• A mid 1980's look at 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.
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 scottychaos
 
I was a teenage railfan..
I was 14 years old in 1983 when I first picked up a camera and pointed it toward a train..
I lived in Waverly, NY - Sayre, PA (the same place) and my hometown railroad was Conrail.
I had sadly just missed the Lehigh Valley and Erie Lackawanna, but I was only 7 years old in 1976,
and was too young to know that anything unusual was happening..oh well..
we cant choose when we were born! ;)

but I cant complain, because looking back now, the mid 80's was still a fascinating time!
still a bunch of old power about, Guilford then Susquehanna brought an amazing mix of power through town,
including the last of the D&H Alcos! it was a great time to be that teenage railfan..

I joined the "Valley Railroad Museum" in Sayre, and spent many of my days trackside around Waverly and Sayre..

In 1984 there was still a lot of "predecessor" power around..although not much left still in predecessor paint..
I saw several units still in PC black, and one Reading unit, but I never saw any units in LV or EL paint though..

Some photos...

An ex-PRR GP30..the GP30's and GP35's were near the end of their careers, but still around.

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a Lehigh Valley U23B! repainted however.

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An ex-Reading unit, a GP35..also quite rare by this time.

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The "All American Locomotive" the GP38-2.
the everyday workhorse.

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A genuine SD40! (not a dash-2!)

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Cabooses were still in general use until around 1984-85, when they began to be phased out..

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First generation GP's..still in service. Conrail rebuilt many of these in the late 70's.

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My favorites, common as dirt, the classic SD40-2:

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In 1986 a string of 13 former Erie Lackawanna SDP45's arrived in Sayre, for storage.
I never saw any SD45's or SDP45's in service on Conrail, but these rare SD's spent
about a year in Sayre. (several still exist today!)
http://gold.mylargescale.com/Scottychao ... Survivors/

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While a lot of the older power was still around, the Mid-80's also saw an increase
in brand-new modern power! Including SD50's, C30-7A's, C32-8's and C39-8's, among others.

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The SD50's were the first units I ever saw brand new..still among my favorites.
I would like to model a set of them in 1/29 scale.

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the C32-8's were rare beasts..only 10 total ever built, all owned by Conrail.
They had the distinctive "hump-back" look, shared with the C39-8, which IMO
made for a very interesting look. The later spartan cab C40-8's had a raised cab, eliminating the "hump",
making a much more boring unit IMO..

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The more common C39-8, sharing the same "hump-back" look with the C32-8.

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And thats the end of my mid-80's Conrail tour..
I graduated from highschool in 1987 and headed off to College..(New Paltz, NY)
I dropped out of active railfanning for about 10 years..
(well mostly..I caught some Metro North FL9's on occasion! ;)

By the time I actively picked up my camera again it was the late 90's and Conrail was almost gone..
the era of widecabs had arrived, and soon Conrail was no more..

I ran into an old friend, who I hadnt seen for 20 years, in 2006..
one of those "hump back" C39-8's! working her last few days in Class-1 service:

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(more pics here: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 24&start=0)
most likely the last time I will ever see one..

Its now Spring 2009, Conrail has been gone 10 years already!
and spotting units still in CR blue is getting harder every day..
get out and get them while you still can! :)

Scot
  by Noel Weaver
 
Interesting stuff, most of these engines I have operated at one time or another. One point, GP-9/10 no. 7556 I think was a
former New Haven GP-9. I know a NHRR passenger GP-9 was renumbered 7556 under the Penn Central scheme of numbers
but maybe there were some more renumbering after that.
Noel Weaver
  by kalvingp30fan
 
Those are some nice pictures that you have. Did any of the EL SDP45's survive? And how do you tell c32-8 apart from a c39-8?
  by ncvab
 
Great photos and memories! Thanks!
  by mainetrain
 
Love seeing the old friends, even if they happen to change their colors :-D
thanks Scotty
  by JDM864
 
Great shots!

I remember the 7556 working out of Framingham (MA) for quite some time in the mid 80s.

My problem is all of my pics are slides :(
  by RDGTRANSMUSEUM
 
Great shots,i spent alot of time in some of those units back in the 1990's working T&E service with conrail. Old friends for shure........
  by conrail71
 
Nice shootin' Tex!! I've started posting some of my collection of "vintage" Conrail shots on a Flickr acct. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Unfortunatly I killed the scanner before I got halfway through the "blues"! I didn't even get to post any of the paintouts yet! After we sell the house and move to Colorado I'm going to put the rest up.

Mike
  by scharnhorst
 
nice to see some old pics of Conrail units again.
  by mainetrain
 
Northbound TV(?) train passes through Haworth NJ on the Riverline. Running long hood forward, the Phase II GP40-2's had become quite common on the line in the late '70's.

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  by scharnhorst
 
somewhere I do have a pic of one of the last GP35's on point of a mixed train in Weedsport, NY in early 1994 or 1995.
  by Noel Weaver
 
scharnhorst wrote:somewhere I do have a pic of one of the last GP35's on point of a mixed train in Weedsport, NY in early 1994 or 1995.
Conrail experienced a major power shortage in the early 90's and they found some old GP-35's and GP-30's somewhere and
put them back on the road for a period of time. I think more than one was in Rochester on the locals for a while. Are you
sure about the year? I would have thought it was somewhat earlier than that because by then the GE and EMD wide cabs
were coming on line and the power situation was eased.
Noel Weaver
  by conrail71
 
That jives with what I was thinking too. There was a job that came to Russell Station, a big coal customer in the past, in Rochester, NY. Quite a few times a B-23-7 and a GP-35 (can't remember the # off hand) brought coal from Rochester Yard up the Charlotte Runner. I actually have an audio recording I made at the time and remember if it was either '94 or '95. I'll see if I can find it.
Mike
  by Noel Weaver
 
The interesting thing about this is that a bunch of the GP-40's had been sold at the time but there wasn't the demand for old
GP-30's and GP-35's so Conrail still had some sitting around in storage. I don't think anybody expected to ever see them on
the road again but lots of things can happen when a power shortage developes.
Another bunch that was in storage was the 2700 class U-23b's and they got a few of these dogs running again. I remember in
Selkirk the day they pulled one from storage and put it in the shop in preparation for restoration to service. The next day
they had it out in back of the shop running and the black smoke coming out of the stack would have done a steam engine
much credit. It was a very low numbered 2700 and I don't recall seeing it again after that day. I have no clue what happened
to it after that or where it ended up.
Noel Weaver
  by scottychaos
 
I have some data on the Re-activation of a few of the LVRR U23B's:

http://www.frontiernet.net/~scottychaos ... tives.html

Conrail retired all the U23B's on 5/9/1991.
Then three ex-LV U23B's, 2783, 2786 and 2788, (and im sure other non-LV U23B's as well)
were put back in service in November 1992, then retired again, for the final time (by CR) on 3/8/1993.

Scot