"Brand New to Conrail" would be an
excellent caption to this view. Taken shortly after
Conrail received their first order of SD60M's, one of the
first daylight runs of the westbound RoadRailer 261 train
was caught east of Newport, PA. The single SD60M makes
little effort hauling the 70 Triple Crown trailers around
the reverse "S" curves along the Juniata River.
April 1995 photo by Kevin Burkholder
Here is Conrail 6657, an ex-Erie Lackawanna SD45-2,
reposing at CR's Juniata Shops in Altoona, PA. Not yet
extinct, these dinosaurs spent their later years pushing
trains "over the hill" west of Altoona. In
recent years, they have been assigned to lease duty on
CN. In the last several months, they have been found in
road service throughout the Conrail system.
Sitting dead at Conrail's Juniata shops, an
ex-Reading GP35 awaits it's appointment with the scrap
torch. Some predecessor-painted locomotives could still
be found in July, 1993 (when this photo was taken), but
only in scrap lines. Does anyone know what has since
happened to CR 3624?
Conrail EDPI-3 struggles upgrade at Bennington Curve
(CP-SF), not far from the summit at Gallitzin. EDPI
(Wilmington - Edgemoor to Conway) was led by
5551-5564-6705 (2 SD60M, SD50) on a beautiful October 23,
UMP-40B is about to begin it's descent down "The
Slide", passing the now-closed AR Tower. It's
journey eastward on Number 3 track will lead UMP into the
New Portage Tunnel, built by the Pennsylvania government
in a failed attempt to compete with the PRR in the
1850's. UMP was led by two General Electric C40-8W's, on
March 4, 1998. UMP is a coal train destined to Maryland
with coal for Potomac Electric.
The ex-PRR Middle Division is by far one of the most
popular railfan locations of all time. Tourists from far
and wide come to Altoona to visit world-famous Horseshoe
Curve. Cresson, on the West Slope of the Allegheny
Mountains, is a popular railfan (as opposed to tourist)
location - both in town at MO Tower and at the PA Rt. 53
Overpass. Westbound Mail-9H overtakes Mail-3 approaching
the Rt. 53 Overpass, and will shortly pass the site of
MO-Tower in Cresson proper.
With MO Tower in the background, OIPI-5 passes
through Cresson, PA on Saturday, July 6, 1996. Cresson is
an interesting railroad town for several reasons. For
Conrail, it is the home of Conrail's helper units. MO
Tower is located here, overseeing helper movements and
controlling several crossovers and connections to RJ
Corman coal lines. Cresson was once noted for the PRR
position light signals mounted on the overpass of the
Irvona Secondary. Today, it is well known as the site of
Tom Davis' Cresson Inn, a railfan-oriented Bed &
OIPI's interesting power came into North Jersey on
Southern Pacific (now UP) runthrough TV-556. TV-556 runs
once a week, arriving in New Jersey on a Thursday or
Friday; it's power typically returned west via the River
Line. Today, we were lucky and caught Conrail 5044,
Cotton Belt 9291, Rio Grande 5326, and Southern Pacific
7447 (B36-7, SD45T-2, SD45, SD45E). In the East, it is
rare to see this many 20-cylinder units together, with
the exception of CR's SD45-2 helper units and the new
Several SD40-2's are laying over at the Cresson
Enginehouse on March 3, 1998.
A brace of RJ Corman units arrives at Cresson yard on January 6,
2002 after dropping off covered hoppers a few miles to the north.
The West Slope town of Lilly contains some photo
opportunities such as the PRR signal bridge west of town
on Railroad Street. Amtrak 44 headed east under the
position lights at 2:58 pm on March 4, 1998 in
delightfully snowy weather.
On October 24, 1994; TV-2 screeches eastward around
the curve at South Fork, PA. TV-2 was a Chicago to
Morrisville train, sometimes running to Kearny, NJ. TV-2
has since been replaced by stack train TV-2M.
Eastbound trailvan TV-22 passes the cut at Ardara, PA
on Conrail's Pittsburgh Line. Ardara is not far from the
recently rebuilt Pitcairn Intermodal Terminal. TV-22 was
spotted on February 25, 1997 behind CR 6122 and CR 6260
RoadRailer 262 (Chicago to Elizabethport, NJ) rounds
the curve at Ardara, PA on Conrail's Pittsburgh Line on
February 25, 1997. 262 was powered by Conrail 3282 and
3309 (GP40-2's), not uncommon for a RoadRailer.
Later that day, PIES-5 was spotted at Ardara behind
Conrail 6435 and 6474, a pair of SD40-2's.
The next day, we saw TV-2M behind 6803 - 6249 - 5645
(SD50, C40-8W, SD60I). TV-2M (Chicago to Morrisville) had
just completed work at the nearby Pitcairn Intermodal
Westbound Mail-3 slows for the CP-Traff distant
signals at Ardara, PA on May 27, 1998. Mail-3 will work
at the Pittsburgh Intermodal Terminal at Pitcairn, PA,
picking up and setting off TOFC/COFC cars. This Mail-3
was powered by Conrail 6519, Conrail 3387, and Southern
Pacific 146 (SD40-2, GP40-2, AC4400CW). Photo by
Melanie L. Good
After spotting that SP AC4400CW, we decided to chase
Mail-3 to Pitcairn. The power is seen here after cutting
off from the train to pick up loaded trailers for St.
Louis. While not as large as the original Pitcairn Yard,
this TOFC/COFC terminal has begun a rebirth process for
the facility. Photo by Melanie L. Good
TV-2H has just completed it's air brake test and is
seen departing Pitcairn Yard at CP-Traff, in Trafford PA.
This location is geographically between the above two
Mail-3 photos. The interchange switch to the Turtle Creek
Industrial RR can be seen to the right, as well as PIMO
"waiting his turn" in the distance. Photo
by Melanie L. Good
Although Horseshoe Curve and Altoona are known for
their use of helper or pusher engines, Conrail regularly
uses helpers on heavy manifest trains between Pittsburgh
and Johnstown. Here, and eastbound ore train is assisted
by two EMD SD40-2's at Pitcairn Yard, near Wall, PA.
Technically speaking, this photo doesn't belong in
the Pittsburgh Line page. Westbound CAPI-2 is approaching
CP-Penn, milepost 1.8 on the Fort Wayne Line, on May 23,
1998. CP-Penn marks the junction of the Pittsburgh and
Conemaugh Lines, becoming the Fort Wayne Line. Tracks 4
and 1 are the Pittsburgh Line; tracks 2 and 3 are the
Conemaugh Line. CAPI is on track 4 (remember, the PRR
numbered their tracks opposite most roads). This oft-seen
view is from a footbridge at Pittsburgh's West Park, on
the Northside near the Allegheny Commons Mall.
Skyscrapers in the Golden Triangle can be seen in the
right background. Photo by Melanie L. Good