Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

  by Noel Weaver
Retired yardmaster and trainmaster from Selkirk back in the Penn Central and Conrail days, I think it was originally with the New York Central before 1968 passed away on September 16th. Pete Pascuzzi was a good railroader and a gentleman to work with. He was top end yardmaster and later trainmaster for quite a long time and was the one to find out the dope on the through trains of which there were many back in my days there. I actually saw and talked with him at a reunion a last year here in Florida. Pete we will miss you.
Noel Weaver
  by Jim Kaufman
"Black Pete" was one hell of a railroader...he will be missed by all rails that knew him and/or worked with him in Selkirk Yard.
I was working the "Grain Train" (CR frt symboled "GRU", Selkirk to Hudson, NY (really Greenpoint, NY, near Claverack, on Claverack Secondary Track) one time back in the mid-80's.
We came out of Selkirk with 80 loaded covered hoppers (100 tonners), caboose, 5 good engines (usually 3200's). We traveled TK 1 CP 124 to the siding switch off TK 1 at Hudson Station; we pulled down the siding, cleared the upper switches of Hudson Yard, cut off the power, pulled down to the derail protecting TK 1 near MP 113, got permission from the Hudson Div Disp (466 Lex NYC), to open up and head back and run around our train, and take 20 loads (and our caboose) up thru the streets of Hudson, and the ADM plant, start spotting loads...and waitng for the plant to empty them (5 cars at a time), pull empties, spot loads, repeat...
We were about 2 hours in job at the plant, when BLACK PETE came screaming on our radios (we were on Selkirk Yard Ch 2 so we would not interfer with Hudson Div "chatter" on CH 1)....Pete says that for 2 hours northbound Amtraks on TK 1 had to be talked by the signal 1131 (south of the switch to the south end of Hudson siding), account it being "RED" (stop/and proceed)....did we leave the derail (on the siding) "off" (non-derailing), we told him "No"......
Well, about an hour or so later, Pete pulls into the plant tires squealling, dust flying....(he missed us down in lower Hudson getting another 20 loads)...he collars me, Hudson Disp says the derail is not in position, I tell him it is...come on he says lets go for a ride...away we go screaming thru the streets of Hudson, all the time he is letting me know that I am the dumbest conductor he has ever worked with (I've cleaned this up quite a bit....Pete had one heck of a vocabrulary not taught in any schools!). We get down to the south end of the siding, sure enough here comes an Amtrak doing "restricted speed" account I didn't restore the derail!!!!!
I quickly restored it to "derailing position" got back in Pete's car for the long ride back to ADM....needless to say Pete let me have it again....
Over the years Pete would ask me about that derail....again and again...and I never took it personally about what Pete would say...it was just Pete's way of getting things done the right way, if Pete dressed you down, it was because he liked you! I'll miss you Pete, RIP.
  by Wayside
Pete was a good man, for sure.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Kaufman, did you have to "do some time" for that one, or did "Black Pete's verbal counselling" suffice?
  by NYCRRconrail
I arrived at Selkirk in December of 1976 as trainmaster - pullout end. I left in April 1978 as Asst Terminal Supt. There were trainmasters and yardmasters that were larger than life at Selkirk at the time but none quite like Pete. I will always remember both he tough lashings and his help. In fact they were both the same with quite different approaches. Rest in peace Pete.