Posts Tagged ‘New York Central Railroad’

NYC Geeps in Painesville

October 30, 2022

It’s been a while since the wayback machine has taken us back to the New York Central in Painesville. A pair of GP7s, Nos. 5740 and 5757 are in Painesville waiting their next assignment in February or March 1968. This was during the transition to the Penn Central era.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Mighty Oval Two for Tuesday

August 9, 2022

There is some interesting variety in these two images of an eastbound New York Central train caught east of Cleveland in 1967 or 1968. Here we see the train coming and going. John Woodworth was with me when I made this image.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Locomotive Finds at Collinwood Yard

September 30, 2021

It is late in the New York Central era or perhaps early in Penn Central Days. New York Central Alco RS3s No. 5344 and No. 5287 are joined by two EMD switchers, an ALCO FB, and an EMD E7A. all of them sitting in Collinwood Yard in Cleveland. Some of these locomotives might be used for parts or scrapped, others might be rebuilt or repaired, and still others might be repainted into PC paint.

Photography by Robert Farkas

Awaiting its End

April 30, 2021

It’s the late 1960s at the New York Central Bridge Yard in the Collinwood facility in Cleveland where NYC F3A No. 1635 awaits its end. Built in April 1948, we don’t know how it wound up getting smashed in like this.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Penn Central’s Stock Certificates Were Elaborate, Colorful, But Today are Mere Collector’s Items

January 27, 2017




When Penn Central filed for bankruptcy protection in June 1970 it was not only the largest business failure in America to date, but it rendered stock in the beleaguered company all but worthless.

One footnote to the Penn Central story is that when the New York Central and Pennsylvania railroads merged on Feb. 1, 1968, the company was officially known as the Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company, a name that didn’t last long and was shortened to Penn Central Transportation Company.

As seen above the stock certificates came in two colors, blue and brown. Shareholders also had the option of mixing the two shades.

Not unlike many stock certificates, Penn Central stock had an elaborate appearance, featuring a profile of the Roman god Mercury. He was the god of financial gain, commerce, messages/communication, travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves.

Given some of the financial shenanigans that PC management practiced during their trouble company’s life, perhaps the choice of Mercury was appropriate given their embrace of the latter two of Mercury’s traits.

Mercury appears amid scenes of a city skyline and various forms of transportation.

Because the PRR was the nominal survivor of the merger, it’s date of origin is listed toward the top on the right hand side.

From a legal perspective, the PRR had changed its name to Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company.

That didn’t last long. On May 8, 1968, the company name changed to Penn Central Transportation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penn Central Company.

For awhile, PC paid dividends to stock holders in an effort to create the illusion of success.

In reality, the railroad ran up a deficit of $2.8 million in its first year and it only grew from there, reaching $83 million in 1969. On June 21, 1970, PC entered bankruptcy proceedings.

At the time, Penn Central was the nation’s sixth largest company.

We all know that many of the railroad operations of PC were turned over to Consolidated Rail Corporation on April 1, 1976. Some PC lines not picked up by Conrail were saved, but others simply never saw rail service again and were eventually abandoned.

Penn Central Company survived the bankruptcy. It had considerable real estate holdings and eventually evolved into a financial services and insurance company later known as American Financial Group.

Today, Penn Central stock is a collectors item. One website that deals in old stocks and bonds is offering PC stock certificates online for $6.95, marked down from $10.95. On eBay, PC stock certificates on Thursday ranged in asking price from $2.19 to $8.19.

The stock certificates shown above are from the collection of Jack Norris.

Ex-NYC Syracuse Platform Rehabilitated

November 30, 2016

The New York State Department of Transportation has completed a $1.5 million restoration of a former New York Central station platform in Syracuse, New York.

NYC 3The work was done after a 2015 inspection found that the platform had decayed to a point where a privately-owned space below was threatened.

The work was paid for from the state’s transportation budget and involved replacing the concrete deck of the 560-foot long platform.

Workers also removed rust from steel columns, installed a new lightweight roof and painted the columns and back wall.

The NYC passenger station and freight platform were in 2009 placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fort Wayne RR Celebration Set for Early February

January 5, 2015

The Three Rivers Railroad Heritage Council of Fort Wayne, Ind., will present its Railroad Celebration 2015 on Feb. 7 and 8 at the former Pennsylvania Railroad station in that city.

The event, which will focus on the history of the New York Central Railroad as well as other rail lines in the tri-state region, will feature historic maps, photographs, memorabilia and model railroads. This is not a buy and swap show.

The restored Pennsy station is located at 221 West Baker Street in Fort Wayne. The station served Amtrak’s Broadway Limited and Capitol Limited until November 1990.

Hours for the event are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees are asked to make a $5 donation with children under age 12 free.

For further information call 260-489-2392.

NY Model Railroad Shop to Rebuild Station

September 18, 2014

A New York State model railroad shop that had been housed in a former New York Central depot that was destroyed by fire last May plans to rebuild.

Stan Slade, the owner of the Despatch Junction store in East Rochester, plans to model his new store after an 1880s Victorian-style station that served Chelsea, Mich. The Michigan station was located on the former Michigan Central, which became part of the NYC system.

“I’m doing it because I want to, not because I have to – I should be retired on an island somewhere,” Slade said. “I had so many letters and things from people saying I should get back into it.”

Slade plans to rebuild the store on the same site. The local zoning board will not require a variance if he rebuilds within a year.

The Chelsea station, which Slade found in a book of photographs of old railroad stations, still stand. It was preserved by a community group after Amtrak ceased serving it in 1981.



BO Tower Interlocking Machine Shut Down

September 12, 2014


Operators are still lining signals and switches at BO Tower in Kalamzoo, Mich., but not for much longer.

This past Tuesday the 44-level Saxby & Farmer interlocking machine inside of the tower was taken out of service. The tower remains open 24 hours a day with operators using a control panel to authorize movements.

But in the not too distant future an Amtrak train director in Chicago will be handed the responsibility to control the junction of Amtrak’s Michigan Line (former Michigan Central) and the Grand Elk Railroad.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is acquired the former MC line east of Kalamazoo from Norfolk Southern. NS will eventually relinquish to Amtrak the dispatching of the route.

The Michigan Railroad Commission approved the now decommissioned interlocking by New York Central affiliate MC in January 1915

BO tower once controlled lines affiliated with the Grand Trunk Western, NYC and Pennsylvania, along with interurban Michigan Railway

The ex-MC was divided between Amtrak and Conrail in 1976. Conrail also acquired the ex-PRR line.

Norfolk Southern got the two Conrail routes in 1999 and sold the ex-PRR line to the Grand Elk in 2009. The ex-MC east of Kalamazoo was sold to the Michigan Department of Transportation in 2013 with NS retaining freight rights.

Amtrak and the state of Michigan are rebuilding the Kalamazoo-Dearborn corridor for 110 mph speeds, which includes major track upgrades along with a complete replacement of the signal system to modern hardware that provides positive train control.

The route is used by the Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service and the Chicago-Port Huron, Mich., Blue Water.



When Penn Central Carried the Mail

January 22, 2014


Do you remember the westbound afternoon Penn Central mail train on the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad mainline? It was well-known for having a mixture of PRR, New York Central, and PC E-units. Here it is in September of 1972 passing Fairhope Tower in Canton.  The lead unit is PC E-7A 4211. As for the grain, I’m sorry about that, but this was taken on Agfachrome film.

Photograph by Robert Farkas