Posts Tagged ‘early Conrail era’

EL Monday: One Day at Brier Hill Yard

May 29, 2023

George Cheatwood caught Conrail No. 2489 still in Erie Lackawanna colors in the ex-EL Brier Hill Yard in Girard on April 22, 1978. The unit once wore EL roster number 2415. 

EL Monday: Waving From the Caboose

May 8, 2023

It is June 5, 1976, and thus early in the Conrail era in Akron. A crewman is waving from the Lehigh Valley’s Bicentennial caboose as it heads west on ex-Erie Lackawanna trackage. 

Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Transition Era at Conrail

May 2, 2023

Conrail U25B No. 2623 is shown in Toledo on Nov. 11, 1979. The unit was built for the Pennsylvania Railroad in October 1962 where it had roster number 2523. Penn Central gave it roster number 2623 and that number carried over into the Conrail era. The Conrail Cyclopedia website does not show the 2623 as having been confirmed as having been repainted into Conrail colors. As was typical in the early years of Conrail, predecessor locomotives operated in their original liveries although with markings painted out or painted over with “CR” initials as is shown here.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Some Penn Central, Some Conrail

February 14, 2023

It’s a winter day in Akron and although Conrail has been in operation for more than three years its motive power still shows signs of it being a transition era. GP38-2 No. 8019 has minimal Conrail markings but has yet to be repainted blue as has been sister unit 2568. The 8019 was built for PC in 1973 and is shown leading a westbound on Feb. 3, 1980.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Alco in Youngstown

February 13, 2023

Conrail 5239, a former Erie Lackawanna Alco RS3 is in Youngstown on Sept. 4, 1978. The photograph was made by George Cheatwood of Akron and made available by Robert Farkas. As was typical in the early Conrail years, the original livery is intact but the EL markings have been painted over in favor of a simple “CR” on the the flanks and nose.

The bottom image was also made by George. EL 2571 is a GE U25B and was captured in Cleveland on April 7, 1979. It is well into the Conrail era but the 2571 still carries its EL colors and even an EL herald on its nose.

Northbound in Akron in Early Conrail Days

January 27, 2023

Former Penn Central SD35 No. 6022 is northbound in Akron on May 26, 1977. Very likely, this train is heading to Hudson and then on to Motor Yard in Macedonia.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Durfee Conrail Book to be Released April 1

January 3, 2023

Presale orders have begun for a book written by Akron resident Roger Durfee about the early Conrail era. Conrail Rainbow Era: Northeast Ohio is the fifth in a series published by The Garbelly Publishing Comapny.

It is being sold for $45 and will be released on April 1.

In a Facebook post Durfee indicated the book focuses on Conrail operations in Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown and nearby areas. It contains 160 color images.

The publisher’s website described the content of the book as showing “Conrail’s Alco locomotives, F-units, and first-generation power in the railroad’s earliest years. A smattering of freshly painted Conrail blue locomotives and leased power from other railroads mingled with the patched power from Conrail’s predecessors, adding to the color palette.”

Durfee is a retired conductor for Norfolk Southern who once worked for Conrail.

The book can be ordered at

EL Monday: Still Hanging on in Conrail Era

November 14, 2022

We asked the wayback machine to take us to a time and place where we could see a motive power consist of mixed eras. That was how we wound up in Alliance on Dec. 23, 1978, to see a consist of Conrail, Erie Lackawanna and Penn Central liveries.

Conrail was just over two years old and such sights would not last much longer. Note that the ex-EL and ex-PC units have a CR initial stenciled on their flanks.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Very Early in the Conrail Era in Akron

November 9, 2022

Penn Central SD45 No. in Akron on June 29, 1976. It is on the point of a westbound near Voris Street. Trailing behind it is a former Erie Lackawanna unit. This image was made during the early months of Conrail.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

EL Monday: Doing What it Does

September 26, 2022

It is July 2, 1976, in Akron and thus only a few months into the Conrail era. Former Erie Lackawanna NW2 No. 410 is doing what it does best. Conrail would later renumber the switcher No. 9217. It was built for the Erie Railroad in January 1948. Note that No. 410 is switching an EL gondola.

Photograph by Robert Farkas