Train buffs may lament the fact that there is no longer active passenger service in the area, but the history of the passenger railroads that once served the Lehigh Valley is being well-preserved along repurposed former routes such as the Saucon Rail Trail.
That fact was brought home at Monday night’s Hellertown Borough Council meeting, at which the borough’s representative to the Saucon Rail Trail Oversight Commission, Steve LaBrake, asked for permission to install a sign that will further help connect the modern trail with the rail lines that once ran along it.
LaBrake explained that the sign will be a replica of the sign that hung on the former Hellertown train station, which was demolished decades ago.
The station was located near Front and Depot streets, and that is the area where the replica sign will be mounted on poles along the trail.
The original sign is in the collection of the Hellertown Historical Society, which maintains a museum at the Heller-Wagner Grist Mill on West Walnut Street.
LaBrake said that in addition to Hellertown, replicas of the historic station signs that once greeted rail passengers at Bingen, Center Valley and Coopersburg will eventually be installed in the approximate locations where the buildings once stood.
Today one of the few reminders that the stations once existed are street names which date back to the days of passenger rail service, including Depot Street in Hellertown and Station Avenue in Center Valley.
The next Hellertown Borough Council meeting will be held Monday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Hellertown Borough Hall, 685 Main St., Hellertown. Meetings are open to the public and are typically held on the first and third Monday of each month.