Roger Durfee's Early Conrail Action - Page 5

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 8424 Chicago, IL 08-19-1978

Short on length and horsepower, Conrail's SW-1's did manage to survive for several years into the big blue era. CR 8424, one of several assigned to the coach yards in Chicago, passes under the Roosevelt St bridge as passenger cars from the PRR and EL sit idle.

CR 8673 Bethlehem, PA 10-1-1977

The former Lehigh Valley #259, now CR 8673, rests at the Bethlehem roundhouse in October 1977. Interesting units, they were equipped with dynamic brakes and MU and often ran in sets of 3-5 units on jobs to Hazelton.

CR 881 EL C881 Meadville 06-76

Conrail is only a couple of months old in this June 1976 view at Meadville, Pa, so the cab track still looks EL. The lineup includes C881, C263, and C196, Conrail class N8D, N3A, and N3. Three variations of EL paint schemes are seen here, but hands down my favorite was the C881, which unfortunately spent little time under Conrail ownership. The C263 shows as still existing, in of all places Veto, Alabama.

CR 8904 Buffalo, NY 07-2-1976

Conrail made some strange bedfellows...witness this Peoria and Eastern SW-7 pup along with a Lehigh Valley RS-3 at the former LV yard in Buffalo in July 1976. The 8904 would retain the same number under Conrail, and you have to love the "New York Central" lettering showing through.

CR 9017 Allentown 08-81

Tree trimming 1981, Conrail style. Load up the contractor's trucks on a flat and head out. This little work train is returning to Allentown yard with SW-9 9017, the former EL 446, and an ex PRR N5C on ex CNJ rails IIRC.

CR 910 EL C910 Marshallville 09-76

Looking like many other EL cabooses that received this scheme, this one will forever stand out as it was the last piece of EL rolling stock to get a full EL paint job. It was released from Meadville on 03-31-1976, the day before C-day. It would be assigned class N8D under Conrail, although I can't find any record of it being renumbered or painted blue. CR sold it in September 1979.

CR 9124 SW-9 Canton 06-81

A pair of Conrail SW-9's, 9124 and 8958, pass over the B&O diamond at McKinley tower in Canton, Ohio in June of 1981. They are headed for the B&O interchange just behind the tower.

CR 9195 Detroit Terminal 104 Cleveland 10-81

On October 1st, 1981 the Detroit Terminal RR was merged into Conrail. Twenty days later on Oct 20th, 1981 we find several ex DT switchers lined up behind the P1A shop in Collinwood,Ohio. DT 104, 112, 106, CR 8881, and DT 109 add yet another paint scheme to the Conrail rainbow. DT 104 would become CR 9195 and work the Cleveland area yards before being sold to a private operator.

CR 9195 NW-2 ex Detroit Terminal 03-82

After the 1981 take over of the Detroit Terminal Railroad their power was brought to Collinwood for renumbering. Several of the units remained in the Cleveland area, including ex DT 104, now CR 9195, shown at Motor yard.

CR 9216 EL 409 NW-2 10-76

Erie Lackawanna NW-2 #409 was assigned Conrail number 9216, but I doubt it ever received the new number. It appears to have been involved in a roundhouse fire as opposed to a wreck. It's shown in the former EL yard in Akron, Ohio in October of 1976, on it's way to the ex PC Collinwood Diesel shop if the writing on the cab is correct. I'm not sure of the details of what happened...if anyone has info please email me- thanks!

CR 9220 EMD NW2 Akron 08-76

A former Erie Lackawanna NW2, still wearing it's EL number a little over 4 months into the Conrail merger, sits under a classic Erie searchlight signal in Akron, Ohio in August 1976. EL 413 would shortly become CR 9220.

CR 9242 Scranton, PA October 1978

Conrail NW-2 #9242, the ex Lehigh Valley 180, works the former EL yard in Scranton,Pa. Off in the distance the former CNJ station can be seen.

CR 9407 Rutherford, PA 06-2-1976

Just an overview of the former Reading Lines coal dock at Rutherford (Harrisburg area). RDG SW1001 2607 has yet to be renumbered to CR 9407, and it's keeping good company this day in the form of a Western Maryland F7A and SD35.

CR 9611 Reading 2761 November 1976

Reading Lines SW-1500 rests near the Bethlehem engine house in November 1976 along with two Penn Central units. It would become Conrail 9611 and survive to become property of Norfolk Southern as their 2240. It has been retired.

CR 9661 Buffalo, NY 08-26-76

Buffalo Creek Alco S-2 44 works their main yard in Buffalo, N.Y. in August 1976. Controlled by the Erie Lackawanna and Lehigh Valley, Conrail would totally absorb this small but busy line a couple of years after C-day, renumber several of their Alco switchers, then retire them in short order. BCK #44 would be renumbered to CR 9661.

CR 9993 Collinwood, OH 09-19-1979

Blue duo 9993 and 5956, ex New Haven and NYC units, work Collinwood yard in September 1979. RS3mod 9993 was Penn Central/Conrail 5484 prior to the conversion, and NYNH&H 558 before that.

CR 9999 Hubbard, OH 11-20-79

A true PRR survivor, this PC 44 ton GE is working a scrap dealer in Hubbard, Ohio that took in a lot of old Conrail equipment. It's Nov 1979, and I believe this unit was the property of the scraper and off the CR roster by this date. That's the ex NYC Youngstown Line in the background.

This unit was numbred to 9999 by the PRR prior to the Penn Central merger in 1968. Its only assignment during the Penn Central era, and into Conrail was on the Pemberton & Hightstown Line in New Jersey, leased and oprated by the Union Transportation Company which ran from Lewes, NJ to Fort Dix. Servic ended on the line in 1977 and the 9999 was sold in 1978 to Midwest Steel and Alloy in Ohio.

CR A5464 PC Hi-rail truck Sterling, OH 01-1977

A Penn Central hi-rail truck has pulled up to a stop on the former Erie Lackawanna at RU tower in Sterling, Ohio. It's a sunny January 1977 day here, but darker days are the future of the ex EL through Sterling. Although the CSX ex B&O lines behind the tower are still there, everything else in this photo is gone today.

CR C859 N8D Dover 10-76

Former DL&W car built by the Lackawanna, so I don't know what's up with the "ACF" emblem on it. It's still in former Lackawanna territory though at Dover, New Jersey.

CR Chevy van Collinwood 11-78

Even company highway vehicles got the "CR" treatment, illustrated by this Chevy van at Collinwood. With that large CR and Collinwood sticker, it sure looks like the backshop did this one!

CR F7A Collinwood, OH 2-11-1977

"Hanger queen" is probably the best way to describe this Penn Central F7A out behind the P1A shop at Collinwood. No number was visible, and as you can see it was being parted out with one of the windows missing. It's ran it's last mile. Another former NYC unit, U25B 2501, is in the background, and I'm sure it will be fixed and put back to work.

DE 018 U30C Brady Lake 10-78

Westbound coal for Detroit Edison in Monroe, Michigan passes through Brady Lake, Ohio on Conrail's Cleveland Line on a nice fall afternoon. The path above the train is the former NYC line that was part of a flyover junction to get over the PRR at this location. Near the rear of the train the ex EL main is above this line also.

DE 018 U30C Conrail UDM train 08-79

Another one of the unit coal trains Conrail ran using utility purchased power was the Detroit Edison trains for the Monroe, Michigan plant. Interesting trains, they used a fleet of U30C's and SD40's pulling large capacity aluminum rotary dump gons and mid train radio units on the loaded moves. Numbered DE 001 to 022, there were 12 EMD's and 10 U30C's with SD40's 001,002,and GE's 007,008,018,019,and 020 equipped as radio control leaders. In this photo a set of four elephant style U30C's are sitting at Hudson,Ohio on the law waiting for a new crew on a nice August 1979 evening. These Detroit Edison U-boats were nice to catch, as Conrail only had 10 U30C's of their own, 5 ex PC and 5 ex Reading.

EL 216 Youngstown, OH 8-1-1976

EL caboose C216, a former Erie car, is with BN RS-3 4065- still wearing SP&S colors- at Youngstown,Ohio in August 1976. Conrail ran just about anything it could beg,borrow, or steal in those first few years. In the background are the open hearth furnaces of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Brier Hill Works, operating on borrowed time.

EL 82875 40 ft "XF" boxcar 03-77

The era of the 40 foot boxcar wasn't quite dead on April 1st, 1976, and the new Conrail used many of them in those first few years. The writing was on the wall for these steam era freight cars though, and by 1980 most were off the roster or in MofW service. This Erie Lackawanna car was in pretty good shape this March 1977 day, and it's "XF" lettering is a clue it had interior lining for food service. Many of these EL cars were used to haul bagged flour out of Buffalo. Few if any 40 footers received a full Conrail paint job.

EMDX 1975 Harrisburg, PA 8-1-1978

Before Conrail pulled the plug on the former PRR electrified freight lines they tested a couple of EMD electric demonstrators. Here EMDX model GM6C #1975 rests at Harrisburg, PA in August 1978.

LV 1776 (CR 18666) Class N5G 07-76

Along with several bicentennial locomotives that Conrail inherited were some cabin cars that had been painted up red, white, and blue. One of them was Lehigh Valley 1776, the former 95085. It is shown trailing a Creston turn on the ex EL in Akron, Ohio in June of 1976. If my research is correct it became CR 18666 in a coat of dress blue.

LV A95093 - Class N5G

Looking pretty good in her Cornell Red paint, Lehigh Valley 95093 is now the property of Conrail, and will soon get a coat of blue and a 186xx series number. Bethlehem, Pa Nov 1976. I believe the "A" was a designation for a pool car.

MP 2526 Cleveland, OH 02-01-1977

Conrail was very power short during the first few years of operation and leased a wide variety of other railroads power to keep the RR fluid. One example is this Missouri Pacific GP35, number 2526, waiting for some shop attention at the P1A while ex PC Fs and EL geeps occupy the service area at Collinwood shops in Cleveland,Ohio in Feb 1977.

PC 18554 - Class N11E

A crew member enjoys the ride as his train pulls into Orrville, Ohio in March 1978. By this date many cabin cars were already in blue, but this one seems overdue for a paint job as it still carries it's rusty Penn Central scheme. These were built in the PC Despatch Shops, and 3 ex PRSL hacks, CR numbers 18559, 18564, and 18565, would join the ex PC fleet on April 1st, 1976.

PC 19147 class N5 cabin car Penn Central 03-77

Bringing up the rear of a work train at Fairhope yard in East Canton, Ohio was this Penn Central N5 cabin car in March, 1977.

PC 32322- Class H30 sand car 05-77

Heading east (north) through Akron with a load of sand, I believe this car started life as a PRR car. Many of these PC cars never got Conrail paint and could be found in green into the late 80's.

PNC 545 Akron, OH 10-10-1978

Along with a variety of units from other railroads, Conrail used leasing company Precision National to augment it's fleet in those first couple of years. The PNC units, mostly GP-7's and 9's, came from many sources including this ex SLSF "Frisco" geep. Akron, Ohio October 1978.

PRR Burro crane survivor

Even as late as this April 1978 shot PRR equipment could still be found on Conrail. Somehow this little workhorse made it all the way through Penn Central with it's keystone, and it's shown here at Weirton,WVa. earning it's keep on the ex PRR track that would be famous for the ex NYC Alco C430's that congregated there.

RDG 19024 Reading class XLI boxcar 03-78

Sporting the last Reading Lines paint scheme applied to boxcars, RDG 19024 passes through Akron, Ohio in May of 1978. Car would become part of class BR62A upon repainting

RDG 19807 Reading class XMLg "Freedom" boxcar

Conrail inherited some pretty interesting equipment from the predecessor roads, including this 50 ft "Share in Freedom" savings bond car off the Reading. There were 4 in this scheme, RDG 19805-19808. These would be as close to a Bicentennial paint scheme as any Reading equipment would get, strange for a road that served Philadelphia in a big way. Not the best shot in the world, but it would be the only time I had a chance to see one of these.


Car would become 231456 when finally renumbered.

RDG 38806 RDG class GHy gondola 09-78

Reading Lines class GHy gondola 38806 built in December 1975 passes through Akron, Ohio on the B&O. It would become a class GR once renumbered/painted on Conrail, possibly a GR51. The last group of these gons on the RDG would be the only gons delivered new in this scheme, the last Reading Co. image before Conrail.

RDGZ 207021 trailer 04-78

Along with the wide variety of units Conrail inherited, there was an even more diverse fleet of freight cars and other equipment. Never into piggyback in a big way like the PC or EL was, the Reading still had a modest fleet of rail trailers. In April 1978 this one still carried it's RDG "black diamond" on the side as it goes east on the former Erie.

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