Posts Tagged ‘Conrail’

EL Monday: Life in the Conrail Era

October 3, 2022

Conrail SD40-2 No. 6479 is on the point of a westbound on the former Erie Lackawanna in Akron on May 3, 1980. Above the second unit is the light tower for the EL’s McCoy Street Yard.

At the same time an eastbound Chessie System freight with a caboose has just passed the 6479.

Note the former EL boxcar behind the motive power. The bridge in the background is Thornton Street. Today there are just two tracks at this location near Voris Street.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Division Change Point

September 29, 2022

Until the latter years of Conrail, the west edge of the Berea interlocking plant was the boundary of three divisions. The Dearborn Division had the Chicago Line west of CP 194 while the Indianapolis Line west of Berea was in the Indianapolis Division. The interlocking plant itself and everything east of it was in the Pittsburgh Division.

Shown in the top image is the division sign on the Chicago Line reminding crews that they have crossed into the Dearborn Division. As seen in the bottom image, the other side of that sign read “Pittsburgh Div.”

The Dearborn Division would later take over all of Conrail’s tracks in Cleveland and the Pittsburgh Division didn’t begin until near Ravenna. However, until the end of Conrail operations here in 1999, the Indianapolis Division continued to end at the west edge of the Berea interlocking plant.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

Harrisburg Area Two for Tuesday

September 27, 2022

Here are two from Pennsylvania made a decade apart. In the top image, the remains of Penn Central EP-5 No. 4976 are in Harrisburg on Aug. 22, 1978. The unit was built for the New Haven by General Electric in April 1955.

In the bottom image, a bevy of Conrail locomotives are leading a freight west on the Rockville Bridge over the Susquehanna River in Marysville on June 27, 1988. Note that one of the units is a Norfolk & Western locomotive in, perhaps, a bit  of foreshadowing of what would happen to Conrail a little over a decade later.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

When AC Tower Was Across the Tracks

September 23, 2022

AC Tower in Marion originally stood on the north side of the Conrail tracks. It would later be moved to the south side and reduced in height by the group that also preserved Marion Union Station. Shown is an eastbound Conrail train on the Indianapolis Line on May 23, 1999. At the end of the month these tracks will be taken over by CSX. In the foreground is the Sandusky District of Norfolk Southern.

Photograph by Craig Sanders

RoadRailers in Crestline Two for Tuesday

September 20, 2022

RoadRailers were a common sight in Crestline in the latter years of Conrail. These trains originated in the east in either Rochester, New York; Elizabethport, New Jersey, or Rutherford Yard near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Rochester trains terminated in Crestline while other RoadRailers operated through to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Sandusky.

I didn’t record the train symbols of the RoadRailer trains shown above. The top image was made from the Ohio Route 61 bridge and shows a train on the Fort Wayne Line crossing the Indianapolis Line at Crest Tower. The view is looking northeastward.

The Crestline passenger station would have once stood in the northeast quadrant of this crossing. The image was made on Sept. 12, 1998.

The bottom image was made at ground level, and shows GP40-2 No. 3277 pulling a westbound RoadRailer on the Fort Wayne Line. The unit was built in December 1973 for the Reading and would later serve CSX. The image was made on Aug. 15. 1998.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Conrail Two for Tuesday on Fort Wayne Line

September 13, 2022

Let’s go out on the Fort Wayne Line during the Conrail era to see trains captured a decade apart. In the top image GP35 No. 2340 is in Massillon on June 24, 1978. The unit was built for the Pennsylvania Railroad in February 1965.

In the bottom image, B40-8 No. 5060 is leading an eastbound through Sebring in October 1988. This unit was built for Conrail in April 1988 and later worked for CSX.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Conrail in Alliance Two for Tuesday

September 13, 2022

I only visited Alliance during the Conrail era once. That came on May 23, 1998, when I was with Dan Davidson. We spent much of our time there that day photographing the westbound signal bridge at the east end of the interlocking plant. At the time, it still had Pennsylvania Railroad position light signals. Both trains shown above are headed eastward on the Fort Wayne Line. Since then I’ve visited Alliance numerous times in the Norfolk Southern era.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Heading Out of Alliance on the Bayard Branch

September 9, 2022

Conrail SD45 No. 6115 leads a Bayard-bound train south out of Alliance on Aug. 18, 1979. All three units are EMD SD45 locomotives with the middle one still painted in Erie Lackawanna colors.

Photograph by Robert Farkas 

Conrail TV Train in Alliance

September 7, 2022

Conrail B36-7 No. 5005 leads an eastbound trailer train in Alliance, on March 5, 1988. Built by GE in November 1983, the 5005 wound up on the CSX motive power roster after the Conrail breakup in 1999.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Off to a New Life

September 7, 2022

Former Conrail SW1500 No. 9566 is off to a new assignment. Its Conrail markings have been painted over and a line drawn through its roster number indicates it has been retired by Conrail. Next to it is SD40-2 No. 6456. The train is passing through Berea on the Chicago Line in May 1997.

Photograph by Craig Sanders