EMD SW1500

Probably the most well known switcher from the Conrail roster, the 121 EMD SW1500's were a 1,500 horsepower variation offered by EMD. Inherited from the PC, RDG, IHB and IU, all but five (which were retired and sold in 1982-1984) made it from 1976 to 1996 when a few were retired and sold off to regionals and/or shortlines.

During the split in 1999, CSX and NS both got their share of this popular EMD switcher.

CSX has since traded theirs to LLPX in exchange for higher horsepower road units.  As of 2012, NS retired all of this venerable switcher except 2120 and 2121, which were rebuilt by NS to RP14BD Genset.


WPAB-10, the Lansdale to Abrams job, departing. Power today was GP15-1 1642 (with the labor-management decal on the nose) leading SW-1001 9405 and SW-1500 9595.


Conrail GP15-1 1644, SW1500 9595 and GP38-2 7874 relaxing by the shores of Lake Lansdale (aka the SEPTA parking lot).

B23-7 2003, GP15-1 1661 and SW1500 9585 on a southbound rail extra @ Iona Island (Bear Myn State Park) NY
SW1500 9532 swings along in the trail of NHSE in Huntington, MA. on Feb. 12, 1988.
CR GP10 7519 (ex PC GP9 7058 nee PRR GP9 7058) + CR SW1500 9563 with mixed freight leaving yard (CP CLINT)
CR DNDA-8 (Detroit North Yard-Doremus Avenue) southbound @ Stoney Point, NY
Conrail SW1001 9423 (ex-RDG 2623) is behind the Juniata Shops with an oddly-painted SW1500, which has a PC-style slanty CR initialed on the hood. There is also an EL SDP45, which I cannot tell the number of. I have it narrowed down to 6668, 6673, 6677, 6679, 6680, or 6681. If anyone has the numbers of either of these units, let me know.
Conrail SW1500s Nos 9505 and 9541 are seen on an industry spur at Erie, PA in August 1997. Doug Davidson photo with permission
CR 9505 9-1980 CRHS Collection
Former PC 9506 was at Hollidaysburg, PA on 3/22/97.
This is Conrail on another railroad only in the technical sense, since Metro North now owns the tracks. The freight service here is a direct descendant of the New York Central, though they would likely scoff at the volume handled here in the 1980's. A pair of SW 1500's works through Harmon on one of the Tarrytown based local jobs.
CR 9506 & 9552 are seen at Hollidaysburg PA on 7/27/97.
CR 9506 is seen at Hollidaysburg PA on 7/27/97.
CR 9506 is seen at Hollidaysburg, PA on 8/14/98.
Conrail SW-1500 9509 at Akron, Ohio May 1988.
An SW 1500 and U30B sit outside the Selkirk shops with an unidentified GP 30.
Late in the afternoon on a frigid December 26 in 1977, former PC SW1500 9513 works the Selkirk yard.
Work extra 9515 at Enola west end on Aug. 18, 1985.
Conrail SW1500s Nos. 9517 and 9511 at Rockport Yard on Aug. 25, 1991. Doug Davidson photo with permission
Conrail SW1500 No. 9518 at Collinwood Yard on the east side of Cleveland on Oct. 4, 1994. Doug Davidson photo with permission
Conrail SW1500 9521 passes by the US Army's lab in Natick, MA on 18 October 1983.
Conrail SW1500 9529 at Springfield, MA, September, 1977.
SW1500 9530 lugs 19 car southbound local WHNO-06 back to Northumberland, PA. Train is passing thru Watsontown, PA, junction of the Watsontown Secondary track that travels 11.5 miles east to the PP&L Strawberry Ridge Power Station. September 15, 1992.
Westbound SW1500 cablight movement consisting of 9531, 9521, 9520, 9528, 9527, 9532, 9551, 9554, 9559 and caboose 21506 at Bancroft, MA.
Conrail SW1500 is seen sitting at Enola Yard in 1986. What is probably the most interesting part of this photo is what appears to be CR 7440, the "torpedo-tube" GP9 in blue paint without and logos sitting third deep in line, behind SW8 8673.This unit had previously been one of the few Conrail units that had its bell and horns painted red, along with black battery boxes and side sills, indicating it was restricted to service in Canada only. Stuff like this is what makes Conrail a fascinating road to model.
CR 9531 Lebanon, PA
Former PC 9532 is seen at Shiremanstown, PA on 10/5/1991.
Former PC 9532 is seen at Shiremanstown, PA on 10/5/1991.
Wiseguys throw a snowball at eastbound plow extra 60083 at Williams Riding Way, Westfield, MA on 23 March 1977.
Former PC 9534 is seen at Lewistown, PA on 11/20/1992. Note the ex PC H34 covered hopper in sand service to the right.
Former PC 9534 rests in the yard at Shiremanstown, PA on 6/4/1994.
A pair of SW1500's, two of over 100 such units, mostly ex PC, on Conrail, work a local job back to Tarrytown, approaching the Harmon station, once the scene of many electric-diesel power changes over the years.
SW 1500 9539 in SEPW at Pittsfield, MA. on Feb. 7, 1987.
Former PC 9541 is seen wearing fresh Quality paint at Shiremanstown, PA on 5/22/1994.
Conrail SW1500 9542 with a local working at Bradley Field airport in Windsor Locks, CT on 15 January 1978.
One of the more obscure locations on Conrail was the ex PRR Pandhandle Line, which at one time went from Chicago to Logansport, Ind, and on to Columbus, Oh, eventually reaching Pittsburgh across the West Virginia northern panhandle, hence the name. Now no longer a through route, it did handle some local traffic in the mid 1980's. I was riding the Cardinal from Chicago to Washington, and was lucky enough to catch this train from Amtrak, which was on the C&O approaching N Judson, Ind, at this point. I recall remarking to another fan on the train that a shot of a CR SW1500 was a waste of film. He replied, "my philosophy is, ETTS: Everything Turn To Sh**". I asked him what he meant. He said that eventually, everything you see or shoot, will be gone. If ever there was a place that drove home that point, it was North Judson. Once hosting the double track Erie, later EL, main line, it also had a crossing of the NYC Kankakee Belt, and the C&O, which crossed between the two Erie tracks. The Pennsy crossed all of them a short distance to the west. Fifteen years earlier, in the late 60's, you could see 50 trains a day sometimes. By the time I took this photo, the EL was largely a memory, only a short segment left going east to Monterey to serve a grain elevator, the C&O had little traffic left, most of it diverted to B&O routes. CR was on and off about making the NYC line a connection to the Santa Fe, bypassing Chicago; and the PRR was on its last legs. Now, in 2017, the only thing operating on a regular basis is the Hoosier Valley RR Museum. Everything else is gone.
Conrail 9551 sits with some work train cars at Ansonia, OH on March 19, 1997
Conrail SW1500 9552 at JLS in Altoona, PA an March 23rd, 1995. Terry Nardella photo, collection of Steve Ondik.
CR 9552 is seen at Hollidaysburg, PA on 6/7/97.
CR 9552 is seen at Hollidaysburg, PA on 6/7/97.
Conrail SW-1500 in CRQ paint is the shifter assigned to the Holidaysburg carshop yard in June 1998.
CR 9552 is at Hollidaysburg, PA on 2/8/1998.
CR 9552 is seen at Hollidaysburg PA on 7/27/97.
CR 9552 is seen at Hollidaysburg, PA on 8/14/98.
Conrail local freight clatters across the Canal Line diamond as it heads west on the Boston Line at Westfield, MA on 2 Dec 1976.
Eastbound NH-2 at Bancroft with SW1500s as the motive power on 12 February 1977.
Conrail SW1500 No. 9555 is seen running light on the former Lehigh Valley main, in August 1997. Doug Davidson photo with permission
SW1500 9556 on a switching move near the Dewitt Yards in East Syracuse in 1992. Taken from the Amshack prior to its relocation to the west end of Syracuse.
CR 9558 is seen at Eddystone PA on 1/4/98.

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