EMD F Units

Conrail inherited a small fleet of operable F units on day one. These railfan favorites did not last long, as most were traded in to EMD for new GP38-2s. Only two, 1648 and 1792 were painted blue, and neither of these wore the Conrail "canopener" logo.

CR 1482 (ex PC 1482/PRR 1482/PRR 9782A), which was slated to become CR 1651, was at Conway, PA on 9/25/76.
CR 1482, the only ex PRR F7 to make it to CR. Toledo, OH 1977 Photo by Kermit Geary
It's one of those "hey-wow" early Conrail consists, A Penn Central GP38 leads U25B 2627, C636 6789, and the one and only blue F, the 1648 west through Brady Lake, Ohio on a fine November 1976 day. Had to settle for a going away shot, but this down on view leaves no doubt that the entire F was painted, including the roof. 1648 would be renumbered late in it's career to 1792 just prior to it's scrapping.
CR 1648, 1742, 1833 are on the point of a train at Cleveland, OH on 12/17/77.
CR 1650 still in PC paint is an ex NYC F-Unit resting on the South Siding of the Red Key main in Marion, IN on November 14, 1976. Kevin Nelson photo with permission.
Former PC/NYC 1656 was at Conway, PA on 9/10/77.
Former PC 1677/NYC 1677 was at Youngstown, OH on 6/19/77.
CR 1678, still in PC paint, is an ex NYC F-unit as it brings up the rear of a 3 unit consist on the Red Key at Goodman Yards in Marion, IN on November 14, 1976. Kevin Nelson photo with permission.
A pair of Penn Central F-Units, the soon to be CR 1684 and 1749, rest on the Engine track at Goodman Yards 16 days into Conrail on April 16, 1976. Kevin Nelson photo with permission
I mention the South St TBS a lot in my photo captions. It was where crossovers were installed to route traffic off the former EL and onto the former PC in an effort to eventually downgrade and eliminate the EL west of Akron. An ex Erie trailer was brought in to house the operator, and for a while it remained in the two tone green colors of the Erie. It's 1977 in this shot, way before the EPA and such had the clout it does today, so we'll just ignore the 55 gallon drums out back, some of which are lettered "Valvoline". This TBS would last over 4 years and eventually the trailer got painted gray, the Penn Central F got scrapped.
Former PC/NYC 1710 was at Cleveland, OH on 5/21/77.
In ABA formation, this set of Conrail F's has just departed Collinwood and is headed for Rockport yard via former CUT track- note the old electric supports.
Steam on Conrail, while rare, did happen. Witness Cuyahoga Valley Lines ex GTW #4070 waiting on the former Erie main as the Akron to Motor train heads north on the ex PC 103 track with a pair of F7's head out. The 4070 still exists, albeit in pieces, in the ex B&O roundhouse in Cleveland. The F's are scrapped.
Former PC/NYC 1718 was at Cleveland, OH on 5/21/77.
CR SD-35 6038 leads leased CNW GP-30 818 and CR F-7A 1729 into Enola yard in June, 1977.
CR SD-35 6038 leads leased CNW GP-30 818 and F-7A 1729 as they roll off Rockville Bridge toward Enola yard in June, 1977.
A small F7 and a large SD45-2 depart Collinwood for Motor. It wasn't very common to see big power like that ex EL SD on the pullers.
What a place to find a nice ABA set of Conrail F's, the Collinwood deadline. Their running days over, the 1730. 3870, and 1725 have joined former EL, RDG, and PC Alco's to await a trip to the scrapper this November 1978 day.
Conrail F7A 1733 get some windshield wiper attention as the fireman eyeballs the photographer. Motor yard, Bedford, Ohio in January 1978.
A Conrail ABAA set of F7's rest at Motor yard on the east side of Cleveland,Ohio after their run from Collinwood. It's May of 1977, and all but the 1743 have received the "CR" treatment. In order, 1743,3869,1750,and 1755.
An Eastbound heads down track 3 at Goodman Street with a pair of F7A units trailing.

CR GP40 3165 runs third in a seven-unit consist that blasted up the Curve on May 22, 1977.

The GP40 leads U23B 2759, F-7A 1755, and GP40's 3065 and 3071.

U23B 2759 and F-7A 1755 make up the 4th and 5th units of a seven-unit consist battling up the Curve on May 22, 1977.
U23B 2759 and F-7A 1755 make up the 4th and 5th units of a seven-unit consist battling up the Curve on May 22, 1977.
Just over a year after beginning Conrail operations, ex-NYC F-7A's CR 1775 and 1762, and CR E-8A 4006 (ex-EL 816) await maintenance or parts removal outside the Juniata shops.
Just a collection of early CR'd power nose shots surrounding SD80mac 4111, the pinnacle of Conrail's power. Left to right, F7A, SDP45, C630, C420, SD80mac, and RS11.
Conrail F7A's 1772, 1784, and 1829, all ex NYC, work the east end of Motor yard in the last year of freight F unit service.
Conrail F7A's 1774 and 1833 are on a Collinwood to Motor puller passing through the near east side of Cleveland in April 1979.They are passing the remains of the Cleveland Union Terminal electric supports. This track is today's CSX main through town.
Just over a year after beginning Conrail operations, CR 1775 and 1762 ex-NYC F7-A’s , and CR 4006, ex-EL 816 E-8A, appear to be in their last days as they await maintenance outside the Juniata shops.

On my first trip to Binghamton, NY, I didn't mind backlit conditions when seeing F-units on an April, 1977 day!

Ex-NYC units 1779 and 1832 sit coupled waiting for assignment. We would see them later pulling freight behind PC GP-38-2 8094.

CR 1779 rumbles through Binghamton, NY with sister F-7A 1832, both ex-NYC units.
PC GP38-2 8094 leads former NYC F-units 1832 and 1779 as they rush autoracks through Binghamton, NY in April, 1977.
Conrail F7A 1782 is at Akron, Ohio in June 1976 with a Cleveland to Akron local.
Conrail COLO(Columbus Ohio to Logansport, IN) travels through the country side just west of Amboy, IN on the CR Red Key Line with PC painted F7 1783 on the point on October 1, 1976. Kevin Nelson photo with permission
The use of F units on Conrail was just about over by August 1979, but a couple did hang on, including the 1788. The engineer seemed to know the 1788's days were numbered and stopped for a moment right in front of us so we could get some photos. After we were done we waved, he waved, and he continued on towards the P1A shop. It was actually a treat to catch a single A unit. By September the 1788 was shut down and retired.
Three F units and 1 PC geep are poised to make their last run west to the scrapper this Feb 1979 day. Dead and drained, 1792, 1854, 1794, and the geep are headed for trade in fodder in Chicago. The 1792 is the celebrity of the bunch, the only F to get blue paint. It's the former 1648, one of only 6 that got renumbered just prior to their retirement to make room for the new GP-15's.
Former NYC/PC F-7A 1796 rests retired in the Juniata shops deadline in August, 1977.
Former PC F-7A 1796 rests in the Juniata shops deadline in August, 1977. The ancient EMD cab-unit may end it's days without a CR stencil or a return to the active roster.
An F7A was a nice catch on this Eastbound freight.
CR 1832 F-7A, coupled between a GP-38-2 and a sister unit, waits for action under the highway overpass in Binghamton, NY. CR GP-40 3127 waits alongside.
It was my railfan buddy's and my first trip north to Binghamton in April, 1977, and we saw our first CR F-units! My buddy caught this great shot of PC GP38-2 8094 leading former NYC F-7A's 1832 and 1779 past the station in Binghamton, NY. Scanned from an 8x10 print, with permission.
With the fireman’s door open, CR ex-NYC F-7A 1832 rumbles through Binghamton, NY.
PC GP38-2 8094 leads former NYC F-units 1832 and 1779 as they rush autoracks through Binghamton, NY in April, 1977.
PC GP38-2 8094 leads former NYC F-units 1832 and 1779 as they rush autoracks through Binghamton, NY in April, 1977.
A set of 4 F7A's sit on a side track in the ex PRR/PC South Akron yard located behind the Firestone T&R plant in Akron. The crew was probably "switching Clausers", a local eating joint located in front of the factory.
A Conrail caboose hop has just departed the Riverbed for Collinwood and is seen here passing through Bridge 1 in downtown Cleveland. 1869, still in Penn Central paint, leads this F7A/F7B/GP9B/F7A/caboose set east. Conrail is only a year old at this date, and the railroad still looks a mess in some places.
CR 1878 has an interesting history: built as DRGW F7A 5721, became PC 721, to PC 1878, to CR 1878.
There were a few Conrail heritage units that had interesting lineage, and this F7A was one of them. It was delivered in June 1952 to the Denver and Rio Grande Western as their #5721. After a long career on the Grande, it was sold, along with others, to the Penn Central who planned on using them as trade in credit units in 1970. Out of that group there were 4 units, 2 A's and 2 B's, that were found to be in running condition, so some "PC" logos were applied and off they went to earn their keep. PC paint eventually was applied, but the A units were easy to spot due to being the only F7's to have dual headlights and non-recessed MU plug ins next to the upper headlight. All 4 made it through to Conrail- here the 1878 rests outside the P1A shop in August 1978. It would be retired in November and scrapped, a sad end to a good running unit.
A very icy CR 1879 (ex PC 1879, PC 754, nee DRGW 5754) is at Cleveland, OH on 1/11/77.
Conrail 1879's heritage is a no brainer for those in the know- it's a former Denver and Rio Grande F7A, the dual headlights and MU location giving it away if the number don't. It would be the highest numbered ex Penn Central F7A conveyed to Conrail, and it started life as DRGW 5754 in July 1952 and was retired by Conrail on the 24th of May, 1978, so odds are it never ran after this shot was taken.....bummer.

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