Who opted not to join Conrail?

Discussion related to the operations and equipment of Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) from 1976 to its present operations as Conrail Shared Assets. Official web site can be found here: CONRAIL.COM.

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Dcell
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Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by Dcell » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:10 pm

I think I read somewhere that the Suzy Q fought afainst being included in the formation of Conrail. Were there other railroads that were considered for inclusion when Conrail was created but opted to stay independent?

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scottychaos
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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by scottychaos » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:21 pm

I have always had the impression that none of them really had a choice.
Their two options were:

1. Become part of Conrail.
or:
2. Go bankrupt and cease to exist, then become part of Conrail anyway, after you cease to exist.

(There was no reason to actually go to the trouble with option 2. ;) it was never a real option.)
I dont think there was any choice to be made, for most of them. I believe Conrail was not a choice, but just an undeniable fact to be accepted, because there was no other option.

EL "tried" to stay out. they made a case for themselves, but in the end their case was not accepted, and they then had to also "join".
and again, I believe they had no real choice once that decision was made.

im looking forward to reading more about it though! this promises to be an interesting thread.

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scottychaos
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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by scottychaos » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:37 pm

scottychaos wrote:I have always had the impression that none of them really had a choice.
Their two options were:

1. Become part of Conrail.
or:
2. Go bankrupt and cease to exist, then become part of Conrail anyway, after you cease to exist.
(yes, im replying to myself. ;)
Because thinking about it some more, for Penn Central and the LV, those two steps basically did both happen, but in reverse order.
instead of:

1. Become part of Conrail.
or:
2. Go bankrupt and cease to exist, then become part of Conrail anyway, after you cease to exist.

it was more like:

1. Go bankrupt and basically fall apart on your own. You cant function, if you were a smaller company you would cease to exist at this point. But the US Economy still needs you, so the Government will step in and fund you, to keep the trains running, until they can figure out what to do with you.
then:
2. a few years later, become part of Conrail.

People often still think "Conrail killed all those great railroads!", but no, that is wrong, and exactly backwards. Conrail came into existence *because* those railroads were already dead. which gets back to: none of them really had a choice.

D&H stayed out, because they were a viable competitor to Conrail. and the creation of Conrail actually *expanded* the D&H a lot, on purpose, in order to be a competitor to Conrail. (the government actually tried to avoid a monopoly, as much as possible.)

I have never heard much about NYSW during those days though..

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Dcell
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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by Dcell » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:15 pm

I’ve read quite a bit about the MARC-EL proposal that came along just prior to Conrail being established but other than that and the Suzy Q opting to stay out of Conrail, I haven’t found much about alternatives to joining Conrail. I’m also unsure if the Raritan River Railroad was still around when Conrail was formed and if so, whether it opted to stay independent of Conrail.

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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by scottychaos » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:23 pm

The page here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York, ... bandonment" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Says NYSW went bankrupt in 1976, but did not become part of Conrail, basically because Conrail didn't want it or need it.
It could have been abandoned completely. (this was when NYSW was still only 42 miles long, and only in NJ)
Instead, Delaware Otsego purchased it, and then eventually incorporated it into the larger NYSW system we know today.

So, NYSW didnt "choose" to not become part of Conrail. they were never considered for Conrail at all.
Their options in 1976 were:
1. cease to exist completely and pull up the rails.
2. Find some other buyer, which the state of NJ did, in the form of Delaware Otsego corp.

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Wayside
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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by Wayside » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:12 pm

EL was originally supposed to be picked up by Chessie System (C&O/B&O/WM), I believe. But at the last moment, the EL union organizations balked at the deal being offered (I don't know the details), thus blocking it. EL was subsequently included as part of an expanded Conrail as a result of the failure to merge EL with Chessie.
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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by Dcell » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:30 pm

Found this on the website of the Raritan River RR Historical Society:
With the creation of Conrail in April 1976 to take over the failing eastern railroads, the then-profitable Raritan River was supposed to be included along with their bankrupt parent railroads. The RRRR resisted inclusion in Conrail and took court action to forestall it. Four years later, on April 24, 1980, the Raritan River Railroad merged into the Conrail system.

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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by umtrr-author » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:09 pm

And somewhat off topic, my dad and I were invited into the Raritan River's shops and left with a bunch of material, before Conrail came and took it all to the garbage can.

Happy ending: I donated almost 100% of it to the Raritan River Railroad Historical Society. I kept one car door seal. It's around here somewhere :-D
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charlie6017
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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by charlie6017 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:23 am

Boston & Maine and Maine Central were other railroads that chose to stay out of Conrail, despite
being in financial crisis.

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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by QB 52.32 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:17 am

That would only have been the B&M. The Maine Central was solvent mid-1970's.

Engineer Spike
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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by Engineer Spike » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:42 pm

B&M’s trustees determined that the company was able to be reorganized, and also remain in the railroad business. Delaware and Hudson was also solvent.

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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:58 pm

It was all a long time ago now, but I think the determinations were made by USRA, which was not empowered to consider railroads not in bankruptcy. Its original mission was to determine which portions of the bankrupt railroads were or were not necessary for preservation of needed rail service in the Northeast and to ensure that the Federal Government didn't acquire any property not actually needed for that purpose.

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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by QB 52.32 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:20 am

Under the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973, the court having jurisdiction over a railroad in reorganization had 120 days from the date of enactment to "decide whether the railroad could be reorganized on an income basis within a reasonable amount of time under the laws of the Bankruptcy Act and that the public interest would be better served by the continuing reorganization under this Act."

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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by Engineer Spike » Thu May 30, 2019 9:10 am

Income based reorganization was the route that B&M’s trustees took. They were well on the way to having things in order when Guilford bought them. This ended the reorganization.

ExCon90
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Re: Who opted not to join Conrail?

Post by ExCon90 » Thu May 30, 2019 2:44 pm

... as well as the era of efficient operation on the B&M. I always felt that under Alan Dustin they had a decent chance of success.

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