Custom Painted P-2000 units

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Big Blue Comes to Empire City!

Greetings Blog Followers,

I fired up the Delorean, hit 88 mph, let the flux capacitor do it's job and voila! Big Blue comes to Empire City! And we're not talking the NY Giants. The Conrail Fleet was feeling a bit rejected as it had not graced the blog in a few years so we got em out of the box and onto the layout.

A little history first. With the major Northeast Railroads in bankruptcy and with no relief in sight President Gerald Ford signed into law the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. Consolidated Rail Corporation aka Conrail came into being on April 1, 1976. The Conrail components were the Erie Lackawanna, Lehigh Valley, Central of New Jersey, Reading, Lehigh and Hudson River and the Penn Central. With some help from the government Conrail soon became profitable and lasted until 1999 when it was bought out by the Norfolk Southern and CSX with the exception of the Conrail Shared Assets Area in New Jersey.

Conrail SW1500 9513 and slug are working the Empire City Intermodal Yard, 
formerly the Empire City Passenger Station. A Conrail 45' Trailvan is entering the yard  

Some empty well cars on track 3 while a blue Conrail set of Impac Cars
 and orange set of Itel Impac Cars are on track 2. A freight train has stopped on the upper level. Subway service has continued unabated.

A rail fans dream! Motive Power by the bunch stacked one on top of the other!
Upper level has a still pure Penn Central GP30 GP30 GP38-2 GP38-2 consist. Lower level outside track has a Conrail SD40-2, PC SD40, CR SD45 and a camera shy EL SD45 still in the tunnel. Inside track consist is EL GP35, PC GP35, CR GP35 and a PRR GP35.  Now that's a lot of power!

A fan favorite is this lash up: Conrail SD40-2, Penn Central SD40, 
Conrail SD45 and an Erie Lackawanna SD45 in Bicentennial paint

Here is a history making mechanical reefer, CR 359020. The only GPS guided reefer. This unit is on display at the Danbury Railroad Museum in Danbury CT. For more photos google CR 359020

A Conrail Paint out. Former jade green PC box cars

One of my favorites in the Conrail Rainbow. Four GP35s in four paint schemes lead a freight train into Empire City. The once bustling train station and parking lot are no more. Trailer parking has taken over for passenger parking and if you want to travel jump on the Greyhound. 

A second generation EMD showcase! Four factory painted and four custom painted. That PC consist seems to have outlawed on the viaduct leading to North Side Yard. The lead unit with the red P is stopped just short of the street crossing. 

My Conrail Fleet circa October 2012

A big blue showcase!

Looks like Neal's Lumber and Hardware has continued to prosper. Here we see Neal getting a boxcar of Christmas trees forwarded from the Hidden Prairie Valley Railway which is based in British Columbia. The HPVR is owned by Sir Graham Stokes, a Canadian Royal and founder of O.T.D.

Sir Neal and his faithful staff watch as the newest diesel power switches in the boxcar. Whether it be New York Central, Penn Central or Conrail Neal's Lumber and Hardware remains a valued customer.

Three KP&W Rebuilds sit at North Side Yard. They may be a bit dirty but they are still racking up the revenue miles for the KP&W. As part of the Conrail legislation both the KP&W and A.P.R.R. gained trackage rights into Empire City. 

Three empty Tropicana cars sit in front of Neal's Lumber and Hardware. The cars have been routed from the A.P.R.R. in N.J. and are on there way back to Bradenton FL.


  1. Look at all that blue stuff! Its cool that you can shift back and forth in era on your layout. Nice Conrail collection!

  2. Thanks Ralph! The cool part of the time shift for me is that the Penn Central is the lynch pin going forward and backward. The PC equipment can run with either the NYC in 1968 and Conrail in 1976. Adding the other Conrail component roads makes for a colorful consist!