Posts Tagged ‘Brier Hill locomotive shops’

EL Monday: Another One at Brier Hill

June 13, 2022

Erie Lackawanna GP35 No. 2555 is in Girard at Brier Hill yard on July 15, 1973. The unit was built for the EL in September 1964. It later was on the Conrail motive power roster where it carried number 3661.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

An EL Monday at Brier Hill

June 8, 2020

Today’s Erie Lackawanna Monday takes us to Brier Hill Yard in Youngstown on Oct. 1, 1972.

In the top image, Alco RS3 No. 923 is getting some maintenance  in the diesel house. The bottom image was made at the engine facility and features Alco S2 No. 913 and EMD F7A No. 7101.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Another EL Monday

December 16, 2019

It’s another Monday morning so let’s dial up the Erie Lackawanna in the wayback machine before getting to work for the week.

In the top image, it’s early 1973 in Kent. That’s EMD E8A No. 812 sandwiched into that motive power consist.

No. 812 was built for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western in spring 1951 and carried the same roster number.

In the bottom image, Alco RS-2 No. 921 is reposing at the engine facility at Brier Hill yard near Youngstown on Oct. 1, 1972.

No. 921 was built in February 1952 for the Erie Railroad.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Railroading as it Once Was: A Youngstown Snapshot Shows How I Remember this City

November 23, 2016


In defense of the grab shot, here is one I snapped in the summer of 1975. It was one of those stop the car, jump out, point and press, so I wasn’t expecting museum quality results.

I just wanted a shot of that Alco C425 as this was one of my first trips to Brier Hill in Youngstown.

Tucked away with all the other less interesting negatives, I took another look at this image recently and decided to scan it.

It is, indeed, a snapshot of what the everyday Erie Lackawanna looked like back then in that area.

From what I can see all equipment is lettered either Erie or EL. That’s the old Division Street bridge and what I think was the YS&T furnaces beyond the bridge.

EL Alcos moving ore hoppers surrounded by the mills: That’s the snapshot of Youngstown I’d like to remember.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Youngstown Was the Place if You Wanted to See Alco Power in Action

March 2, 2016

LV in Youngstown

There was some magic about the early years of Conrail, a blending of old and new. OK, so there was more old than new, but Conrail combined both by taking veterans locomotives and giving them some minor changes to show who operated the locomotive now even if the previous operator was still obvious.

And if you wanted to watch old Alco locomotives in action, Youngstown was the place to be. Motive power assignments saw large number of Alcos roaming the rails in the Mahoning Valley.

The former Erie Lackawanna Brier Hill locomotive shop was a mandatory stop to check out what was laying about, particularly in the early years of Conrail.

In the photograph above, former Lehigh Valley, Penn Central and Erie Lackawanna units gather at the EL Brier Hill locomotive shop in Youngstown in 1977.

The old and new is apparent with this former Lehigh Valley C-628. The LV name has been painted over and the initials “CR” applied to the nose. But the heritage of the unit remains unmistakable.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Then and Now at Youngstown’s Brier Hill Shops

January 30, 2012

The weekend of Jan. 21-22, 2012, found Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee in Pennsylvania for a Conrail Historical Society meeting. But en route, he stopped in Youngstown to take care of some unfinished business.

Thirty-five years ago, Roger shot the above scene at Conrail’s Brier Hill shops. Before Conrail, Brier Hill sported the major classification yard in Youngstown of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. The EL also maintained a major locomotive repair shop here.

Reportedly, the shop forces, including the managers, were railfan friendly and allowed photographers to record the array of motive power displayed there.

Look carefully at the photo above and you’ll find liveries of at least four railroads.

Initially after the Conrail takeover in 1976, Brier Hill continued to play a key role. It became the western terminus of what had once been a Conway (Pittsburgh) to Haselton Yard train. Locomotive inspections and repairs done at Gateway (Pittsburgh & Lake Erie) and Haselton (Pennsylvania) yards were shifted to Brier Hill.

The collapse of the steel industry in the Mahoning Valley combined with Conrail’s downgrading of the former EL and other lines would diminish Brier Hill. Locomotive servicing was concentrated at Conway. Much of the former EL in Ohio was downgraded or ripped up.

In modern times, some of the Brier Hill shops complex continued to be used as a repair facility by Norfolk Southern maintenance forces. The Ohio Central also uses part of Brier Hill yard.

As seen in the photograph below, though, other parts of Brier Hill are silent, with some remains serving as monuments to a glorious past.

Photographs by Roger Durfee