Trains near Dorney?

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Trains near Dorney?

Postby XxShinjiSaoxX » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:52 pm

I was wondering if anyone knew the rail lines that run into Allentown and approx. how far they are from Dorney? If you know that there are any running from the Philadelphia area, that'd be cool because my local transit line does not run anywhere near Allentown. I'm trying to figure out a method of getting there with taking more than one train.

Postby dannerman » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:46 pm

There is no passenger train service to Dorney. Or Allentown. Or anywhere in the Lehigh Valley for that matter.

To get to Dorney "by train", your only option is to take a train to 30th street station in Philadelphia. Then catch the Carl R. Bieber bus into the Lehigh Valley (Allentown stop would probably be the best option), and from there either take a LANTA bus to the park, or walk approx. 2 miles straight up Hamilton St. (which becomes 222, which goes past the upper part of the park). My vote would be to just walk the 2 miles (or take a taxi.. there's usually 1 or 2 waiting at the Allentown Bus Terminal anyway), since LANTA's service is abysmal at best. LANTA's site for more info/schedules.

Check Bieber's site for current schedules. The stop is on the 29th street side of 30th street station (across from the taxis. There's a little glass shelter for the SEPTA buses where the 9 stops. The Bieber bus also picks up there).

There's also a bus that runs Philly->Allentown operated by Susquehana, but the first Bieber bus is earlier, and the last is later. Also, I've had nothing but positive experiences with Bieber (even with the one grumpy driver, who will remain nameless :) )

Postby XxShinjiSaoxX » Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:02 pm

thanx for the info! :D i've ridden bieber buses in Kutztown (lehigh/reading area) i can't thankyou enough! i'm taking it that you've done this before, huh? impressive!

Postby dannerman » Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:08 am

Heh, actually, living in Allentown I've done the opposite direction (taken the bus to the trains to get around.. mainly Hatboro and Villanova to visit my gf at either home or school) although there's always the return trip. Bieber is actually based out of Kutztown (the Philly run will take you all the way to Kutztown, if you stay on).

Postby UdoTch » Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:09 am

Doesn't Beiber have a stop at the Charcoal Diner, which is like a hop, skip and a jump from the park?

Postby dannerman » Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:52 pm

I'm not sure - I never stayed on past the Allentown stop.

Postby UdoTch » Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:23 pm

Well I KNOW they stop their on their NYC run, its where we pick it up to go into the NYC. But I don't know about the Philly trip.

Allentown train service late 70's

Postby rwk » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:49 am

At one time you could take a train from Philly-Allentown or Allentown-Philly in the late 70's as part of Conrail/SEPTA's Philadelphia-Bethlehem service which before April 1, 1976 was operated by the Reading Railroad. Conrail took over several bankrupt railroads in the northeast, kind of how Amtrak took over all intercity passenger train service in 1971 (the private railroads were losing money, only freight service made money) Both Amtrak and Conrail were founded by the federal government. Now Bush wants to make drastic cuts on Amtrak and cut federal funding to zero for 2006. That's a shame, we need more train service, not less of it to ease our crowded highways. Here is the SEPTA timetable from 1978 showing the Allentown to Philly train service ... sched2.jpg The Bethlehem-Allentown segment only operated 1978 and 1979 with service cut back to Behtlehem again in October 1979. Service was cut between Quakertown-Bethlehem after June 30, 1981 due to PennDOT cutting funding for service going beyond SEPTA's five county area. It was cut to a Lansdale-Quakertown shuttle train, then at the end of July, 1981 all diesel train service on SEPTA was eliminated, thus ending all service north of Lansdale. Only electric trains operate on SEPTA, with service on the Lansdale line only going to Doylestown. There's talk about restoring service to Quakertown or even Bethlehem, but there's several hurdles that would need to be overcome such as the tracks between north of Quakertown where freight service ends and Hellertown have been rusting away for the past 20 years. Conrail operated the last through freight train to/from Bethlehem and Philly via Quakertown in 1984. Also here shows various commuter trains. The Reading and SEPTA trains with diesels at each end were the same train, that train ran the Bethlehem line and the Reading-Philly line in the 70's. Otherwise they used silver Rail Diesel Cars, built by the Budd Company (defunct) in Philly. Here are some pics of the Bethlehem train with silver diesel cars. and I realize some of you were't even born yet when this service operated since it was discontinued in 1981. It's a shame, though the Lehigh Valley lost passenger train service and it's nothing but freight trains. Also, service once operated from Phillipsburg, NJ to Newark/NY, but it was cut back to High Bridge in 1984 by NJ Transit. The closest rail stations for trains to Philly are Colmar on 309 and Lansdale, and the closest station for trains to NY is High Bridge or Annandale-Clinton off of I-78 in NJ. Most trains originate/terminate at Raritan, NJ, High Bridge service is limited and is weekdays only. Here is a rare shot of a NJ Transit train at Phillipsburg station in 1983 With SEPTA service the Reading Terminal was closed Nov. 1984 after years of service, and the new Tunnel opened to connect with 30th St. Station. Problem is diesels cannot operate into the tunnel, so that was one more factor to kill off the train service going beyond electric territory. Such as Bethlehem. And to terminate the service at Lansdale to connect with an electric train to downtown Philly wouldn't work so well because most people would prefer a one seat ride into the city without changing trains, which is what the Bethlehem service used to do until 1981 when all trains were terminated at Lansdale until the end of service that summer. You could take a train direct from Allentown-Philly in 78, 79 without changing trains. The Allentown stop was located at 3rd and Union Sts. at the Union St. crossing between Hamilton St. bridge and Union St. at a temporary platform. That was the former location of the LV RR station which was torn down in the 60's. The current station building was the former CNJ/Reading station. Parking for the train was in the large lot at the existing Allentown station. You boarded the train on the existing track behind the lot. Last LV RR passenger train Buffalo-NY through Allentown was in Feb, 1961, and the last Reading train from Allentown-Reading-Harrisburg was in 1963, and the last CNJ train to Jersey City was in 1967. The 78, 79 Allentown service was the first time since 67 that regular passenger train service operated to/from Allentown. And the last. Oh, the Bethlehem Union Station, where you caught the Philly train in the back under a sheltered platform (now gone) was reopened as a St. Luke's medical facility after being abandoned since the 60's.

Postby rwk » Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:38 am

One more thing, here's an article from this month about the Valley needing rail passenger service again ... slocal-hed I hope they can work something out before 2020. There's too many cars on the roads. I mean 309 to Quakertown gets busier and busier while the tracks get rustier and rustier. It would be nice to take a train from Allentown-Bethlehem to Philly or New York. Right now, your only option to ride the rails in the Lehigh Valley is be a hobo and hop an empty boxcar. But that's illegal. What caused the demise of service years ago is that it was money-losing becuase of lack of ridership due to America's love affair with the automobile and turnpikes and interstate highways. And airplanes.


Postby ouch » Wed Feb 23, 2005 11:31 am

yes they stop at the charcoal diner (at least for their NYC run) it's right up the street from the park.. You can probably see the park from the stop.

Postby UdoTch » Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:46 pm

Yes, you can pick up Beiber Bus at the Charcoal and get to Philly. (and vice versa). See Linkie for more info and stuff!

Postby XxShinjiSaoxX » Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:16 pm

Thanx alot guys. Even tho I drive, I just wanted to see if there was a more fun way to get there (trains). I mean even tho their dirty and stuff, the experiences are unforgetabble. hahhahaa, well ... from my town (Phoenixville, PA) it's about an hour and a half or less depending on which way you go. I've never been to the charcoal diner but once on a field trip we went to Allentown and it was a reeaaallly foggy/rainy day. We ate a service stop and on the way out, across the street i could see a flashing light and the closer I looked it was Steel Force! Then we drove even closer heading back to where I live. yea, that's kinda irrelevant to the topic however I never get to go to dorney anymore because my dad's company decided not to go there for picnics. So anytime I can sneak a peek of the park from anywhere, I get happy. you guys are lucky you've been there since the addition of talon/meteor .. i WILL be there for Hydra .. count on that

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