Posts Tagged ‘Penn Central locomotives’

Railroading as it Once Was: Black & White Image for a Black & White Railroad

February 15, 2017


Penn Central locomotives were not known for their flashy livery. They had a minimalist black and white appearance with the PC herald affixed to the nose and the flanks.

Yet many photographers would love to be able to go back in time to see Penn Central again, if for one day.

We can’t do that, but we do have multiple images from the Penn Central era to remind us of another time.

PC F7A No. 1865 leads a train through Akron over tracks that have received minimal maintenance in recent years. The unit was built in October 1952 for the New York Central.

Photograph by Roger Durfee


Two for One

December 1, 2016



It is early in the Penn Central era (1968 or 1969), and PC 1665 (Notice the red “P” and white “C”) and New York Central 1666 are leading a northbound PC freight heading to Hudson. Is this an image of the ex-Erie Lackawanna Akron passenger station when it was still in use or a distant image of two F’s? You be the judge.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

Railroading as it Once Was: Penn Central Begins to ‘Invade’ the Erie Lackawanna in Akron

November 3, 2016


It didn’t take long for solid sets of Penn Central power to start showing up on former Erie Lackawanna lines. The new Conrail is only a few weeks old in this April 1976 photo in Akron. A westbound on the former EL has a neat PC GP38-2, SD-45, C636 trio as it waits for railroad at Voris Street. EL pup No. 408 is sorting a few cars out on the McCoy Street yard lead. The tracks the trains are on are long gone.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

When N&W Still Had an AC&Y Look

November 2, 2016



Here is another glimpse of the past in black and white as captured by Akron Railroad Club member Robert Farkas.

In the top image, even though the Akron, Canton & Youngstown was taken over by the Norfolk & Western i 1964, AC&Y diesels were still in service.

It is 1967 or 1968 and AC&Y 506 and 500 could still be found at the Akron engine facility. Both are rare FM H20-44 models with AC&Y 506 in blue and AC&Y 500 in yellow and black.

In the bottom image, Bob is standing on the bridge over Penn Central’s Collingwood Yard in Cleveland, which could provide a great view of the shops and yard.

PC 1788 in fresh paint and New York Central 1840 are at the head of a westbound train in this 1968 or 1969 view. Stored next to the shops are three lines of Alcos and EMD units.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Railroading as it Once Was: EL and PC Soulmates

September 28, 2016

EL geep and PC unit

Here is another one from an October 1976 visit that I made to Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Erie Lackawanna units are no strangers to this former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western shop, but that Penn Central (ex New York Central) GP35 is there courtesy of the Conrail merger a few months earlier. Those non-dynamic braking GP7s looked sharp in the Erie Lackawanna colors with those silver spark arrestors topping it off.

Photograph by Roger Durfee

Another View of the Akron Brewing Building

April 29, 2016


Roger Durfee and I both spent a great deal of time within view of the Akron Brewing building. Here is an image from an earlier time.

Westbound Erie Lackawanna 2504, Reading 3604 and Penn Central 1730 approach the same building on June 12, 1976, during the early Conrail “any lash-up goes” period.

Today, this scene is virtually all memories. The Akron Brewing building with its Admiral Television sign on a north wall, the EL, RDG, PC, most of the trackage, and the other building are history with only our memories and slides to help preserve the past.

The building, by the way, is being razed to make room for a rebuilding of an exit ramp from Interstates 76 and 77.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Let’s Go Back in Time to Alliance

January 22, 2016


Note to all time travelers: This is the past not your time. What you remember – ISN’T YET!

Starting from the left: The Detroit Edison unit train with DE 007 on the point is westbound most likely about to turn northwest toward Cleveland.

To its left you can just see part of the passenger platform on the westbound main. Yes, it was still two tracks to Fort Wayne.

To the right of the DE train is a westbound Penn Central freight. The track between the PC freight and station platform was for passenger trains.

That little brick building with “VM” on the side was the entrance to the subway, which was an an underground passage to the other passenger platform.

And the passenger station is the building to the right. Behind it is a platform for unloading freight cars. Look down the tracks at the signal and signal bridge.

Remember that the Vietnam War is going on and Richard Nixon is in the White House, so bring your old Nikon F loaded with the slide film of your choice.


Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas

Few Feet and Minutes Apart; Which do You Like?

February 23, 2015



Here are two similar photos taken a few feet and a few minutes apart. Both were taken in Alliance, Ohio, most likely in late 1968 or in 1969.

Yard switcher Penn Central No. 8096 is a Baldwin S12 which is sitting just east of the old bridge that has now been replaced.

The top image is a three-quarters shot taken from the back of the unit. If you look closely, the crew member is turned toward the engineer making the crew member just part of the scene.

As well as adding interest to the scene, the wooden railroad building helps determine the time period in which this was taken.

Look above the front of the locomotive and you will see tell-tails hanging down to warn brakemen on the roofs of cars that a limited-headroom obstruction is coming.

In the bottom image, the crewmember is looking out the back window in what seems to be a purposeful stare.

The Pennsylvania Railroad gondola is more hinted at than seen, yet it catches your attention because of how worn it seems.

By including the gondola, this photo conveys an image of men working hard on the railroad.

Neither one can be repeated. Which one do you like?

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

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

Difference of 41 Years at Alliance

October 6, 2013



Two northbound trains on the Bayard line in Alliance show the difference that 41 years can make. The top photo one has two Penn Central six-axle Alco diesels with PC 6304 on the point leading a northbound through a much-more industrialized Alliance on July 9, 1972. The bottom photo shows Norfolk Southern 9423 in the lead in a similar location on Sept. 26, 2013, and reveals how much has changed.

Photographs by Robert Farkas