Lehigh Valley competed with Lackawanna and Erie railroads for New York-Buffalo traffic across southern New York and northeast Pennsylvania. In 1958, the railroad offered three daily trains to Buffalo and three more trains that went only part of the distance from New York to Buffalo. Several of the trains also served Philadelphia via a branch that departed from the main line at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Unlike Erie and Lackawanna trains, Lehigh Valley trains actually entered New York City instead of terminating at a ferry building on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. During World War I, the U.S. Railroad Administration ordered the Pennsylvania Railroad to allow the Lehigh Valley, Baltimore & Ohio, and other railroads to use its tracks to enter New York City and Penn Station. In 1928, PRR evicted the B&O from Penn Station, but allowed Lehigh Valley to continue, probably because PRR owned nearly a third of Lehigh Valley’s stock. Lehigh Valley trains still took nearly two hours between New York and Buffalo the New York Central’s, but the smaller railroad could offer travelers from intermediate points such as Wilkes-Barre and Allentown with direct access to Manhattan.