Mail 9 Was a Penn Central Train, Too

Back in the early 1990s I used to drive to Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on Saturday mornings to railfan Conrail’s Middle Division.

This was former Pennsylvania Railroad territory and there were reminders of the Pennsy everywhere.

One of the trains that could be routinely counted on passing through during the time  was intermodal train Mail 9.

It originated in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, and ran to Chicago. It also had a section that originated in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that carried symbol Mail 9H.

Both trains typically passed through Lewistown in late morning.

Mail 9 had been a Penn Central train before Conrail came along in 1976.

In the image above the PC version of Mail 9 is shown westbound at the east end of the yard in Canton on Sept. 10, 1972.

The first first five locomotives are PC 4294, 4070, 4104, 4107, 2658 in both PC and in partial New York Central paint schemes.

Although the Mail 9 symbol is no longer in use, Norfolk Southern train 21E is the successor to Mail 9.

But modern train symbols just don’t have the same nostalgic feel as “Mail 9,” which bring back memories of when railroads had mail and express trains some of which carried a passenger car as a “rider coach” for the crew.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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