Metro-North Releases Conrail Heritage Unit

On Friday, Metro-North revealed its second heritage unit, this one painted in tribute to Conrail. —Photo courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Metro-North Releases Conrail Heritage Unit

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

Metro-North has released the second of five planned heritage units to celebrate the commuter agency’s 40th anniversary. The Metro-North unit, GE P32AC-DM 201, is painted in tribute to Conrail. The first one was released earlier this summer in the red, blue and silver paint scheme that was applied to the railroad’s EMD FL9 locomotives back in the 1980s and 1990s. This one is inspired by Conrail’s FL9s in the 1970s, which were blue with a yellow nose. The locomotive was expected to enter service on Friday. The new heritage scheme generally stays true to the original. A 40th-anniversary logo has been added to the rear of the locomotive as well.

Conrail 5015, Art Deeks

ABOVE: Conrail FL9 5015 leads a Harlem Line commuter train at Chappaqua, N.Y., in 1978. The blue and yellow colors signify New York State’s subsidy through Metropolitan Transportation Authority to maintain service operated by Conrail (and formerly Penn Central). Metro-North Commuter Railroad assumed operation of the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven Lines on January 1, 1983. —Art Deeks photo, collection Otto M. Vondrak

The inspiration for the blue-and-yellow tribute can be traced back to 1970, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority signed a subsidy contract with Penn Central to operate the commuter lines operating out of Grand Central Terminal. It was the MTA that asked for the locomotives to be painted blue and yellow, the colors of New York State, to signify the new partnership. The colors were carried through to the Conrail era after 1976 and the fleet of former New Haven FL9s were cycled through Juniata Shops.

Metro-North was created by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on January 1, 1983, to operate commuter lines north of New York City after Conrail was directed to exit the passenger business after the end of 1982. Metro-North operates the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven Lines operating out of Grand Central Terminal, and the New York State portions of the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley Lines with NJ Transit out of Hoboken Terminal.

The front end of Metro-North’s new heritage unit. —MTA photo

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This article was posted on: August 11, 2023