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Philly NRHS - Railfan Pictures of the Week


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The Philadelphia Chapter of the

National Railway Historical Society

Established in 1936


Railfan Pictures of the Week - 04/01/2006

Conrail Shared Assets Operation Morrisville Yard Morrisville PA April 2001

Today, April 1 2006, is Conrail's 30th birthday. Yes, Conrail still exists, albeit as a ghost of its former Northeast dominating self. It is an interesting twist of history that the bastard child of the railroad industry, a child that no one wanted or loved, would eventually not only get off the dole and pay back all the money it was lent, not only make money for people who invested in it when Conrail shed its "ward of the government status" and became a private corporation, but even find a warm, fuzzy place in the hearts of many an employee and railfan alike.

Years after the Conrail empire was split between NS and CSX, glimmers of the pride that became Conrail still smoldered. A hot bed of this "rebellion" was CSAO's Pavonia Shops in Camden NJ, and out of this last remnant of Big Blue came CR/NS/PRR GP38 2943, the "Spirit of Conrail". The paint scheme was to honor Conrail's 25th birthday in 2001. Rumor has it that NS did not appreciate the gesture applied to one of "its" engines (NS and CSX supply all motive power to Conrail, which after the split had no engines of its own), nor the application of American Flags on the sides of the cabs of engines serviced there. The "Spirit", the former Conrail 7899 which was built for Penn Central as PC 7899 in February 1971, was involved in a minor accident not long after its debut, and was officially retired in 2003. Last report is that it is sitting in Altoona, waiting for everything to go dark when and if it gets rebuilt into an NS 5600 series GP38-3.

But on this glorious day in April 2001, the "Spirit of Conrail" lives.

How anyone can take offense to celebrating 25 years of safety and service is beyond me.
Also working the yard this day was Philadelphia Division Logo PRR 2923, the former CR 7868.
The new face of Northeast Railroading at the dawn of the new century. NS/PRR 2943 with CSX GP40-2 4406 (former CR 3295) and one of the ubiquitous NS D 9-40CW's, 9605.


All pictures April 2001 Copyright © 2006 John P. Almeida

Photographs for personal use only. All rights reserved by original owner of image. Reproduction or redistribution in any form without express written permission is prohibited.

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Website created June 12, 2002

Last Updated April 1, 2006