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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East Slope, West Slope and Horseshoe Curve Operations

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.

AMTK 306 leads Amtrak 47 at Newport, PA 8/89

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

AMTK 439 leads the eastbound National Limited past Spruce Tower, 8/78

EB Amtrak No. 30, the "National Limited," passing Spruce Tower, Spruce Creek, PA w/ two E units. 8/6/78.

AMTK 81 East Pittsburgh, PA 7/5/1997

Amtrak train #40, the "Broadway", passes under the Westinghouse Bridge in East Pittsburgh.

Conrail Mercury trailer CRMZ 229166

Conrail Mercury trailer in westbound TV train at Longfellow, PA. on June 28, 1990.

CR 18619 at Lewistown, PA. on 8/19/85.

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.

CR 1963 in Mifflin, PA. on 8/18/85.

The extra 1963 east passing Mifflin tower on Aug. 18, 1985.

CR 1973 leads a westbound through Newport, PA on April 13, 1985

A westbound Conrail manifest passes throughout Newport, PA on April 13, 1985, led by B23-7 No. 1973.

CR 2034 Baden, PA 9/29/1993

A pair of ex MGA Super-7s lead an Eastbound out of Conway Yard.

CR 2059 Mingo Junction, OH 8-19-1978

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,

CR 21165 in 1979 on Rockville

Our 21165 heads east over Rockville Bridge in 1979. Note that at this point, the roofwalks have been removed.

CR 21624 - Class N7A

Conrail class N7A caboose 21624 is seen passing GRAY tower in Grazierville, PA in 1983.

CR 2263 Altoona, PA 7/3/1978

An Eastbound at ALTO with a GP-35 that got a patch job with CONRAIL spelled out on the nose.

CR 22818 trails an eastbound manifest through Mapleton PA, 3/78

Conrail caboose No. 22818 trails an EB manifest into Jack's Narrows at Mapleton, PA on 3/20/78. Anyone interested in a new Corvette?

CR 2285 Marysville, PA 3/3/1979

ENPI-3B proceeds west passing "BANKS" Tower with an all EMD lash-up. Banks got it' s name because of its location......

CR 2315 and 2859 Denholm, PA 1-1-1979

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

CR 2323 ConPit Jct, PA 10/81

OIPI-2 crosses over at ConPit Jct. to run the Conemaugh to Pittsburgh

CR 2343 Altoona, PA 7/3/1978

A Westbound hopper train waits on the East side of Altoona. Lots of variety in the power on this train.

CR 2359 Shawnee, PA 6/83

GP35 2359 leads B23-7 1976 on an Empty PPL train

CR 2419 Leads an Eastbound TV Train at Banks Tower, 2/78

An EB manifest holds back while being overtaken by an EB TV Train led by C425 No. 2419 at Banks Tower, near Marysville, PA, on 2/5/78.

CR 2422 Youngwood, PA 8-19-1978

Former PC C425 2422 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2422 Youngwood, PA 8-19-1978

Conway-based former PC C425 2422 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2422 Youngwood, PA 8-19-1978

Conway-based former PC C425 2422 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2425 Pitcairn, PA 8-20-1978 (2)

CR C425's 2434 and 2425 follow lead GP-40 3227 as they pull through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2434 Pitcairn, PA 8-20-1978 (1)

CR GP-40 3227 leads C425's 2434 and 2425 through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2434 Pitcairn, PA 8-20-1978 (2)

CR GP-40 3227 leads C425's 2434 and 2425 through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2434 Pitcairn, PA 8-20-1978 (3)

CR GP-40 3227 leads C425's 2434 and 2425 through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2434 Pitcairn, PA 8-20-1978 (4)

CR GP-40 3227 leads C425's 2434 and 2425 through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2436 Pitcairn, PA 8-20-1978

CR GP-38 7781 leads C425 2436 and mixed freight through Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2442 Altoona, PA 7/3/1978

A coal train has stopped at ALTO so that the helpers can uncouple from the rear of the train.

CR 2442 Altoona, PA 7/3/1978

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.

CR 2443 Youngwood, PA 8-19-1978

Conway-based former PC C425 2443 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2443 Youngwood, PA 8-19-1978

Conway-based former C425 2443 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2443 Youngwood, PA 8-19-1978

Conway-based former PC C425 2443 rests at Youngwood, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2451 Pitcairn, PA 8-19-1978

Former PC C425 2451 lined up with GP38 7727 "F.O.B." at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2451 Pitcairn, PA 8-19-1978

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.

CR 2451 Pitcairn, PA 8-19-1978

A crewman makes sure everything is ready to for CR C425 2451 at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2477 Cresson, PA 5-28-1978

CR 2477 is under the sand tower at the Cresson service facilty.

CR 2495 Altoona, PA 7/3/1978

Ex RDG C-424 2495 working on a Westbound by Alto Tower.

CR 2559 & 6002 on XSG-400 at Gallitzin, PA 3/5/99

CR 2559 & 6002 are seen leading XSG-400 out of the tunnels at Gallitzin, PA on 3/5/99.

CR 2559 SD70 Port Royal 03-99

A pair of SD70's pass under the 1910 bridge at Port Royal, Pa with PIMO-0 in March 1999.

CR 2575 at Cove, PA in 1998

Conrail SD70 2575 is seen leading Mail3 westbound at Cove, PA on 10/15/1998

CR 2575 Cresson 12-98

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.

CR 2704 Cresson, PA 7/1/1978

4 axle power idles thru the night at the Cresson service area.

CR 2729 Pitcairn, PA 8-19-1978

CR U23B 2729 rests behind 2785 at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 2751 Galltzen, PA 10/24/77

Long hood running U23B 2751 leads a leased CN GP38W on a westbound grain mty as a eastbound gets a shove to the summit.

CR 2785 Pitcairn, PA 8-19-1978

CR U23B's 2785 (ex-LV 509) and 2729 rest at Pitcairn, PA in August, 1978.

CR 3109 at Spruce Creek, PA

Conrail GP40 3109 (ex-PC 3109) is seen near Spruce Creek, PA in 1983.

CR 3135 Clairton, PA 8-18-1978 (1)

CR GP-40 3135 leads leased BAR GP-38 86, a U25B, and a GP38-2 through Clairton, PA in August, 1978.

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