Aug 6, 2013

Urban Transportation Archeology

The Lehigh Valley Transit Company abruptly ended it's Liberty Bell trolley service to Philadelphia in September of 1951, with no public notice. After several years of low ridership, it was given permission by the PUC to suspend service. Crews were quickly dispatched to remove track, which would make a State imposed resumption impossible. The train and trolley fans, two different species, hunt and document the remaining relics of the bygone systems. Shown above, crew working on the Aineyville Viaduct in 1950, with the Good Shepherd Home in the background.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If my memory serves me there is a documentary that explains that GM, the bus people, bought out LVT. Hence the haste to tear up the trolley lines. GM bought up trolley companies all across the country in order to sell buses. They tore up the lines as fast as they could and sold them for scrap.

Ironically, many cities now put in light rail lines to replace the "obsolete" trollies. I find that a little more than ironic.

Sadly, Gerhard Salomon isn't here anymore to verify. I also remember him saying that there was a man killed dismantling the Ainyville viaduct. It was big news at the time.

Love the historical stuff, Mike. In particular the old railroad pics. Thanks for sharing them.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:12, i know that GM wined and dined the trolley companies all across the united states, to sell them on buses, but i do not believe that they actually purchased them, especially not LVT. the transit company already was using buses for a number of years, and the use of buses and trolleys overlapped with LVT for several years. there are still other active LVT trolley enthusiasts in the valley.