Conrail's Boston Line

Conrail's rugged Boston line stretches from Selkirk Yard, near Albany NY east to Boston Mass. The former NYC Boston & Albany route features rugged mountain scenery as it crosses the Berkshire mountains, and was home to serious railroading. For a long time it was home to most of Conrail's GE fleet, but toward the end of the era also served as a proving ground for the SD80mac.

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1
The extra 1986 west works upgrade through Bancroft, MA. on Dec. 27, 1980.
2
Ex Pennsy N8 cabin 23244 and N5B 22962 bring up the rear of the 1986 west at Bancroft, MA. on Dec. 27, 1980.
3
Ex Pennsy cabin cars 23244 (N8) and 22962 (N5B) on the rear of the extra 1986 west at Bancroft, MA. on Dec. 27, 1980.
4
It's 12:31 on July 18, 1997 as SEBO struggles along at maybe 5 mph to make the top of the grade at MP 142 in the center of Hinsdale, MA.
5
At 12:32 SEBO is caught up to and passed by lightweight Friday-only TV80W, led by C30-7A 6571 zipping by on track 2.
6
C30-7A 6571 has TV80W moving right along at 12:32 in Hinsdale, MA. on July 18, 1997.
7
With TV80W safely past, SEBO continues his slow uphill slog at 12:33.
8
Now that SEBO's Big Mac's are "on the level", they can get a roll on through Hinsdale, MA.
9
Westbound tonnage behind SD45 6083 and SD45-2 6665 in Hinsdale center, MA. on March 14, 1981.
10
Extra 6083 west about to "take the plunge" down the west slope in Hinsdale center, MA. on March 14, 1981.
11
The extra 3328 east tops the grade in Hinsdale center as extra 6083 west continues down grade on March 14, 1981.
12
Some veterans in the trail position on the extra 3328 east in Hinsdale on March 14, 1981. The white sill stripe on the 2521 marks it as ex NYC.
13
Three-count 'em-three U23-C's lead BOSE through Hinsdale center on July 18, 1981. A number of these six-axle U-Boats took a break from their mundane duties of shoving strings over the humps at Selkirk and elsewhere for a few months of hauling tonnage over some slightly larger hills.
14
BOSE about to dive down the west slope of Washington hill in Hinsdale center on July 18, 1981.
15
SD45 6153 tags along for the ride down to Pittsfield after helping BOSE climb the east slope on July 18, 1981.
16
SENH crests the west slope grade in Hinsdale, MA. on July 18, 1981 with an eclectic lash-up featuring one of the two ex LV GP38AC's still wearing Cornell red and another U23-C.
17
N5C cabin car 23007 tucked in behind the power is a sure indication this is SENH. Also a good look at that U23-C as the train tops the grade in Hinsdale center, MA. on July 18, 1981.
18
Eastbound SEFR rounds the curve coming up on CP 123 in Chester, MA. at 08:51 on May 12, 1988. The sun has gotten high enough by this time to spread it's light into the scene.
19
SEFR rolling through CP 123 in Chester, MA. at 08:51 on May 12, 1988.
20
C30-7A 6567 leads SEFR through CP 123 in Chester, MA. at 08:51 on May 12, 1988.
21
SEFR enters the single main at CP 123 in Chester, MA. on May 12, 1988.
22
SEFR notching 'em out through CP 123 in Chester, MA. on May 12, 1988.
23
The 6567 leads SEFR past MP 123 in Chester, MA. on May 12, 1988.
24
ML482 begins the parade at 08:44, as SD50 6779 and friends cross Lower Valley Rd. approaching MP 135.
25
Less than 15 minutes later, TV-9 enters the scene with C30-7A 6571 leading at 09:02.
26
TV-9's headend going away across Lower Valley Rd., and there's a reason we moved to the other side of the tracks.
27
And...this is the reason. SEBO, behind the 6582, et al. roll through at 09:04 with TV-9 still grinding upgrade on track 1.
28
As soon as TV-9 and SEBO clear the area, it's time to get back to the "sunny side" of the tracks for BOSE, which shows up at 09:19 behind SD80MAC 4116.
29
C30-7A 6591 has the trail position on SEBO as the headend crosses Lower Valley Rd.
30
BAL367 pounding through Ballou's at 11:11 behind a group of B23-7's and one big brother.
31
BAL367 crossing Lower Valley Rd. at Ballou's on April 18, 1998. C36-7 6635 has the trail position.
32
NESE westbound at MP 127 in Chester, MA. on March 25, 1998.
33
C30-7A 6587 leads NESE past MP 127 in Chester, MA. at 15:46 on March 25, 1998.
34
NESE about to duck beneath the Middlefield Rd. overhead near MP 127 in Chester, MA. on March 25, 1998.
35
At 16:00, SD80MAC 4111 and sister 4112 roll beneath the Middlefield Rd. overhead with opposite number SENE near MP 127 in Chester, MA. on March 25, 1998.
36
SENE continues past MP 127 in Chester, MA. on March 25, 1998.
37
SENE going away at MP 127 in Chester, MA. on March 25, 1998.
38
Four more C30-7A's, almost 1/6 of the entire fleet on two trains in 15 minutes, just like "the old days"!
39
It's 14:50 at the New York/Mass State line as the first of 5 trains and a light engine move to come over the next 3 1/2 hours arrives in the form of westbound ballast train BOR723. To add interest, these moves will have a SPENO ballast Cleaner working in the area with which to contend. A CR track crew is making some weld repairs to one of the switches near the CR truck along the track. As a side note, the barn at left has recently been razed, as the satellite view shows an empty lot strewn with piles of rubble. Another "photo prop" bites the dust!
40
U23B's 2787 and 2728 in the trail position on BOR723 at State Line.
41
N12 van 24503 swings along on the rear of BOR723 at State Line. It may look level here, but the train has just descended a nearly 1% steady grade from Richmond summit, 5 miles back to the east. That's the reason for the "brake smoke" wreathing the train.
42
A half dozen GP40/-2's, led by the 3331, take POSE through State Line at 15:07 on Aug. 3, 1983.
43
POSE's herd of GP40/-2's roll beneath the signal gantry at State Line.
44
N7B 21095 by the signal gantry on the rear of POSE at State Line.
45
CR 6331 leads SEBO past the gantry signal at State Line at 15:13 on Aug. 3, 1983.
46
SD40-2 6441 and C30-7 6606 are the second half of SEBO's power this day.
47
N12 bay window 24522 follows an N8 of indeterminate number at the rear of SEBO at State Line.
48
GP40-2 3354 leads a 4 unit light engine set eastward past the gantry signal at State Line at 15:40. This was the last classic signal gantry left on the B&A and with the single-tracking of the B&A became redundant and was removed, hated to see it go!
49
SPENO ballast cleaner arrives at State Line on track 1 to clear up for westbound traffic.
50
SPENO train crossing over to track 2 from 1 at State Line.

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