Railroading as it Once Was: When Erie Lackawanna and Delaware & Hudson Swapped Power

Blue EL units

In advance of being absorbed by Conrail, the Erie Lackawanna did some “tidy up” work.

The Delaware & Hudson had acquired three EMD SD45s once their demonstration chores were done.

They were basically big orphans in a sea of Alco and GE motive power, so the D&H and EL worked out a one-for-one swap of the three SDs to the EL for three GE U33Cs to the D&H.

This was all fine and good until Conrail was acquiring the EL, but not the D&H; so the whole deal was undone a couple months before C-Day.

The U-boats returned to the EL and the D&H got its SDs back and quickly put them to work with a quickie re-lettering job.

I consider it a stroke of good luck to have ran across all three of them together at Binghamton, New York, in September 1976 in the sun no less, their travels having come full circle.

After a few years on the D&H these locomotives were shipped off to Mexico.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

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