Northampton Press

Saturday, January 19, 2019
Coplay Cement, 1954 Coplay Cement, 1954
Keystone Portland Cement, 1954 Keystone Portland Cement, 1954
Dragon Cement and Siegfried Station, 1972 Dragon Cement and Siegfried Station, 1972
Whitehall Cement, 1965 Whitehall Cement, 1965
Universal Atlas Cement and Northampton and Bath Railroad, 1972Photos courtesy of Mike Bednar, Randolph Kulp and Larry Oberly Universal Atlas Cement and Northampton and Bath Railroad, 1972Photos courtesy of Mike Bednar, Randolph Kulp and Larry Oberly

Railroad memories

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

We recently wrote a five-part series on railroad memories, which resulted in a number of people sharing their own railroad experiences with us. So I called my friend Mike Bednar, a former railroad engineer and author of a number of railroad books, requesting more information. He graciously agreed.

Mike and his friend Ken Bealer authored the book “Trackside Around the Pennsylvania Cement District” in 2010. They write that seven railroads at one time served the area.

Do our older readers recall the Lehigh New England, Jersey Central, Delaware Lackawanna and Western, Lehigh Valley, Reading and the short lines of the Ironton and Northampton and Bath? Today, the major railroad is the Norfolk Southern.

The cement industry was the impetus to the railroads. Over the years, 60 cement plants dotted the area. Cement stimulated the growth of communities, such as Bath, Nazareth, Northampton, Cementon, Coplay, Ormrod and Fogelsville. If one drives through the area, you can still see some old company homes from our past. Today, four companies and five plants continue to produce quality cement. These photographs give us a window to our past.

More railroad and cement history in two weeks.