Lehigh & New England 207
Lehigh & New England 207 is a heavy switching engine and is the only preserved steam engine from the L&NE, a coal hauling railroad in eastern Pennsylvania. It was built late in the steam era for switching duties in Catasauqua, near Allentown, where a short wheel base was needed to accommodate sharp curves. The engine has a wide firebox for burning Anthracite coal and, unusually, features two fire doors side-by-side. It was later sold by the L&NE and operated on the Detroit waterfront before being acquired by IRM. This engine is the last L&NE steam locomotive to survive and the only piece of ex-L&NE equipment preserved at IRM.
Lehigh & New England 207 Details
Builder: Baldwin Locomotive Works
Year Built: 1936
Builder Number: 61922
Wheel Arrangement: 0-6-0
Length: 66ft 4in
Width: 10ft 6in
Height: 14ft 10in
Weight: 183900 lbs
Brakes: SA2 Independant
Tractive Effort: 44200 lbs
Boiler Pressure: 215 psi
Condition: Complete / unrestored / not operational
Lehigh & New England 207 Ownership History
1936-? – Lehigh & New England #207
?-1966 – Nicholson Terminal & Dock #14
1966-1974 – Privately owned, Detroit, MI
1974-present – Illinois Railway Museum, Union, IL
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What was the Lehigh & New England?
The Lehigh & New England Railroad, or L&NE, was a medium-sized railroad between Allentown, PA, and Campbell Hall in downstate New York. Originally conceived as part of an east-west link between Harrisburg, PA, and Boston, MA, the L&NE was constructed in fits and starts during the 1870s and 1880s and never reached either of those termini. It ended up hauling a great deal of anthracite coal from mines in northeastern Pennsylvania and serving as a bridge line between the Reading Company in the west and the Erie and New York Ontario & Western in the east.
The L&NE converted from steam to diesel operation relatively early, but by the late 1950s use of anthracite coal was plummeting and the railroad’s business was declining precipitously. Without a connection between major urban centers or a good alternative traffic source, the L&NE shut down in 1961, one of the earliest significant U.S. railroads to do so.