Posts Tagged ‘Conrail’

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

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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 csanders429@aol.com 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.

CSX Plans Major Changes for Indianapolis

June 15, 2017

CSX is planning major changes to its operations in Indianapolis, including closing Avon Yard and its dispatching center, and spending millions to rebuild smaller facilities.

The news was reported on Trainorders.com by a poster who reprinted a memorandum from a railroad labor union officer who attended a meeting held in Indianapolis to be briefed on the changes.

The only date given for the changes was Oct. 31, when dispatching operations now based in Indianapolis will be moved to Jacksonville, Florida.

The CSX Indy dispatch office is a former Conrail facility that now oversees former Conrail territories that CSX acquired in 1999. It also dispatches all former B&O lines in Northeast Ohio operated by CSX.

Avon is a former New York Central hump classification yard that opened in June 1960.

Earlier this month CSX said it would close the locomotive shop there, but now it plans to farm out its other activities to the Hawthorne, Transfer and State Street yards. A new intermodal facility is to be constructed at a site to be named.

All of those facilities will be receive track upgrades and new buildings. The operating plan is to base scheduled jobs out of all yards on all three shifts.

Hawthorne will handle road trains while State and Transfer yards will handle the local and industry work.

As part of the restructuring, the local jobs will be assigned three-person  crews, which CSX management believes will be able to more efficiently handle switching.

Hawthorne, a former Pennsylvania Railroad yard, is a stub-end facility because the ex-PRR mainline on the east side of Indianapolis has been abandoned.

Avon crew pools will change at one of the three yards, although the operating plan is still being worked out.

This will include re-advertising all of the pool jobs to take into account adjustments in mileage and other operating changes.

One report is that some switching now done at Avon will be taken over by the Alton & Southern in the St. Louis region.

In years past, Avon built blocks for Penn Central and Conrail that were interchanged with western railroads in St. Louis and the St. Elmo, Illinois, gateway.

Locomotive fueling now done in Avon will be done throughout the Indianapolis terminal by fuel trucks. Car department repairs will be performed at Hawthorne.

The union memorandum said CSX wants to move quickly on the terminal changes, ideally within the next 45 days.

One impetus for closing Avon might be that the area around it has developed into a busy commercial-residential area and CSX might see an opportunity to sell land to developers.

Trains of 5 Railroads in 6 Hours

April 6, 2017

New Jersey Transit in Newark station.

I went railfanning out at Bound Brook, New Jersey, last week. I took New Jersey Transit to get there.

At Bound Brook, the old Central of New Jersey and the old Lehigh Valley mainlines are about 50 feet apart.

You can stand on the NJT platform and photograph both lines. The LV line today is Conrail Shared Assets, hosting Norfolk Southern, CSX and local Conrail action.

The CNJ line is strictly the domain of NJT. It was used by the Baltimore & Ohio, Reading and CNJ.

After Conrail formed the CNJ eventually went to NJT and the Reading/B&O connection was switched over to connect with the LV line instead. Any local freight service is handled by NS.

In my travels I also had to change trains at Penn Station in Newark, New Jersey. Here are some shots from the day, including short line Morristown & Erie bringing freight down to Harrison, New Jersey via the old Lackawanna mainline, for interchange with CSX.

It’s a 1964 Alco C424 in actual freight service in 2017. The Pennsylvania Railroad bench is in Penn Station. Some things change, some remain the same.

In all, I made photographs  of five railroads in six hours.

Article and Photographs by Jack Norris

 

Railroading as it Once Was: Delaware & Hudson Also Was a Colorful Railroad in the 1970s

February 9, 2017

dh-in-early-conrail-era

While most know of the colorful early years of Conrail, the Delaware & Hudson wasn’t to be ignored either in the years after April 1, 1976.

The government allowed the D&H to expand as “competition” to the new Conrail and some of the newest power the Reading and the Lehigh Valley had was transferred to the D&H to help with their newly expanded territory.

In September 1976 a meet occurred on the Penn Division under the former Erie Starrucca viaduct in Lanesboro, Pennsylvania.

While this beautiful stone viaduct still stands and sees the occasional New York, Susquehanna & Western train, the D&H tracks below are all gone.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Freshly Painted

January 18, 2017

freshly-painted-conrail

Two fresh-painted helpers have assisted what looks like CAPI up the mountain from Altoona to Cresson, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 2, 1998. Somehow I managed a quick spot of sun on them in Cresson. In less than a year Conrail would be gone with this section becoming property of NS.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Penn Central Memories Bleeding Through

January 16, 2017
A double set of Penn Central mating worms logos can be seen on the nose of a former New York Central E8A rusting away in the collection of the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue.

A double set of Penn Central mating worms logos can be seen on the nose of a former New York Central E8A rusting away at the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue.

Penn Central disappeared as a railroad on April 1, 1976, when many of its railroad assets were absorbed by the newly-formed Consolidated Rail Corporation.

But Penn Central as a corporate entity continued to exist because it had extensive real estate holdings.

The railroad of the name Penn Central is far better known than the Penn Central Corporation, which continue to hold and manage the non-rail assets owned by the railroad that Conrail didn’t want.

A decade after Penn Central, the railroad, ceased to operate, Penn Central, the corporation, continued to sell and manage those assets. It even reorganized itself on Oct. 24, 1978, when it adopted the Penn Central Corporation moniker, and on March 28, 1994, when it was renamed American Premium Underwriters.

That suggests an insurance company, which is exactly what it was. It had its headquarters in Cincinnati and later was acquired by American Financial Group.

But enough history of Penn Central the financial company. Penn Central the railroad best known for seeking bankruptcy protection in June 1970 still lives if you look for it.

You can find vestiges of PC in the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum as well as on the sides of covered hopper cars.

I present here a gallery of Penn Central memories that were still living that I found in the past year and a half at various locations in Ohio.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

Look closely and you'll find evidence of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central, Conrail and the Wheeling & Lake Erie. The car is shown sitting on the lead to a grain elevator in Monroeville.

Look closely and you’ll find evidence of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central, Conrail and the Wheeling & Lake Erie. The car is shown sitting on the lead to a grain elevator in Monroeville.

The Penn Central logo is bleeding through over a Pennsylvania Railroad keystone logo.

The Penn Central logo is bleeding through over a Pennsylvania Railroad keystone logo.

A covered hopper in the consist of a Norfolk Southern train at Marion still wears its PC green and markings.

A covered hopper in the consist of a Norfolk Southern train at Marion still wears its PC green and markings.

Railroading as it Once Was: CR Rarity

January 11, 2017
lv-to-cr
Certainly one of the rarer units on Conrail, this former Lehigh Valley Alco RS-3 with a high short hood rests at the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, engine service facility in October 1977. Built for the Pennsylvania Railroad with a steam generator in that tall hood, it went to the LV as its 211. It would be the only unit of its kind on both the LV and CR roster, and would even retain this car body after it’s conversion in the RS-3 mod program. I believe this unit survives today, although with an EMD prime mover.
Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee