Roger Durfee's Early Conrail Action - Page 3

Roger has been shooting Conrail action since the beginning in his home area of Ohio. These superb photos come from Roger's extensive collection. 

CR 4369 Collinwood, OH 07-8-1977

A pair of former PRR FP7's bring the daily Columbus to Cleveland van train into the yard at Collinwood. CR 4369 and 4345 will cut away and head for the engine house in short order.

CR 4370 Collinwood, OH 04-8-78

Already worn out when they became property of Conrail, a small fleet of ex PRR FP7A's lasted only a few years after 04-01-76. By that date only 18 of the original 40 PRR units were still on the PC roster to be conveyed to the new Conrail, and several of those were already down for the count. CR 4370 had started life on the PRR in August of 1952, but by this April 1978 date it has only a few weeks left running. The PRR nose lift rings are still there, but the water tank under the frame is gone.

CR 4443 Enola, PA 8-1-1978

Just a grab shot as the cab of this ex PRR E44 "brick" glides by with a beautiful Susquehanna River in the background. This train will be entering Enola yard just ahead in this August 1978 shot.

CR 4459 Essex, MD 11-26-76

Still early in the Conrail merger, these two ex PRR E44's retain their Penn Central "colors" as they power a freight for Potomac yard through Essex, Maryland on the day after Thanksgiving 1976.

CR 45903 Conway relief wreck train 08-76

Another Al Mixter shot of the Conway relief train after being painted at Conway. I guess CR wasn't shy about displaying the new company image at derailments.

CR 4889 Harrisburg, PA 08-18-1978

This was just about as far west as the juice went on Conrail- note the "AC motor stop here" sign up above. The internal combustion power has cut off and this set of 3 GG1's, all "pans up", have tied on to this Edgemoor bound train in Harrisburg. Units 4889, 4811, and 4849 should be plenty of power to get this train of auto parts cars to it's destination.

CR 50202 250 ton crane Conway 08-76

Close up view of CR crane 50202 after being painted at Conway. Boom flat 45501 is also now blue and sporting non-standard lettering. Al Mixter photo August 25th, 1976.

CR 5066 Youngstown, OH 11-19-1979

One of only two C425's I can account for than ran with it's new 5000 series number (5071 was the other), the former 2429 waits at Center St just about 10 days before it was shut down for good over the Thanksgiving weekend 1979. It wasn't the best lighting conditions, but I took the shot anyway- and I'm glad I did.

CR 5078 Alco C425

Prior to their being sold for scrap or to shortlines, all the remaining CR Alco C425's were renumbered into the 5060 to 5088 series, why I don't know as nothing else went into the 2400 series. Virtually all of these 4 motor Alcos were in storage at the time of their renumbering as shown here by 3 of them in the Collinwood deadline at Cleveland March 9th, 1980. For the number crunchers 5078 is ex PRR 2444, 5077 is ex 2443, and 5073 is ex 2439.

CR 5078 Collinwood, OH 03-9-1980

A trio of Alco C425's reside in the Collinwood deadline in March 1980. All 3 have been there for over a year, and were renumbered where they stood. None of the Alco 425's stored in Cleveland ever ran for Conrail with the new numbers. CR 5073 ex 2439 CR 5077 ex 2443 CR 5078 ex 2444

CR 5084 Youngstown, OH 3-24-1981

No expense spared on this renumber job! This former Penn Central/New Haven Alco hasn't ran since November 1979 and resides in a deadline of 4 axle Alcos near the ex EL Brier Hill shops. All remaining C425's and one lone RS-27 were renumbered into the 5000 series by 1980, most done as they sat in deadlines in Youngstown and Collinwood. 5084 is the ex PC 2453 and sits cold on this March 24th, 1981 morning.

CR 5086 C425 Youngstown 03-81

Still pretty much intact even after sitting in this deadline for a year and a half, the former 2457 (seen above in fresh paint) sits out the remaining days before being shipped off to scrap. It's another former New Haven unit, and little expense was incurred renumbering this doomed Alco.

CR 5099 Youngstown, OH 11-20-1979

A rare bird indeed, by November of 1979 all the ex PRR/PC Alco DL640's (RS27) were in deadlines or scrapped except for one, the 2407. A good runner, it managed to toil away until the Alco purge of Thanksgiving 1979. For a few brief days it ran with the new number of 5099, one of the very few Alco's that operated in the 5000 series, all in Youngstown, Ohio. The date is November 20th, 1979, 5 days before she would be shut down and deadlined with all the other 4 motor Centuries at Brier Hill, ending the 4 axle Alco Century era on Conrail.

CR 5307 Cleveland, OH 11-15-76

Still dressed in it's austere PC paint scheme, Conrail RS-3 5307 rests at the former Erie Lackawanna facility in Cleveland, Ohio in November of 1976. This unit started life as NYC 8307 in 1951. Note steam generator stack and, despite looking like it's MU equipped, solid handrails.

CR 5490 Buffalo, NY 08-30-1976

It's early on in the Conrail merger, and this Lehigh Valley RS3 hasn't yet received it's CR number. It will become CR 5490. The trainman seems to be looking over his switch list before starting to work at Tifft St yard, a former LV facility in Buffalo. It was also one of only 2 RS3's the Valley bought new- all others were second hand from other carriers.

CR 5633 Northfield, OH 9-18-1983

By 1983 finding units still in pre merger paint was a treat, so finding an older GP7 still sporting PC black was pretty cool. Most of the paint over has washed away reveling an almost complete PC "worm" logo. It's matched up with former Alco RS11 MT4 slug 1014 in this view at the Motor yard engine house.

CR 5831 GP-7 Cleveland 05-78

One of the more interesting early geeps I'd seen on Conrail, the former EL 1201 sports a large single beam headlight, a holdover from the days it was delivered as an Erie unit, and has different style numbers applied.

CR 5883 GP7 Collinwood 11-79

A classic ex NYC GP7, high bell, no dynamics, clean lines. I found this patched Penn Central unit on the west side of the P1A at Collinwood in 1979.

CR 5971 Bethlehem, PA 08-17-1981

A pair of former EL GP7's wheel WLAL-10 around "Steel City Curve" in August 1981. By 1981 it was a treat to catch a pair of ex EL geeps together, 5980 in blue and 5971 still in EL colors no less. The 5971 has some stories to tell- it came to Conrail as EL 1233, the unit involved in a wreck at Lake Junction with a CNJ RS-3. Both units sat at Croxton for a good while. The 1233 eventually got repaired and would survive well into Conrail as you can see by this shot. I'm not sure what the disposition of the CNJ unit was, but scrap is a good guess.

CR 5988 GP-7 Akron 03-78

Two locals meet just west of South St, each with a former EL GP-7 up front. The 5995 will head south on the ex PC, the 5988 will cross over to the "EL side" and go west on the former Erie.

CR 5992 February 1980

A short PE-1 local heads west on the former EL in Akron,Ohio early 1980. Most through traffic was gone from the EL by this time, but local service did remain. This local originated in the ex PC South Akron yard and used the South ST TBS crossovers to access the "EL side".

CR 5992 Youngstown, Ohio September 1978

Conrail GP-7 5992 is on home turf at the former EL Brier Hill shop in Youngstown,Ohio in this Sept 1978 view. This unit came to CR as EL 1277.

CR 5995 GP-7 Feb 1980

Six geeps of various styles and colors, plus one "pup", enter Collinwood yard near Cleveland,Ohio with an engine exchange. It's almost 4 years into Conrail and there is still some "heritage" paint to be seen.

CR 6022 SD35 Wood 11-77

A westbound train leans into the big curve just a little west of Wood tower in November 1977. The lead motor is still in Penn Central paint and is followed by a patched EL SD45 and a new CR SD40-2.

CR 6049 SD35 ex CNJ 02-77

Conrail train MO-7, normally a night time train through Akron on the former PC, has shown up in daylight this day and the reason isn't hard to see. January and February 1977 were brutal for the new Conrail, and the front of this ex Central RR of New Jersey SD-35 shows the signs of passing through some pretty large snow drifts. South St TBS operator Steve Cupp has handed up the 19's and the train will now continue south to work the ex PRR South Akron yards.

CR 6051 CNJ SD35 2512 Akron June 1976

One Central Railroad Company of New Jersey SD35 and three Erie Lackawanna GP35's have train TV-98 in tow at South St TBS in Akron,Ohio in June 1976. This train will cross from the "PC side" to the "EL side" for the remainder of it's trip to Croxton.

CR 6066 Akron, OH 12-18-1976

Conrail train TV-77 departs ex EL rail at South St TBS in Akron for a trip down the CA&C to Orrville and then west on the ex PC Ft Wayne line. In the background a local with a former EL pup waits it's turn to cross over.

CR 6075 Clinton, OH 04-16-1976

Conrail is only a few weeks old, but the EL west of Akron has already lost many of it's trains. This eastbound CR freight has come from Chicago via the former Penn Central Ft Wayne Line, then up the CA&C out of Orrville, passing Warwick (a former PC tower) in Clinton on it's way north to regain EL rail at South St TBS. It's an all EL consist on PC rail, a nice catch considering how fast the heritage power was spread to every corner of the railroad. The tower still stands today as a CSX MofW base, but the line the train is on is gone, as is the EL power.

CR 6075 Creston, OH 07-12-1979

The weed covered former Erie Lackawanna main was host to this Creston Turn swapping trains with the N&W in Creston, Ohio July 1979. The EL and N&W had interchanged ore trains here for years, but with the advent of Conrail, the end of the Republic contract, and the general decline in Youngstown steel making, these moves were on borrowed time. They originated in Brier Hill and traveled the old KM Division to Creston, the next town west of the more well known Sterling, where empties were exchanged for loads of ore off the N&W. While the N&W through here is today's Wheeling, you'd never even know the EL ran through here as all traces are gone.

CR 6177 Marysville, PA 10-16-1977

An absolutely crap day weather wise, but I took this grab shot of an eastbound passing Banks tower in October 1977. A former PC/PRR SD45 is leading, but the 2nd unit is worth mentioning as it is one of the ex EL U33C's that was on the D&H prior to the Conrail merger. CR 6564 still carries it's Mars light package on the nose, a D&H addition.

CR 6201 Akron, OH 04-8-1979

Not the best shot in the world, but I had wanted to get a Conrail unit on the "Erie" (not Erie Lackawanna...) bridge in Akron,Ohio. Framed as best I could between the shadows, ex PRR SD45 6201 leads a westbound on this ex Erie main. This bridge remains today, faded, tagged, and without track.

CR 6246 SD40 Crestline 01-77

Still in it's Penn Central lettering, this SD40 leads two ex EL units, 6698 and 6069, west at Crestline, Ohio in January 1977. Of note, the first ex EL unit is the ex SDP45 3667 that has a wreck replaced 45-2 long hood.

CR 6274 SD40 Harrisburg 08-78

Internal combustion units 6274 and 6068 are under the wire as they depart Harrisburg for points west. It's August 1978- Conrail is still running electric freight motors east of here.

CR 6307 SD40 Rittman 10-78

A Conrail westbound is on the former Erie main in Rittman, Ohio. At this point the train is drifting downgrade and will pass through "downtown" Rittman and then cross the Chessie at Sterling after that. Eastbounds from Sterling to Akron faced a heavy grade here, Silver Creek Hill, that would put all but the lightest trains down to a crawl. CR 6307 came to Conrail as PC 6054. Note the typical high wide often seen on this line. One track remains here today, dead ended at Rittman, operated by the Akron Barberton Cluster Railroad.

CR 6312 SD40 PC 6059 Enola 05-76

A trio of former Penn Central units, now property of Conrail, curve off the Rockville bridge and into Enola yard. The lead unit is part of a group of ex PC SD40's that would get renumbered under Conrail.

CR 6319 PC 6066 Orrville, OH 11-16-1976

An eastbound Conrail train passes under a classic PRR signal bridge on the outskirts of Orrville, Ohio in November 1976. The SD40/GP40/U25B/GP7 consist has yet to be renumbered PC 6066 in the lead. It would become CR 6319 as Erie Lackawanna SD45 3601 would be assigned #6066 on Conrail....sometimes you needed a scorecard in those days!

CR 6344 SD40 Akron 04-78

The head man on eastbound train MV-61 at South St TBS is out the window to snag the 19's from operator Charlie Laird. Without a doubt the orders dictate speed restrictions west of here as this train takes the "all EL" route west, a line that even in '78 was dying a slow death and would be trainless by the mid 80's. CR 6344 came to Conrail as PC 6091.

CR 6389 EMD SD40-2 Rockville 09-78

A pair of almost new Conrail SD40-2's glide across the Rockville Bridge with a van train as some fishermen glide past in their boat.

CR 6427 Kent, OH 04-25-79

After taking a tour of the west end of the system, these dozen GG1's destined for the scrapper have arrived in Kent, Ohio for a crew change. They had left Wilmington without spacer cars, but someone in Crestline decided all that "dead weight" needed extra braking, so hoppers were added between each unit (never mind they had gone from Wilmington to Chicago and back to Crestline without them.....). After all was set in Crestline the train went east via Orrville and up to the former Erie Lackawanna in Akron, then east from there to the scrapper in Hubbard- more railroad than those old electrics had planned to see! The leader of this motley pack of junk survives today as CSX 8826. For additional info see :

CR 6485 McKinley tower 06-81

A Conrail eastbound pounds the B&O diamond at McKinley tower in Canton, Ohio in June of 1981. Both the tower and the B&O at this location are gone.

CR 6510 U25C Akron 11-78

A Conrail westbound on the former Erie has 3 big six axle units up front, U25B 6510, and SD45's 6178 and 6069.

CR 6524 GE U28C Akron 08-78

From the looks of the logo on this U28C the shop boys either lost their level or were a little tipsy. Regardless, a "crooked can opener" was the outcome on this ex PC U-Boat repaint.

CR 6565 Collinwood, OH 12-15-1976

Another one of those early Conrail goodies, this former EL U33C has it's Conrail number applied but still retains it's EL lettering and nose diamond. The 6565 would in time receive a coat of blue.

This unit started life on the EL as their 3302, and would spend several years on the D&H, returning back to the EL in that SD45/U33C swap prior to C-day. It never got the mars light package like the other two (CR 6564, 6566) did.

CR 6566 Sterling, OH 03-3-1976

A well traveled unit even before Conrail inherited it, Erie Lackawanna U33C leads a westbound through Sterling, Ohio. This was one of those neat 3 builder consists- GE U33C, EMD SD45-2, Alco C424 and a pair of Alco RS-3's. The paint job is pretty fresh on the 3303 as it was returned from several years on the Delaware and Hudson in late December 1975 and repainted EL. It was part of a trade that sent 3 GE's to the D&H in exchange for 3 SD45's. The SD's would run on the EL in their D&H numbers of 801,02, and 03. The 3303 was renumbered 753 while on the D&H. This swap lasted until just before C-day when it was "undone" and the units sent back to the original owners. The 3303 would become Conrail 6566 and be one of only a handful (the ex Auto Train U36B's come to mind) that would have Mars lights on the nose.

CR 6573 Macedonia, OH 03-6-1978

I'm in the cab of Conrail F7A 1733 heading down the switching lead as a set of power goes east on the house lead. Former EL U33C 6573 heads up a good mix of early Conrail power that includes F's, geeps, and a BAR GP-38.

CR 6577 Barberton, OH 05-2-1977

Time was running out on this man's flag job in Barberton, Ohio by this May 1977 date. Even though crossing lights and bells are installed and working, the crossing guard remains due to this being a "main drag" into the high school just beyond the tracks. The EL had ran 25 to 30 trains a day through here, easily justifying the need for the extra protection, but Conrail has pulled all but a handful of trains off this line, negating the need for that "personal touch" at this crossing. Note the shanty off to the far right, complete with a heater exhaust pipe and the guard's auto. There also appears to be a track gang "in the clear" down near the previous crossing. CR 6577 was delivered to the EL as their 3314.

CR 6581 Reading, PA 11-23-1975

In a few short months Reading Lines U30C 6302 will become Conrail 6581, but for now it's still hauling tonnage for it's original owner through it's namesake city.

CR 6594 Akron, OH 11-18-1976

Still in it's attractive EL scheme and number, this Conrail U36C leads an eastbound on the former EL in Akron, Ohio in November of 1976. The U25B behind is already in the new dress blue. The Conrail roster contained 13 U36C's, all from the EL. The train is TV-98, one of the few priority trains still routed over the ex EL.

CR 6597 Youngstown, OH 08-19-1976

Erie Lackawanna U36C #3326, by this date the property of Conrail, sits at the former EL Breir Hill facility near Youngstown, Ohio. Keeping these big GE's company are a pair of BN RS-3's still in SP&S colors, a colorful leased power addition to an already colorful Conrail. Conrail used these GE units for a few weeks on the Creston turn ore trains. The 3326 would become CR 6597 and wear a coat of blue.

CR 6654 Akron, OH 08-16-1977

A caboose hop heads west through Akron,Ohio on the former Erie Lackawanna main, destination Creston,Ohio and the N&W interchange there. The EL and N&W had interchanged ore trains there prior to Conrail, and this practice continued a couple of years after the merger. A pair of ex EL SD45-2's bracket a CN M636, and a former DL&W caboose brings up the markers. The 6654 survives today as Norfolk Southern 1700 and can usually be found in the New Jersey shared assets lines.

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