Happy Birthday Conrail!

Today, April 1, 2016, is the 40th birthday American eastern giant, Conrail. Commencement of operations on the Consolidated Rail Corporation began on this day 40 years ago.

Conrail was created by Congress to assume operations of a variety of financially troubled eastern railroads including Penn Central, Erie Lackawanna, Reading Company, Central Railroad of New Jersey and Lehigh Valley.

When I was growing up in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Conrail was the big show. By the time Conrail’s operations were divided by CSX and Norfolk Southern in 1999, I’d exposed tens of thousands of images of its locomotives, trains and people.

Conrail TV10B emerges from the mist enshrouded Quaboag River Valley near CP79 east of Palmer, Massachusetts. It was scenes like this one, exposed on April 30, 1997, that made Conrail a favorite railroad. Nikon N90S with 80-200mm Nikkor AF zoom, Ektachrome film.
Conrail TV10B emerges from the mist-enshrouded Quaboag River Valley near CP79 east of Palmer, Massachusetts. It was scenes like this one, exposed on April 30, 1997, that made Conrail a favorite railroad. Nikon N90S with 80-200mm Nikkor AF zoom, Ektachrome film.

I miss Conrail. It’s blue locomotives photographed well; it ran lots of freight over my favorite Boston & Albany; its employees were friendly to me, and it embodied most of favorite historic railroads. Turn back the clock, let it be Conrail-days all over again!

In 2004, Tim Doherty and I co-authored a book on Conrail, published by MBI. If you have this prized tome, it’s now a collectible item! By the way, if you know a publisher interested in a follow-up title, I have access to virtually limitless material and keen knowledge of the railroad. Just sayin’

Happy Birthday Big Blue!

 

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2 comments on “Happy Birthday Conrail!

  1. Anonymous on said:

    The first Conrail Blue loco that I remember seeing was an E33 ex NH “Brick” as a second of a pair on a southbound freight going through Washington DC toward the Potomac Yard in Alexandria – observed from the the top of the Washington Monument, with the help of the available sightseeing pay-binoculars. My quarter was well spent . My thought at that moment was “finally the infamous PC would disappear.”

  2. I grew up watching Conrail. CSX just isn’t quite the same 🙂