The Restored CNJ Depot in Bethlehem, PA
Here is a view, looking to the northwest, of the historic 1873 built CNJ passenger station in Bethlehem, PA. At one time, double tracked, this was where passengers once boarded for trips north towards Allentown, Jim Thorpe, and Wilkes-Barre, and east towards Bound Brook and Jersey City, NJ.
Passenger service to Bethlehem over the Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad (L&S) began in 1868. The CNJ leased the L&S in 1871 in order to better compete with the Lehigh Valley Railroad, whose tracks ran along the opposite side of the Lehigh River. The current three-story building opened in 1873. The Bethlehem chapter of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (the Jaycees) leased the second floor in 1962 and undertook a restoration of the structure. Passenger service ended on August 18, 1967. The CNJ's Harrisburg-Jersey City, New Jersey Queen of the Valley, and local service to Jersey City, New Jersey were the last trains out of the station.
The "Lehigh Street Depot" restaurant, later known as the "Main Street Depot", opened on the first floor in 1976. Conrail, successor to the CNJ, formally sold the property to the restaurant owners in 1982. The Main Street Depot closed in 2010; a new restaurant, "The Wooden Match", opened in 2011 and remains there to this day.
Click here to see a similar perspective from Doug Lilly in 1987.