Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by SooLineRob
This is somewhat of a large/difficult question for the forum:

Can any PRR Forum members relate the pre-Penn Central PRR Through Freight crew districts between Chicago, IL and Newark/Waverly Yard/Greenville Yard, NJ?

I'm interested in the "primary" crew bases for Through Freights, and where the crew changes took place, on major lines.

For example, where were the crew changes for a train that ran Chicago-Logansport-Colombus-Pittsburg-Harrisburg-Philadelphia? Or Chicago-Valparaiso-Fort Wayne-Crestline-Pittsburg-Harrisburg-Waverly. And St Louis-Indianapolis-Colombus? And even Potomac Yard-Harrisburg-Williamsport-Olean-Buffalo?

Thanks in advance.
  by 2nd trick op
There would be considerable variation in this, depending on the historical period in question. Pennsy's development of its Conway hump yard along the Ohio about 10-15 miles west of Pittsburgh, in the 1950's, being a major factor. Also, my knowledge of operating practices west of Pittsburgh is not as sound.

But the traditonal Harrisburg/Enola-Altoona-Pitcarn/Scully/Conway pattern would have been dominant. The options of both the Main and Conemaugh lines west of Conpitt Junction, plus the Brilliant and Port Perry Branches in the Pittsburgh area, makes for a large number of possible variations.

Passenger crews ran Harrisburg-Jersey City as early as the turn of the Twentieth Century as evidenced in Fred Westing's book Pennsy; Steam and Semaphore, but I don't know if the completion of the "low grade" freight route route via Columbia and Morrisville would have allowed the same practice for Enola-Waverly/Meadows freights.

Renovo was the primary crew change point for Harrisburg/Enola-Buffalo/Erie service. Presumably, Elmira Branch service allowed Harrisburg-Southport (Elmira) crewing in later years, but at one time, PRR maintained a major crew-change point at Ralston, PA, as evidenced in John Orr's Set Up Running, the biography of his grandfather, PRR egineman Oscar P. Orr.

At the west end of the system, major crew change points were established at Fort Wayne and Crestline, and on the Panhandle freight route, at Logansport and Columbus, but I''m not certain if any alternatives or intermediate points might have played a role in earlier times.