• Conrail's mp15dc

  • 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.
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.

Moderators: TAMR213, keeper1616

  by fiend540
I know these were returned when the lease was up but I can't seem to find a date as to when this happened. I have found some pics dated for the late 80's but would like to know a more concrete date as to when these were gone.
if it was a 15 year lease that would make it 1989? i know they were gone when i was on the railroad in 1990.iirc
  by lvrr325
They were sold to GATX and a number of them leased by the St. Lawrence & Atlantic, that may help track them down. 15 years is the normal period for a lease, apparently Reading didn't get very good terms on these units?
  by fiend540
Thanks a bunch guys
  by BobLI
When did Conrail retire the MP15's? They were using SW1500's as well but the MP15's were a newer model so why retire them?
  by charlie6017
Could be there were more trouble and less reliable.....maybe parts cost more? It really could be a number of things, really.

If you think about it, there are more scrapped or "re-done" SD-50s than SD40-2s! ;-)

  by glennk419
BobLI wrote:When did Conrail retire the MP15's? They were using SW1500's as well but the MP15's were a newer model so why retire them?
There's usually a variety of reasons why a certain model is retired before more "veteran" units. Reliability is always a factor but sometimes the number of units on the roster, changes from the intended use by the original owner, unique parts, etc. It can also often be a financial decision based on trade-in or resale value, or lease expirations where it's cheaper to let the units go vs. renewing a lease or purchasing the units outright (no different than leasing a car).
  by scharnhorst
MP15DC 10 Units taken by 1976 leased to Reading Lines all gone by 1988 or 1989.

SW9 Retirements consisted of 16 units in 1992 all were gone by 1995
SW900 Retirements consisted of 15 units retirement started in 1993 and were all gone by 1995
SW1001Roster held 25 units in 1992 and 21 still on the roster by 1997
SW1200 Retirement started out with 51 units in 1992 retirements started in 1994 and were all gone by 1995
SW1500 Roster started out with 116 units in 1992 and ended with 76 units in 1997

info from Conrail Final Years 1992-1997 by Paul K Withers
Last edited by scharnhorst on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by airman00
Interesting that Conrail sure had alot of switchers on there roster. And now I believe there are only the SW1001's still active, 11 left still going on. (5 on csx/6 on ns)
  by scharnhorst
Conrail SW9's Cab Numbers:
8922 Ex PC / NYC 8922 Ret 8/6/94
8935 Ex LV 284 Ret 8/1/95
8939 Ex LV 292 Ret 8/1/95
8942 Ex PC / NYC 8942 Ret 8/1/95
8954 Ex CNJ 1087 Ret 8/1/95
8969 Ex CNJ Ret 6/30/95
8970 Ex PC /NYC 8970 Ret 8/1/95
8989 Ex PC / NYC 8989 Ret 5/30/95
9016 Ex EL / Erie 440 Ret 8/1/95
9017 Ex EL / Erie 446 Ret 5/30/95
9022 Ex EL / Erie 451 Ret 5/30/95
9095 Ex PC /PRR 9095 Ret 5/30/95
9121 Ex PC / PRR 9121 Ret 5/30/95
9128 Ex PC / PRR 9128 Ret 5/30/95
9130 Ex PC / PRR 9130 Ret 8/1/95
9140 Ex PC / PRR 9140 Ret 5/30/95

SW900 Fleet
8632 Ex PC / NYC Ret 5/30/95
8634 Ex PC / NYC Ret 8/1/95
8637 Ex PC / NYC Ret 5/30/95
8641 Ex PC / NYC Ret 8/1/95
8646 Ex PC / NYC Ret 2/28/96
8701-8702 Ex RDG 1501-1502 Ret 8/6/94
8707-8710 Ex RDG 1507-1510 Ret 8/1/95
8711-8712 Ex RDG 1511-1512 Ret 5/30/95
8714 Ex RDG 1514 Ret 5/30/95
8720 Ex RDG 1520 Ret 5/30/95

SW1001 Fleet 25 units in all in 1992 21 units off by 1997. Units are all Ex RDG.
Units retired are:
9405 6/11/97
9417 6/11/97
9423 6/11/97
9424 6/11/97
  by Engineer Spike
Sometimes the lease terms were not very good. I'm sure that Conrail had to assume the terms of the original Reading lease. Some of the older switchers may have been owned outright. Others may have had better lease terms. The old units may have had the leases renewed at lower rates, due to depreciation.
One drawback of the MP15 is that it has road trucks. These may be detrimental on tight industrial track compared to smaller wheelbase switcher trucks. If the track was conducive to road trucks, a geep would be more comfortable to run, and have other features which would make them the clear choice.
  by lvrr325
I don't think the MP15 was any worse on track than a GP7 or GP9 they were intended to replace. However, Conrail had more switchers than they needed as they dumped light-density lines, the remaining GP8 and GP10s as well as other units (SW1001, SW1500, GP15, GP38, B23-7) could handle the same work the MP15s did, and it's most likely the price to purchase them at the end of the lease was higher than they were worth to retain by Conrail. Reading was in rough shape in 1976 and probably had to agree to poor terms to get the units on the property - kind of odd they weren't USRA financed like the LV's U23Bs.

It's worth noting Conrail cleaned house of all 567-engine EMD power in 1995, from operating units with fresh paint jobs to dead line units that had never been repainted and were in various states of disrepair.
  by Engineer Spike
True about the trucks.

I'll bet the interest rates on the financing was not very favorable, as Reading was bankrupt. CR had plenty of smaller power. Ath the same time, they were getting rid of branch operations. The yards needed less switchers with the switch to unit trains and intermodal.
  by Leo_Ames
Stumbled across this thread just now. Weren't these leased directly from EMD?

The late 1980's was the period when EMD were getting into the short-term leasing and resell business themselves, so it's possible that Conrail wanted to buy them, but EMD simply refused. Not every 15 year locomotive lease has a purchase clause that the road can exercise.

If I'm not mistaken, didn't this scenario also happen with 100 Conrail GP38-2's coming off their 15 year lease right around this time? EMD never even gave them the opportunity to purchase them even though CR wanted to, since EMD had more lucrative plans in mind for them.

I think there was a group of CR GP40's, recently overhauled, that went similarly a few years before this (Including the units that ended up on the Rio Grande). Not sure if it was EMD that time, but this was another instance of good 2nd generation power going before its time, despite CR wanting to buy them. The lessor had more lucrative plans in mind for them and reclaimed them without giving CR the chance to buy them.

I bet that Conrail would've loved to have kept these, but either didn't have the opportunity or couldn't justify the purchase price.
  by Flat-Wheeler
I was under the assumption the MP15 were handed back over to EMD for credits to use towards new road power. IIRC, I read this in TRAINS over 10 years ago. I know EMD allowed them the trade in option for new power in the late 70's when Conrail was swamped with exhausted 1st generation road geeps. It wasn't a one to one trade of course, but more of a bargaining chip to get a discount on a dozen new road units sitting in the EMD shop waiting to be purchased.