Conrail’s OIEL—April 7, 1989.

I’m reviewing thousands of Conrail photos to make final selections for my new book on Conrail. Among the images I’m considering is this one (and similar views) of Conrail’s OIEL (Oak Island, New Jersey to Elkhart, Indiana) that I exposed on the former Erie Railroad in New York’s Canisteo Valley.

For me this image distills what was cool about Conrail’s Canisteo. The sinuous trackage with multiple-tier code lines and semaphores along a green tinted river against a backdrop of shadowy dark hills. Milepost 311 near Cameron, New York April 7, 1989. Kodachrome 25.

I like this photograph because it captures the essence of the old Erie Railroad as it winds along the Canisteo River. In the distance, you can see one of the many upper quadrant Union Switch & Signal style-S semaphores that governed train movements through the 1980s.

Will this slide make the final cut? I have hundreds of color slides exposed in the Canisteo Valley back in Conrail days.

Tough choices will be made.

Regardless, someone might complain, ‘there’s too many scenic views with semaphores in the Conrail book!’

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

4 comments on “Conrail’s OIEL—April 7, 1989.

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Brian,
    Thank you.

  2. It is no myth. American railroading was more interesting only a few years ago. TSH

  3. Tom Rochford on said:

    Brian what’s directly behind the engines, flatcars with some kind of unusual lading?

    • OIEL and its eastward counterpart, as well as BUOI/OIBU often carried New York City Subway cars going to/from the old Erie Hornell shops for rebuilding. That is what you see behind the locomotives on flatcars. I think at that point they were rebuilding the early 1960s R32/R32A cars. Brian

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