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PENN CENTRAL RAILROAD

Little Known Facts About The PENN CENTRAL:

EQUIPMENT:

-PC DID have at least 1 E-33, 4602, still in NH (red-orange w/ white stripes), but renumbered into the PC loco roster with white PRR-style PC numbers added to the cab sides. The rest of the loco still had it's NH roadname and paint still showing as well. This is proven per a photo found, dated August or Jan 1969. This proves PC did not necessarily paint all the E-33's quickly into all black paint. Cool for those who like to paint those "introduction" schemes.

-The PC DID have a Dome passenger car they used on at least 1 PC passenger train, the Southwind. (More information to follow on this later!)

-The PC DID have at least 1 corrugated baggage car, which was ex-NYC. (More info on this later!)

-The PC DID have MANY shades of yellows and greens used on their equipment (and so did the PRR and NYC when it came to the paint colors they used).

-The PC DID fully RE-PAINT a few E8-A locomotives in Tuscan Red and lettered PC (not meaning the ex-PRR Tuscan painted units where the PRR markings were painted out/removed and just PC markings put overtop the old paint-and yes, they did this too).

-PC DID fully re-paint locomotives and other equipment, and so PC did have newly-painted shiny locomotives and other equipment throughout the system. (The paint used would fade or get dirty quickly as per any industrial grade paint in those days, and as with any other railroad that used the same types of paints!)

-PC actually had some MofW equipment still in pred. railroad's MofW paint colors, just added the PC stenciling. A photo was seen where a MofW gondola was still in the earlier ex-NYC MofW silver colors, but with added PC reporting marks ("PC") and numbers in black, as an example. The same goes for the later ex-NYC MofW green colors, ex-NH brown and later red-orange MofW colors, and ex-PRR MofW yellow.

-PC's locomotives were not all just painted black. Some were red (ex-NH), red-orange (ex-NH), orange (ex-NH), red-black-white (ex-NH such as the FL9's not repainted yet), blue w/ yellow lettering (most PC FL9's), black with a green stripe ("Dispatch Shops" SW Loco), DGLE/Brunswick Green (ex-PRR locos and PC re-paints), Tuscan red/brown (ex-PRR units or PC re-paints), gray (ex-NYC), gray with black ends-or nose (some ex-NYC E-units were painted this way), black with white stripe along frame (ex-NYC units or custom "shop paints"), white (at least 1 GP7 or 9 loco used for a kids project), black w/ side stripes (ex-NH GE's and ALCO's), black and red (ex-NH GP9's, RS-11's), and may be other versions not yet discovered.

-PC DID have a few WOOD cabooses painted in green (at least one) and brown, with PC markings.

PC had at least 1 watch tower made out of 2 ends of observation passenger cars combined together ,and attached to a metal stand, in Beechgrove.

-PC DID have some older motor cars (or "speeders") throughout the system they used, even though they had the newer hi-railers (special-made pickup trucks w/ squared cabs, that had special hydraulic-operated steel wheels to allow it to run down the tracks with it's regular rubber tires) as well. Not all were scrapped or retired when PC came into existence (a lot of railroads still used motor cars past 2000!). Some carried the same un-touched original paint & lettering brought over from the pred. railroads, while some just had an added PC logo overtop the pred. original paint (saw a photo of an ex-NYC still in NYC paint & lettering, with an added small white stenciled PC logo on the front of the cab below 1 of the front windows, as an example). It's also possible some were fully re-painted by PC as well.

-PC did not eventually re-paint all of their equipment, nor did they at least put PC markings on all pred. equipment. A lot went into Conrail and beyond still in NYC, NH, and PRR, and can still be found once in a while in some places.

-There WERE many makes and models of locomotives that were not or did not make any PC active locomotive roster. This means that there were and could have been some makes and models that were stored dead/and or retired, and could still be found on the PC system in storage lines, that did not get hauled off to get traded in or torched right away, and did not necessarily receive any PC markings/renumberings/paint. Some units stayed on PC property as parts suppliers as well. Time of stored units from as little as a few days after the 1968 PC merger, and 1969 NH entry, to until CR 1976 merger. These stored units were: E8A's, HH660's (in NH areas), 44-tonners (in NH areas), EP-5's (NH areas), DL-109 (only 1 and in NH areas), possibly a few Baldwin RF-16 sharks -A and B units (according to PC Bi-Annual not all were sold to the Monog. RR, and some still were stored right at the PC 1968 merger), H16-44's (especially in NH areas), other various models of Baldwin’s, EMD's, ALCO's, FM's already listed on active PC roster.

-NYC ALCO HH600s still around during PC? (NYC 800-810: DES-7A 800-805; DES-7B 806-810 & were built for subsid. B&A): apparently, PC had about 11 ex-NYC HH600 switchers in storage on PC property, as of the 1968 merger [per a PCRHS 2011 Post (by M. Frattasio). But in the PC Bi-Annual & Penn Central Power books, nothing is stated about that, and in the NYCS Diesel Locomotive book (Edson, Vail, Smith), they list them as model "600", and NOT as "660" as per what PC Post article states them as. In the NYCS Loco book, they list 11 NYC HH600's as retired, sold, and scrapped by 12/63 (800 "sold" in 1963, 801 "sold for scrap" '63, 802 sold '63, 803 sold for scrap '63, 804 scrapped '63, 805 sold '63, 806 sold '63, 807 sold for scrap '63, 808 sold '63, 809 sold '63, 810 sold '63)]. The switchers still being on PC property as of 1968 is possibly true, since when it came to the PC, anything was possible, and not all books/info resources would necessarily have the same info. PC also had around 4 NH HH660's stored in the Dover Street Yard dead line (in South Boston, MA) as of 1969.

OPERATIONS:

Penn Central did use radio communcation between the locomotives, cabooses, dispatchers, facilities, etc. The known frequencies they used (which went on into Conrail) were at least: 161.070 MHz, 161.130 MHz, 160.800 MHz.

-The PC actually lived on well after the Conrail merger? You bet. This is because Conrail still used basically the same things from the PC such as, the same signaling systems, operating procedures on how they ran their trains and the company, scheduling, assigned train numbers, and the number of trains and how they ran them, the great number of past PC employees who stayed on into CR, the PC trackage made up the biggest percentage of the operating miles of the new CR, and the same goes for CR's locomotive and equipment fleet mostly being ex-PC. So basically CR was PC, just merged with more railroads, re-named, and now in new blue colors and logos, and of course new ideas and equipment, etc. added from then on. And just like the PC, the new CR blue colors used on equipment, most other railroads at the time were not using, so they stood out among all the usual colors (besides the usual freight car brown they switched to). As far as the logo, you could say it got it's idea or artistic resemblance from the influence of the PC logo with line structure (the CR logo is often referred to as "2 steel wheels on 2 steel rails", but also can be seen as 2 C's for "Con", on 2 lines for "rail", a visually-based symbol & logo effect also used by the PC with their logo. The same can go for the 1st Amtrak new 70's influenced logo for the future at that time, with their logo also being "line" based in design).

SITUATIONS & STORIES:

Ride Past the Rails:

A good source witnessed a result of a PC train made up of box cars coming from Tiffin, OH that was heading NE towards Sandusky, OH on the ex-Big 4 route, w/ a PC GP9 on the lead. There was some major mis-communication that day (or forgetfulness!) between the PC people, in Dec 1973/Jan 1974. No one told the crew that the rails were torn up previously by the NYC or PC on the farther part of the line- before Sandusky, so they ended up plowing through a pile of ties and dirt at the end of the tracks, and rolled about 4 to 5 car lengths on the frozen ground of the old right-of-way where the tracks use to be. A PC train rolling across the ground-they were way ahead of their time using no rails hah! (photo will be shown at a later date of the actual train)12-07

Too Heavy:

A same source remembers another situation where the PC ran a short train on the same ex-big 4 route. The original crews usually used lighter Baldwin S-12 type engines since the already poorly-maintained tracks on that line could not take anything heavier without risk of derailments (and they usually would practically idle their way down that line because it was so bad). The S-12's were at the time in Toledo, OH being used. So another crew from Tiffin had a GP7 available, and took it w/ a string of box cars NE towards Green Springs. Because of the heavier unit, the tracks could not take it, and the loco derailed out somewhere in farmland territory (front truck derailed only). Another miscommunication. (photo to be posted later) 12-07

No Joint Bars:

Yet again PC tried the impossible. In the 1970s, the same source from the previous 2 stories witnessed a short PC train heading EB(?) to Bellevue, OH. Nothing wrong w/ that, except that previously the PC had ordered part of the track out of service, and had a work train go through part of the line, and remove all the joint bars. Then a short train uses these tracks after the joint bars were removed. The source didn't think a derailment occured, but could have. 10-08 (story told in 2007).

Aside from the various mishaps, remember when it came to the PC RR, ANYTHING was possible in how they painted equipment, how they ran things, what equipment they owned and used, etc. New information always is being discovered about this great railroad. In order to sort thru all of the facts/rumors/etc., especially with the PC, one MUST have an open mind to any of the possibilities that existed. Because you never know, you may actually find proof of what you thought to be "impossible" (anything from paint scheme variations, to color tints, to equipment they had/didn't have-anything) later on into your research! It's happened to us already in our research.

-PC apparently leased a few F7A's (possibly B's as well) from the GN in 1968, GN 436D was one of them.

*More to be added to this list later*

 

 

More Info About PC's Predecessor/Parent (NYC, NH, PRR)And Subsidiary RR's (DT&I, P&E, P&LE, IHB, CASO, etc.)

PC Paint Schemes Info

The PC Logo Information

PC Locomotive Info

PC Pictures

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2003-2009pcrrusa; All Rights Reserved. This site has no affiliation to the real Penn Central Company (now has a different name), but is intended to help preserve the history of the PC (mainly the railroad). All info was gathered from webmaster's own extensive research and time.