• 28 Years (Since Conrail Day 1976)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by WNYRailfan
Well it has been 28 years since April 1, 1976 and the end of rail life as we knew it.

Can anyone bring some insight as to what it felt like to be starting a new job as a ConRail employee or losing a job due to consolidation?

How long did it take to get equiptment painted just in CR paint outs? Was there some CR paint outs that showed up on 04/01/1976?

I guess the good thing is that 28 years later, railroads still due exist. However, they are no longer ConRail.

  by LCJ
I was working in Selkirk at the time. I remember that EL units showed up almost immediately, as did their still coal-fired, oil-lamped cabooses.

As a crewmember of a yard switcher job that mostly used ex-PRR Alco RSD12s, we got stuck with an EL U33C with composition brake shoes. Such a piece of junk it was! It wasn't good for switching in the local yard, I know that.

I honestly don't recall whether the unit numbers and markings were painted over at that point.

The people who were affected most immediately were EL west-enders and LV folks from Buffalo.

  by johnpbarlow
I'm only a fan but I don't miss Conrail. Clearly mid-Atlantic railroading needed some rationalization in the Penn Central era as there was just too much track for too little traffic. But EL's Southern Tier certainly got the short end of the Conrail stick. D&H/GRS were never able to mount much significant competition to Conrail's near monopoly. It's too bad CSX and EL unions weren't able to come to terms on acquiring EL and RDG routes as that could have provided balanced competition for rail traffic bound to NJ/NYC and New England.

Now since the Conrail borg has been broken up, the Tier (including the newly rebuilt WNYP) is revitalized with more traffic. GRS' Hoosac tunnel sees significantly increased traffic. The capacity of the ex-CR River line is being expanded. NS now has double track CTC between Harrisburg and Reading where CR had only ABS. The Lurgan line is signalled and upgraded. Enola Yard is getting rehabbed. The D&H Sunbury to Mechanicville line has been upgraded and sees more traffic. Short lines like Finger Lakes, G&W, DL, LA&L, etc are handling more traffic.

Conrail's slashing and cutting may have been necessary but now it's time for NS, CSX, CP, GRS, and others to rebuild the mid-Atlantic rail infrastructure and traffic base.