Posts Tagged ‘Conrail’

Well Weathered

February 17, 2018

Traces of Conrail can easily be found despite the fact that it has been 18 years since it was divided between CSX and Norfolk Southern.

The most likely vestige of Conrail that you can find are freight cars still carrying the carrier’s herald and name. It will be awhile before those vanish.

But if you pay attention, you can find Conrail in other ways, too.

Many railroad signs along the right of way of former Conrail routes continue to wear Conrail colors, even if the paint is peeling and the color has faded from years of exposure to sunlight.

That includes this station sign in Minvera, Ohio, that still stands along a former Pennsylvania Railroad branch line that at one time extended to Marietta, Ohio.

It is hard to believe that this line was once part of Conrail, but it was.

Conrail was created, after all, to get rid of branches such as the line to Marrietta and it did. Much of the route is abandoned west of Minerva.

The short-line railroad Ohi-Rail operates the remaining rails between Minerva and Bayard, where it interchanges with Norfolk Southern.


Another Early Conrail Memory

February 5, 2018

The early years of Conrail were most interesting and colorful as locomotives wearing predecessor railroads were mixed and matched in train consists.

For a time, some units wore continued to wear their former colors with Conrail markings.

Conrail 6074 leads a pair of eastbound helpers through the super-elevated curve in front of the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station in Massillon, Ohio on Aug. 17, 1981.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Life After Conrail

January 25, 2018

It was interesting to see Conrail 4022 (a.k.a. Erie 833) pulling an Amtrak train in the January Akron Railroad Club eBulletin. As I have shared with you, Erie 833 survives in a happy retirement in Port Jervis, New York, usually displayed on the former Erie Turntable.

Photograph by Jack Norris

An Alco Treat

December 18, 2017

With digital technology, a 35mm slide can have a small portion cropped out and enlarged to make a “second” into an acceptable image.

Three six-axle ALCO Centuries are eastbound through Akron in July 1976. Reading 5305 and her two Lehigh Valley companions certainly made early Conrail more interesting to Akron-area railfans.

Photograph and Article by Robert Farkas

Jack Norris Has a New Railfan Hangout

December 3, 2017


I just moved a few miles northeast of where I used to live and now live within 10 miles of four rail lines.

Three of the four lines are very active. I was in Dumont, New Jersey, along the old New York Central West Shore Line (former New York, West Shore & Buffalo), now the CSX River Line. This was NYC’s main freight line between the New York City area (Weehawken, New Jersey) and Selkirk (Albany) New York.

Many changes have taken place here at Milepost NY13 over the years. Until 1959, commuter trains and some Albany-bound trains (as well as trains of the New York, Ontario & Western until 1957) used this line.

The line here at MP 13 was four tracks wide. Dumont was the end of the four-track main and there was a commuter storage yard in town as well.

The main line continued as double track up to Selkirk. Penn Central did away with the four tracks and Conrail did away with the double track.

Where I am standing is the former Dumont Station site. A nice walkway/park lines the strip between the railroad and West Shore Avenue (I wonder where that name came from.)

There is a gazebo and several eating places across the street. CSX provides about 25 trains a day, although since the line is mostly single track the trains tend to come in sporadic bunches.

A concrete slab was most likely the base of a signal bridge. This will be a nice new spot for me to railfan.

Traces of Conrail

November 15, 2017

Conrail ceased operating as an independent railroad on June 1, 1999, when its assets were acquired by Norfolk Southern and CSX.

There remains the Conrail shared assets in New Jersey and Detroit, but those are operated by the two railroads that carved up Conrail more than 18 years ago.

Traces of Conrail can be found here there with the most notable being rolling stock still wearing Conrail markings.

But Conrail can also be found in other ways as well. This marker is affixed to a grade crossing signal at Joppa Road west of Vermilion on the Chicago Line.

Stack Trains on the Fort Wayne Line

August 25, 2017

In modern railroading double-stack trains have become very common to see. During an afternoon at Berea, for instance, you will see more double-stack trains than all other types combined. This is not always the case. Certain rail lines are devoid of this type of train.

One major route in our area is the former Pennsylvania Railroad west of Alliance. In the late Conrail into the first few years after the Norfolk Southern takeover, double-stack trains routinely used this route. After about 2002 NS rerouted these trains off this line.

This past weekend stack trains returned to the former Pennsy. Ironically, it was another double-stack train that derailed leaving Ft. Wayne, Indiana, which necessitated not one but two stack trains, 20T and 20A, to be rerouted between Ft Wayne and Alliance.

Here’s my take on 20T at Crestline Ohio on Aug. 19.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Conrail in Berea Cover Story of August eBulletin

August 22, 2017

When I moved to Ohio in August 1993 I set out to find a railfan spot that I had heard about while living in Pennsylvania. Berea was the epicenter of the Conrail “X” and I would quickly discover that it was as good as advertised.

But it was more than trains that made Berea a special place to be. There was a core of regulars who spent weekends in Berea and in time I got know those guys.

I’ve written about my Berea weekends in Conrail days in the cover story of the August issue of the Akron Railroad Club eBulletin.

Also in this month’s issue is a story about the July ARRC picnic at Warwick Park and information about two upcoming ARRC activities.

To request a copy of the August eBulletin or to become a subscriber, send an email to There is no charge for back issues and the subscription is free.

What Has Roger Seen Lately? Take a Look

July 18, 2017

Akron Railroad Club member Roger Durfee has been catching up on showing some of his more recent photographs.

He writes that this gallery is nothing too special, just some stuff from around work and nearby locations that he has captured.

The top image was made on one of the rails in the yard. Conrail’s welded rail plant was Lucknow in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

A splash of Kansas City Southern color on train 22K passed the Brookpark yard office when Roger was nearby.

Then there are these two views of LMIX 132, a car billed to Amtrak. Note the gas grill on the one end of the platform.

The Savannah & Atlanta heritage unit on was NS train 310 passing through Sheffield Lake. “[I] did the best I could with the higher summer sun,” Roger wrote.

You never know what you might find, including a restored Lake Shore Electric car in Avon.

Finally, here is the “Blue Mane” DC to AC conversion No. 4004 at Rockport.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Ex-Conrail Head Named FRA Director

July 12, 2017

A former Conrail executive has been named by President Donald Trump to serve as administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.

Ronald Batory

Ronald L. Batory has more than 45 years of railroad industry experience and until March 31 served as president and chief operating officer of Consolidated Rail Corporation.

Batory joined Conrail in 1998 as vice president-operations and was appointed COO in 2004.

Previously, he served as president of the Belt Railway of Chicago. His career includes more than 20 years working for eastern and western Class I railroads as well as assisting a court-appointed trustee’s oversight of a regional railroad bankruptcy.

His appointment is subject to Senate confirmation. The FRA is currently without a director although deputy administrator Heath Hall assumed his position on June 23.