NJ Day 2 – A trip to Bethlehem 2


Tuesday actually had some sunshine to work with.  So after work, I decided to head west to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and see what I could see around the old Bethlehem Steel plant on the Lehigh Line.  As things worked out, I caught a couple trains there, as well as shot a couple pictures of the new Sands Casino in part of the old steel plant.

Because I got out of the office a bit late, I had to contend with traffic – there were a few slowdowns on I-78, but the kicker was the Bethlehem exit.  It was backed up for about 2 miles from the exit.  So I ended up having to go down another exit, turn around, and get off the Bethlehem exit.  Seemed to work well, and I figure it was quicker than sitting in the traffic.

Anyways, by the time I got down to Bethlehem, I heard NS 261 (Roadrailer train) preparing to pull out of town west.  By the time I got down to track level, I was able to catch a shot of the trailers rolling past, with the old furnaces in the background.

Norfolk Southern train 261 heads west through Bethlehem, PA
Norfolk Southern train 261 heads west through Bethlehem, PA
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After he cleared, it sounded like a track crew was getting their authority to head over the river.  A quick look down the bridge confirmed that – a hyrail and what appeared to be a tamper were coming across the bridge

A track crew gets authority to cross the river from the dispatcher
A track crew gets authority to cross the river from the dispatcher
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The track crew begins to cross the Lehigh River
The track crew begins to cross the Lehigh River
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After contemplating what to do next, I looked to the west and saw that 261 had stopped.  I decided I’d head down and see what was up.

As I got down by CP-Burn, I saw the crew getting back up on the power.  OK, not sure what happened, but I’d at least get the head end of 261 heading west.  A few seconds later, they started rolling west.

Norfolk Southern train 261 heads west onto the NS Reading Line
Norfolk Southern train 261 heads west onto the NS Reading Line
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NS train 261 comes into full sunshine as they begin to head west
NS train 261 comes into full sunshine as they begin to head west
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And in this shot, you can see the tail end of a railgrinder that’s been working the area recently.

As the train rolled past me, I got a few pan shots of the trailers

A pan shot of the Roadrailer as 261 pulls out
A pan shot of the Roadrailer as 261 pulls out
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A pan shot of the Roadrailer
A pan shot of the Roadrailer
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A vertical pan shot of the passing Roadrailers on 261
A vertical pan shot of the passing Roadrailers on 261
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OK, now what to do?  The only thing I could pick up off of the scanner was some activity in Allentown yard, so I headed back towards the previous crossing.

As I approached the crossing, I could see a train sitting just on the other side of the CP-Bethlehem signals.

NS train HA13 waits at the CP-Bethlehem signals to head for Allentown yard.  In the background is the former Bethlehem Steel furnaces, and a loaded NS coal train on the right.
NS train HA13 waits at the CP-Bethlehem signals to head for Allentown yard. In the background is the former Bethlehem Steel furnaces, and a loaded NS coal train on the right.
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After a little bit, and just before the shadows took over for sunlight, HA13 pulled out with the furnaces as a backdrop, crossed over, and headed across the Lehigh River towards Allentown yard.

HA13 begins to pull out after getting the signal at CP-Bethlehem to head across the Lehigh River and eventually Allentown yard
HA13 begins to pull out after getting the signal at CP-Bethlehem to head across the Lehigh River and eventually Allentown yard
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HA13 pulls out across the mains in Bethlehem, PA
HA13 pulls out across the mains in Bethlehem, PA
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HA13 crosses over to head for the other side of the Lehigh River
HA13 crosses over to head for the other side of the Lehigh River
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HA13 makes their way across the Lehigh River, heading for Allentown yard
HA13 makes their way across the Lehigh River, heading for Allentown yard
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After that not much else was happening.  I hung around for a while, but nothing was doing.  So I decided to get a couple photos of the new Sands casino, which was built in a portion of the old Bethlehem Steel plant.

The view of the old ore bridge at the former Bethlehem Steel plant, now home to the Sands casino
The view of the old ore bridge at the former Bethlehem Steel plant, now home to the Sands casino
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A look at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA on the site of the old Bethlehem Steel plant
A look at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA on the site of the old Bethlehem Steel plant
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A look at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA on the site of the old Bethlehem Steel plant
A look at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA on the site of the old Bethlehem Steel plant
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At that point, I called it a night and made the 60 or so minute trek back to the hotel.

Thanks for looking!
Tom

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2 thoughts on “NJ Day 2 – A trip to Bethlehem

  • John Acton

    Tom: Nice job!!!!!!!!!!! One dumb question though, how many if any of the tracks in the yard did the casino rip out during their construction?? Sorri for the delay, I view pix on a weekly or less basis depending on how many i have stored. Thanx John Acton p.s. retired in 2006 from NS Lehigh Line Office in Hburg.

    • Tom Nanos Post author

      Thanks John! I’m not sure about how many, if any, tracks were taken out by the Sands during construction. The only thing I know is that the view from the top of the garage stinks, in a railfanning sense. 🙂

      -Tom