privately published, undated, 72 pp.

Reifschneider, Toonervilles of the Empire State, Orlando FL: privately published, 1947, 40 pp, 6x9.

Taber, Thomas Townsend , The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in the Nineteenth Century, privately published by Thomas Townsend Taber III, Muncy PA, 1977, 412 pp.

Taber, Thomas Townsend and Thomas Townsend Taber III, The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in the Twentieth Century, two volumes, privately published by Thomas Townsend Taber III, Muncy PA, 1977, 780 pp.

Locally Produced Books on the Lehigh Valley RR

In 1998 the DeWitt Historical Society published Lehigh Valley Memories: A Tour of the Lehigh Valley in New York's Finger Lakes Region 1941-59 by David Marcham, railfan, former LV employee, longtime railroader, and CRHS member. It's available by mail from Ithaca, 88 pages, soft cover, 8 1/2 x 11, with well over 100 sharp black and white photos, plus 35 maps, tables, signs, signals, and other souvenirs of the era.

In the book, you ride the trains and meet the men who ran a picturesque segment of the Lehigh during two roller-coaster decades--the boom years of World War II, the shift from steam to diesel, and ultimately the decline and abandonment of passenger service.

The author starts as a young railfan who realizes the dream of working for his hometown railroad, and goes on to a career with the Chesapeake & Ohio, New York Central, and Boston's famed "T," the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Also consider a second book by the same publisher, A History of the Railroads of Tompkins County by H.C. Lee, revised by Winton Rossiter, 1977, 64 softcover pages 6x9 with a two-color 20x24 annotated map of all projected, graded, built, and abandoned rail lines in the New York State county that includes Ithaca. This carefully researched book traces the lineage of the Lehigh Valley and dozens of other local railroads. Illustrated.

The DeWitt Historical Society published The Gangly Country Cousin the Lehigh Valley's Auburn Division by Herbert V. Trice, This is a book about ther rural branches of the Lehigh Valley, extending from Sayre, PA to Fair Haven, NY, from Elmira, NY to Camden, NY and from Auburn, NY to Ithaca, NY along the shore of Cayuga Lake. It is well illustrated, often with pictures not seen anywhere else, and also includes maps and decorative illustrations.

The Ups & Downs of a Rural Line: The Elmira, Cortland & Northern RR by David Marcham (Cornell '53). A history and memoir of the branch of the Lehigh Railroad that once ran from Elmira, New York all the way to Camden, NY. David Marcham worked as a towerman at Cortland Junction while a student, and has since spent a lifetime in transportation as a railfan, station agent, with the Army Transportation Corps, worked for major commercial railroads and with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority before his retirement. 152 pages , 100+ illustrations, graphs, and timetables. 8½ x11, soft cover, Ithaca, NY, 2009.

Some of the books mentioned are available from the book dealers noted above and from local bookstores in Ithaca, NY. Others are available from used book dealers on the Internet, but sometimes at prohibitive cost.