Conrail’s Birthday—Daily Post.


Conrail was Created April 1, 1976.

On this day 38 years ago, the Consolidated Rail Corporation assumed operation of various bankrupt railroads in the northeastern United States, including Penn-Central, Erie-Lackawanna, Lehigh Valley, Central Railroad of New Jersey, and the Lehigh & Hudson River.

Conrail was bought and divided by CSXT and Norfolk Southern in the mid-1990s, and ended its independent operations in Spring 1999.

During the 23 years that Conrail dominated northeastern freight railroading, I made tens of thousands of photographs of its operations and equipment. In 2004, the book that Tim Doherty and I authored on Conrail was published by MBI. I believe this is something of a collector’s item now.

In July 1988, Conrail SD40s, working as head-end helpers, lead a westward Trailvan train around the famous Horsehoe Curve (west of Altoona, Pennsylvania). This landmark of the Pennsylvania Railroad was reduced from four tracks to three in the Conrail era, but remained a vital artery for freight. I’ve used a variation of this photograph in several publications including my book Railway Masterpieces.
In July 1988, Conrail SD40s, working as head-end helpers, lead a westward Trailvan train around the famous Horsehoe Curve (west of Altoona, Pennsylvania). This landmark of the Pennsylvania Railroad was reduced from four tracks to three in the Conrail era, but remained a vital artery for freight. Exposed on Kodachrome 25 using a Leica M2 with a 50mm Summicron lens. I’ve used a variation of this photograph in several publications including my book Railway Masterpieces.
On October 31, 1996, a westward Conrail container train roars across the cornfields west of South Bend, Indiana. Exposed on Kodachrome 25 slide film using a Nikon F3T with a 28mm lens. A variation of this image was published in TRAINS magazine some years ago.
On October 31, 1996, a westward Conrail container train roars across the cornfields west of South Bend, Indiana. Exposed on Kodachrome 25 slide film using a Nikon F3T with a 28mm lens. A variation of this image was published in TRAINS magazine some years ago.

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