Westward Shore Line East at West Haven—Nice Light but too Much to Caption!

I used to say that with Conrail operations you needed a score-card to figure out what was going on, and by the time you figured out there was too much information to put on a slide mount.

It hasn’t become any easier: Here were have the former New York, New Haven & Hartford electrified four-track main line. New Haven was absorbed by Penn-Central in 1969 (although Penn-Central itself was created from the merger of Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central in 1968). PC collapsed financially and resulted in Congress creating the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail).

However, during this time ownership of the Northeast Corridor (comprised in part by the New Haven mainline) was separated from Conrail, with most of the Boston to Washington route conveyed to Amtrak. Except portions of the electrified line west of New Haven that were instead conveyed to the states of Connecticut and New York.

[Clarification: In the aftermath of Penn-Central bankruptcy, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority assumed financial responsibility for the New York portion of suburban services, with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (C-Dot) supporting Connecticut operations on former New Haven Lines—details from my book Railroad Family Trees published by Voyageur Press.]

Yet, initially Conrail continued to provided freight and suburban operations. When Conrail exited the commuter business at the end of 1982, Metro-North assumed suburban operations.

So what’s this? Oh, well this is a former Amtrak P40 (technically a General Electric GENESIS— Series 1, model DASH 8-40BP) working for Shore Line East, which is another Connecticut sponsored passenger operator. Today SLE operates diesel-powered suburban trains between New London and New Haven. A few of these services continue west under wire to Stamford.

However, not all trains carry passengers. (Trains are moved empty to be in position for loading).

Also, as a tribute to the old New Haven Railroad, some SLE equipment is lettered New Haven using the traditional font and livery.

The result is we have an empty diesel-powered passenger train underwire on the former New Haven, partially lettered for the former New Haven.

So for a caption we could try:

Ex-Amtrak P40 (DASH8-40BP) 834 leads westbound Shore Line East train 1169 (deadhead) under wire at West Haven on Metro-North’s former New Haven Railroad mainline at 3:53 pm on January 29, 2016.

Thanks to Pat Yough for the train numbers!

Ex-Amtrak P40 (DASH8-40BP) 834 leads westbound Shore Line East train 1169 (deadhead) under wire at West Haven on Metro-North’s former New Haven Railroad mainline at 3:53 pm on January 29, 2016.
Ex-Amtrak P40 (DASH8-40BP) 834 leads westbound Shore Line East train 1169 (deadhead) under wire at West Haven on Metro-North’s former New Haven Railroad mainline at 3:53 pm on January 29, 2016.
Westbound Shore Line East train 1169 (deadhead) under wire at West Haven on Metro-North’s former New Haven Railroad mainline at 3:53 pm on January 29, 2016.
Westbound Shore Line East train 1169 (deadhead) under wire at West Haven on Metro-North’s former New Haven Railroad mainline at 3:53 pm on January 29, 2016.

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