Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania | C.1917

Photo Credit: Katie Markquart

Tucked away in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania is the vintage Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway (LGSR). This 16-mile, 60-minute round trip follows the Lehigh River over historic bridges, through Glen Onoko trail and into the Lehigh Gorge State Park.

What makes this rail journey unique is not just the trip itself, but the vintage cars carried by one of the last remaining steam locomotives in passenger service.  The standard red coaches were manufactured as early as 1917 for the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad, while standard blue coaches were added in the 1930’s by Bethlehem Steel for commuter service in the Philadelphia region.

The LGSR operates along the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad: a primarily freight railroad handling 34,000+ carloads of cargo per year. They also provide passenger services to the surrounding community – referred to by some as the Lehigh Valley’s “own Polar Express”.

In November 2019, a tax dispute with the borough ceased LGSR operation, but just for a short period of time. The dispute was soon settled, and the line resumed service in February 2020.

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