Conrail's Pittsburgh Line

Conrai's Pittsburgh Line served as one of it's two main arteries connecting the eastern edges of the United States to the west, the other being the Chicago Line across New York. Spanning from CP-Harrisburg in the interlockings namesake city to CP-West Pitt in Pittsburgh the line includes famous locations such as Lewistown, Altoona, Cresson, Conemaugh, and Pitcairn, amongst a variety of others. Also included is the climb over the Allegheny Mountains between Conemaugh and Altoona, with the historic Horseshoe Curve as the center piece.

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1

Conrail operated trains over the world famour Horseshoe Curve during its entire existence. This engineering marvel is a national historic landmark, and is known to railfans around the world.  

The 'curve changed over time. Slimming from 4 tracks when Conrail started to 3 in the early 1980s, and many of these views are of things that are gone, or are from locations you shouldn't go to (due to more stringent enforcement of tresspass laws).

This gallery is a way to visit the area and see how Conrail's ops changed, and how they've stayed the same.  Included are photos from the main helper district over the Allegheny Mountains between Conemaugh and Altoona, PA.

Map Icon This gallery is available on an interactive map.

2
Amtrak 47, the Pennsylvanian, rounds the curve at Newport with it's then-usual F40PH leader at 12:22PM. CP-Port MP133.4 CR Pittsburgh Line
3
Amtrak train #40, the "Broadway", passes under the Westinghouse Bridge in East Pittsburgh.
4
Conrail Mercury trailer in westbound TV train at Longfellow, PA. on June 28, 1990.
5
CR 18619 brings up the markers on local WALE-10 departing Lewistown, PA. on Aug. 19, 1985. The 18619 is a CR class N5G, ex LV 95048.
6
The extra 1963 east passing Mifflin tower on Aug. 18, 1985.
7
A pair of ex MGA Super-7s lead an Eastbound out of Conway Yard.
8

CR C430 2059 lined up between GP38 7730 and sister unit 2052 at Mingo Junction in August, 1978. 

The former NYC Alco was the last of 10 C430's in CR series 2050-2059,

9
Our 21165 heads east over Rockville Bridge in 1979. Note that at this point, the roofwalks have been removed.
10
Conrail class N7A caboose 21624 is seen passing GRAY tower in Grazierville, PA in 1983.
11
An Eastbound at ALTO with a GP-35 that got a patch job with CONRAIL spelled out on the nose.
12
ENPI-3B proceeds west passing "BANKS" Tower with an all EMD lash-up. Banks got it' s name because of its location......
13
Conrail GP35 2315 (ex-PC 2315) and U33B 2859 (ex-PC 2859) are westbound in charge of an taking some hoppers back to the mines at Denholm, PA in 1979
14
OIPI-2 crosses over at ConPit Jct. to run the Conemaugh to Pittsburgh
15
A Westbound holds at WORKS.
16
A Westbound hopper train waits on the East side of Altoona. Lots of variety in the power on this train.
17
GP35 2359 leads B23-7 1976 on an Empty PPL train
18
Former PC C425 2422 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.
19
Conway-based former PC C425 2422 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.
20
Conway-based former PC C425 2422 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.
21
CR C425's 2434 and 2425 follow lead GP-40 3227 as they pull through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
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CR GP-40 3227 leads C425's 2434 and 2425 through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
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CR GP-40 3227 leads C425's 2434 and 2425 through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
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CR GP-40 3227 leads C425's 2434 and 2425 through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
25
CR GP-40 3227 leads C425's 2434 and 2425 through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
26
CR GP-38 7781 leads C425 2436 and mixed freight through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
27
A coal train has stopped at ALTO so that the helpers can uncouple from the rear of the train.
28
An Eastbound coal train led by C-424 #2442 is stopped at the signal at ALTO. A pair of big SD45-2's are sitting in the distance awaiting their next helper assignment.
29
Conway-based former PC C425 2443 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.
30
Conway-based former C425 2443 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.
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Conway-based former PC C425 2443 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.
32
Former PC C425 2451 lined up with GP38 7727 "F.O.B." at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
33
CR C425 2451 ready to go at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.  The Alco's PC home base of New Haven has long since passed.
34
A crewman makes sure everything is ready to for CR C425 2451 at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
35
CR 2477 is under the sand tower at the Cresson service facilty.
36
Ex RDG C-424 2495 working on a Westbound by Alto Tower.
37
CR 2559 & 6002 are seen leading XSG-400 out of the tunnels at Gallitzin, PA on 3/5/99.
38
A pair of SD70's pass under the 1910 bridge at Port Royal, Pa with PIMO-0 in March 1999.
39
Conrail SD70 2575 is seen leading Mail3 westbound at Cove, PA on 10/15/1998
40
A pair of SD70's built to NS specs cross over at CP MO in Cresson, Pa with train ALPI-2F. These were nice units despite being built with a standard cab well into the wide cab era. I put the first miles on many of these when they came out of JBS and went west to Conway on train ATPI, smooth ride, sweet horn, but a little noisy.
41
4 axle power idles thru the night at the Cresson service area.
42
CR U23B 2729 rests behind 2785 at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
43
Long hood running U23B 2751 leads a leased CN GP38W on a westbound grain mty as a eastbound gets a shove to the summit.
44
CR U23B's 2785 (ex-LV 509) and 2729 rest at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.
45
Conrail GP40 3109 (ex-PC 3109) is seen near Spruce Creek, PA in 1983.
46
CR GP-40 3135 leads leased BAR GP-38 86, a U25B, and a GP38-2 through Clairton, PA in August, 1978.
47
Conrail GP40 3261 (ex-PC 3261) is seen near Spruce Creek, PA in 1983.
48
OIPI-1 passes Old Technology in the form of Line Side HB readouts near Greensburg, Pa
49
Conrail GP40-2 3292 is seen trailing on a westbound TV train at Jacks Tower in Jacks Narrows, PA in 1983.
50

Conrail's TV trains didn't always rate head end helpers, even in adverse weather. Here TV4 heads around the curve on a snowy day in March of 1988.

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