Lots of Good Railfan Memories on Crown Branch

Conrail 7902 was my first railfan picture.

Conrail 7902 was my first railfan picture.

My chase of the Nickel Plate heritage locomotive up the Crown Secondary of Norfolk Southern on Sunday morning reminded me of past chases and trips on this branch.

My first railfan picture was taken at Twinsburg back in 1985.  It was Conrail 7902, a GP38 taken on a 110-mm film camera.

Back then the yard was much busier with crews running several shifts if not around the clock.  The now dismantled Chrysler stamping plant (the reason the branch was built) was running full production.

I have visited the yard many times throughout the years and found it to be a microcosm of the Northeast rail industry in general.

Built in the late 1950′ as part of the postwar economic boom, it has fallen victim to economic decline and a resurgence of sorts.

The Crown branch primarily served the aforementioned Chrysler plant and an adjacent industrial park. This plant’s closing severely hurt traffic levels on the branch.

Shelly Materials is another customer located on the line, which keeps it from being abandoned.

Here are a few of my photos from the Conrail era (including my first one) into the early years of the NS takeover when the branch was in full swing.  I even got a three-way meet one day.

Article and Photograph by Todd Dillon

The early 2000s after the NS takeover.

The early 2000s after the NS takeover.

CR 7635 a rarity, a former GP35 rebuilt as a GP38-2.  This was to be the pilot for a capital rebuild program but ended up being the only example.

CR 7635 a rarity, a former GP35 rebuilt as a GP38-2. This was to be the pilot for a capital rebuild program but ended up being the only example.

Just a typical Conrail era photo from the early 1990s.

Just a typical Conrail era photo from the early 1990s.

A former PRR auto parts boxcar like this one populated the yard when Chrysler was operating.

A former PRR auto parts boxcar like this one populated the yard when Chrysler was operating.

A recent photo after the Chrysler plant shut down.

A recent photo after the Chrysler plant shut down.

 

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