Posts Tagged ‘Railroading as it Once Was’

Railroading as it Once Was: Former E Units of the EL Kept A Clean Face Until the End of Service

August 24, 2016

EL locos washing

Even towards the end of its corporate existence the Erie Lackawanna tried to keep up a good image.

Case in point is this set of tired E units getting pushed through the wash rack at Marion in 1975. Of particular interest is that 817, the last E unit on the roster to still carry its porthole windows. The 809 was the lowest numbered E on the EL roster, renumbered from the highest numbered E unit on the DL&W (820) with the Erie/DL&W merger.

Neither unit had too many showers left in their future anyway as by late 1976 Conrail had pretty much taken all but the two passenger geared ones (825 and 833) out of service.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Some Strange Bedfellows Showed up in Early Conrail Days

August 18, 2016

EL caboose and loco

There were some strange bedfellows in Conrail’s first year or two as the newly merged railroad was leasing anything it could beg, borrow, or even steal for a day or two.

In this August 1976 example we see a former Erie Lackawanna caboose being moved by a former Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Alco RS-3 (renumbered as BN 4065) at Brier Hill Yard, a former EL facility, in Youngstown.

West Coast meets East Coast in the shadow of the YS&T steel mill. In a few short years, Conrail would get its act together and these SP&S/BN units would make their way back to Washington State.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Railroading as it Once Was: Overcast Skies Didn’t Dampen Enthusiasm of Seeing LV Engine Pit

August 11, 2016

LV motive power

An overcast day couldn’t dampen my excitement of seeing the Lehigh Valley engine service tracks in Sayre, Pennsylvania, for the first time.

For an Ohio kid often surrounded by Penn Central, this was pretty cool.

The steam era shops can be seen in the background as well as some switchers in need of attention.

The LV was living on borrowed time by late 1975 just like my beloved Erie Lackawanna was back home.

Many of the units in this photo would go to the D&H instead of the new Conrail to help with the expanded D&H network.

Regardless, all was right with the world as I stood on that bridge all those years ago, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells (EMD and Alco smoke mixed together, what a concoction!) of a railroad I had only known through photos in magazines and books.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee