We are continuing to “look back” to transportation in Bath from the 1937 Bath-Bicentennial Book edited by two former Bath historians, Rev. Reginald Helfferich and Asa K. McIlhaney. “Doorways and Dormers” is the book’s title.
Most of my readers remember the Northampton and Bath Railroad, a project of the Atlas Portland Cement Company. It was built in 1901 and 1902 between Northampton and Bath and opened for service in 1902. Old-timers liked to call it the “Nowhere and back railroad.”
In Bath, the 8-½ mile railroad made connection with the Lehigh & New England and Delaware & Lackawanna Railroads. The railroad carried cement from the Atlas Portland, Bath Portland and Keystone Cement companies to the markets on the east coast. The railroad office was located on Main Street in Northampton. The site is the present Newhard Pharmacy. The N & B was one of the first railroads to use diesel locomotives. The final run was made in 1978. The Atlas Cement Museum has a number of N & B artifacts which include the original banner and five-cent ticket used when you boarded the train in Weaversville for Northampton.
The Bangor and Portland Railroad extended their line from Nazareth to Bath in 1900. The first train ran to Bath on October 11, 1900. It was a special train. The Bangor Railroad was taken over by the D, L & W Railroad.
The first train over the Lehigh & Lackawanna to Bath was Thanksgiving Day 1867 (pictured above.) The last passenger train out of Bath was the last Saturday night in July 1929 when the Lehigh & New England abolished all passenger service.
In 1890, the “Boston Flyer,” a well-known express, made a daily trip to Washington D.C. via Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Bath and Pen Argyl.
For a number of years a trolley was operated between Bath and Nazareth and was known as the Allen Street Railroad. Carl Rehrig recalled the conductor’s famous Pennsylvania Dutch refrain: “Bethlehem, Bath and Nazareth, don’t forget your packagass.”
On June 3, 1925, William G. Klipple came to Bath and established the Klipple Bus Lines, giving frequent service between Bath and Bethlehem, also Nazareth, Northampton and Moorestown. There are still a number of local residents who can recall riding over to Nazareth and Northampton High Schools on a trusty Klipple Bus. What great memories.