FEBRUARY 2018: On February 1 ,1968, the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad merged to form the Penn Central, which ended just two years later in a financial disaster that threatened to take down the American rail system and everything with it. Historian Jerry Jordak explains the legacy left behind by PC, leading us to today’s modern railroad industry. Robert Scott takes us to Eastern Washington for a trip around the Columbia Basin Railroad, while Marcus Stevens updates us on the expanding operations of the Ontario Southland Railroad. All this and more in the February issue of Railfan & Railroad!
Since that cold January night in 1963 I have made it a point to avoid the corpse of the North Shore Line. I never went back to see the track torn up, and I have never ridden the CTA’s “Skokie Swift” service on the stub from Howard Street up to Skokie. In my memory, the North Shore remains unchanged after 25 years.
While most railroads would show little interest in a company requiring only a single tank carload a couple of times a week, the Ontario Southland puts its customers first, no matter the number of carloads, and every load is equally important whether it is a single tank car or 50 loaded autoracks.
Operating as a daytime accommodation on a schedule opposite the Southern Crescent, the Piedmont became famous in its later days for carrying intermodal piggyback cars behind the coaches making it a paradox of sleek streamliner and peddler mixed freight.
During Conrail’s first year, anything that was capable of moving was pressed into duty, including the sole survivor of the Ironton fleet. Emerging from the Eddystone plant in July 1949, No. 751 served faithfully for 27 years before it joined the Conrail roster.