Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Goodbye Big Blue (Conrail, That Is)

The last unit in Conrail blue on NS is gone.

Eastern railfans may have ambivalent feelings about Conrail, but I have always liked the blue units that led its trains.

So I was a little sad to learn that the last Conrail unit on the Norfolk Southern in that old blue paint scheme has gone out of service.

In July, SD50 5424 was sent to Altoona, PA to be converted into an SD40E. When it emerges, it will sport the NS black livery.

In 2011, it was reported there were still ten units in blue on CSX; I don't know how many, or if any, are left today.

As someone who models CP Rail in western Canada in the early 1990s, there wouldn't be much reason to have Conrail units leading trains.

But this is my railway, so you'll understand if at least one of the units found its way out west to the Manitoba & Minnesota Subdivision, maybe paying off horsepower hours.

I need to add number boards and other details (like a pilot) to the classic Athearn blue box unit on the layout, and some weathering is in order, but from time-to-time SD40-2 6408 makes an appearance.

If nothing else, it helps set the time frame--a time before Conrail was broken up and sold, a time when big blue rode the rails.

A bigger question for me is: How long before I publish a post about the last run of a CP Rail SD40-2? Or any SD40-2s, for that matter?

Click here to see a video of 5424's last run in blue.

1 comment:

  1. I actually have a soft corner for Conrail and really miss seeing the blue locomotives here in the North Eastern US.