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PHILLIPSBURG AREA TRANSPORT HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS

Both the Delaware & Lehigh Rivers hosted great volumes of commerce. The junction of the Morris, Lehigh and Delaware Canals was here. Port Delaware, in the proposed heritage center site, was where coal was transferred from rail cars to boats to supply the Morris Canal. In the past, east - west and north - south routes of the Lehigh Valley, Jersey Central, Pennsylvania, Lackawanna and Lehigh & Hudson River Railroads met and interchanged freight and passenger traffic here, in addition to the Reading Railroad (from 1973 to 1976), and New Jersey Transit. At one time there were five major railroad yards, eight roundhouses / turntables as well as five passenger and freight stations in the vicinity. Steam locomotives were built in Easton by the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the first diesel-electric locomotive was built by Ingersoll-Rand in Phillipsburg. Currently Conrail (soon to be Norfolk Southern) and the newcomer Belvidere & Delaware River Railway continue to serve the area. The Bel Del Railway provides the opportunity for an outstandingly scenic excursion ride south along the Delaware River for 16 miles. Trolley service began with the Phillipsburg Horse Car Railroad Co., later the Phillipsburg Transit Co., and the area was also served by Easton & Washington Traction Co. (New Jersey Interurban Co.), Easton Transit Co. (Lehigh Valley Transit Co.), Philadelphia & Easton Transit Co. and Northampton Transit Co. Phillipsburg / Easton was a traditional hub of stage coach and motor coach routes and continues to be served by several bus companies. The area is bisected by the Delaware and Lehigh Navigation Canal National Heritage Corridor. The Morris Canal route is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as is the Central Railroad of New Jersey Heritage Corridor. The Delaware River has been designated a Wild and Scenic River in this vicinity. Phillipsburg has been an historic transportation hub, and remains so today. Much of the historic transport fabric remains in place and many structures survive. Close-by are the major tourist attractions of the Crayola Factory