Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby NYCRRson » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:16 pm

Well, I do admit to my lack of knowledge about FL9's being painted in CR colors. Dang that is one ugly color scheme. Glad CR got put of the passenger business as soon as they could.

Must have been a passing fad, seems that no respectable freight railroad would be bothered to paint a locomotive in ugly colors like that. Looks like something from a Sponge Bob Cartoon..... Where are the bubbles ????
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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby lvrr325 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:10 pm

Conrail was never really in the passenger business, by then it was all run by various agencies who paid Conrail to operate and staff some trains. There were a couple of unsubsidized runs in Ohio and Indiana.
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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:02 pm

NYCRRson wrote:Well, PC did absorb all of the FL9's from the New Haven back in 1969. And they did operate them on trains into/out of GCT for a few years until Amtrak came into being in 1971. But I doubt they had time to paint one in PC black ? They were probably left in faded NH colors.


This will answer your questions about FL9s and paint variation.

http://rapidotrains.com/emd-fl9-master-class/

I'm not sure CR ever actually owned/operated any FL9's. Not exactly sure of the dates but I don't think CR actually operated any commuter trains into/out of GCT ? Amtrak "long distance" service out of GCT started in 1971, 5 years before CR even began. I think all the commuter trains where turned over to the Metro North folks before Conrail even existed ?


Conrail was the contract operator from 1976 until 1983. It took an act of Congress (literally) to absolve Conrail from the responsibility of operating these trains and turn it over to direct operation by agencies created by MTA (Metro-North), NJDOT (NJ Transit), and SEPTA (SEPTA Rail).

The blue-and-yellow paint job was specified by New York State, those are the state colors. In 1970, the MTA signed a subsidy agreement to fund operation of the lines operated by PC, and specified the new paint job to show the public that the state was now involved in funding the commuter trains. The same blue and yellow colors adorned diesels operated by LIRR, another MTA operation. When Conrail took over, I think the shade of blue might have changed slightly to use the same blue paint Conrail was applying to its freight engines. That's only speculation on my part.

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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:14 pm

lvrr325 wrote:Conrail was never really in the passenger business, by then it was all run by various agencies who paid Conrail to operate and staff some trains. There were a couple of unsubsidized runs in Ohio and Indiana.


In 1976, Conrail was America's second largest passenger operator with more than 1,864 trains a day, with train services in Boston, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore-Washington, Cleveland-Youngstown, Chicago-Valparaiso, and participation in the operation of the joint Conrail-TH&B RDC service between Buffalo and Toronto. Many of these services were indeed subsidized, but Conrail complained about the subsidy amount, and the agencies complained about the service they got back in return. The Northeast Rail Improvement Act of 1982 directed Conrail to divest itself of all passenger operations by the end of the year, and everyone was (more or less) happy with the new arrangements.

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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby lvrr325 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:53 pm

Yes, they inherited some existing operations, but they weren't interested in them - the money wasn't there so the service suffered.
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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby glennk419 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:03 am

Another shot of a PC FL-9 in black dip, shot at a very classic location.
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PC5040.JPG
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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby CP-4070 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:35 am

Thanks again guys for the answers. Meanwhile, I have built up some consists. Another thing that I may just hook up to this topic is about the roof pantographs of the FL-9s. They were removed after the NH era or even withing. How were the operations afterwards handled that required a roof pantograph earlier, e.g. in ladders?

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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:45 pm

The third rail pantograph was utterly useless at least as far as the FL-9's were concerned, the second 30 of them were not even so equipped. When they were brand new they tested them in GCT and they immediately had problems with them. They were disconnected almost immediately after they arrived. If we ended up "barefooted" (gapped) we just started the diesel.
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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:49 pm

Noel is correct, the third rail pantograph was located near winterization hatch, and any arching caused a rain of sparks to fall down inside engine, near oil and fuel filters and Woodward governor.
instant guarantee for engine room fire so they were disabled as soon as after first fire.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Cars that PC and CR FL-9s pulled

Postby jhdeasy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:10 pm

CP-4070 wrote:
Coming back to passenger cars, hauled by PC and CR FL-9s: I am sure, that the one or other have seen them pulling former Delaware and Hudson cars. Some of them I once red were set on fire by vagrants. Would they have been these cars in D&H paint scheme?

http://rapidotrains.com/ho-scale-lightweight-coach/

I have some of the LIRR cars of this production. Would they also have gone into Grand Central Terminal? If yes, what lettering would they have had above the windows instead of the Long Island tag?


The Rapido model coach available in LIRR colors (MTA LIRR 2183) is a close approximation (but not a perfect match) to the 14 former DL&W/EL coaches that MTA acquired and which were used on both LIRR trains and on PC Hudson and Harlem Lines. I remember riding one of these cars on a Brewster train. I recall it was a very comfortable car. My LIRR Parlor Cars website has a page on these coaches at http://www.dominionrailvoyages.com/jhd/lirr/mta_lackawanna_coaches.html.

In answer to your original question about the passenger cars hauled by the FL-9 locomotives, a few comments from one who was there back in those days:

Noel and Otto have provided good answers.

I rode MTA/PC Hudson and Harlem line trains in the 1971-1975 era. As I recall, at that time the cars on the Poughkeepsie-GCT and Brewster-GCT thru trains included:

Some modernized NYC heavyweight coaches. I think these were painted PC jade green with the PC logo in white.

Some former Empire State Express lightweight coaches built by Budd for NYC, rebuilt to higher capacity commuter coaches.

Some former NYC lightweight 64 seat coaches built by Pullman Standard, rebuilt to higher capacity commuter coaches. Some had all or part of the original cosmetic (non-structural) stainless steel fluting panels removed. Some variations in paint schemes.

An assortment of lightweight coaches of C&EI, EL, Frisco, L&N and Santa Fe ancestry, acquired by MTA and/or PC, rebuilt to higher capacity commuter coaches. Considerable variation on paint schemes.

Occasionally, when an Amtrak or D&H coach assigned to The Adirondack was bad-ordered at GCT, one of these "MTA/PC commuter junk" coaches made a roundtrip From GCT to Montreal (or at least Albany-Rensselaer) on The Adirondack!

Last but by no means least, there were a few Budd built NYC lightweight tavern lounge cars and six-bedroom lounge cars there were used as commuter bar cars. The six bedrooms were setup as three bedrooms suites and there were tables for card players in each suite.

glennk419 wrote:Another shot of a PC FL-9 in black dip, shot at a very classic location.


Interesting pic! Is this a westbound special excursion train on the Poughkeepsie Bridge, with a view from Highland looking northeast towards Poughkeepsie?

Otto Vondrak wrote:
When the Delaware & Hudson cars were replaced with Amtrak equipment in 1974, NYSDOT reassigned them to commuter trains: http://www.dominionrailvoyages.com/jhd/ ... county.jpg

-otto-


Otto's date is off by 3 years. NY DOT funded the refurbishment of a number of D&H coaches (and other D&H equipment) for use on The Adirondack which was inaugurated in early August 1974. The D&H passenger cars were idled after Amtrak converted The Adirondack to Turboliner equipment in 1977. Sometime after that, NY DOT wanted to ensure they continued to get a return on their investment in these passenger cars, so the D&H coaches and their two dinner-lounge cars were assigned to MTA Hudson line (Poughkeepsie) and Harlem line (Brewster) commuter trains. The diner-lounge cars were used as commuter bar cars. The D&H equipment served in that role until retirement sometime in the early to mid 1980s. Some of them were damaged by fires set by homeless people/drifters while stored inside GCT.

I agree with Otto's book recommendations.
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Re: Cars that PC and CR FL-9s pulled

Postby glennk419 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:14 am

jhdeasy wrote:
glennk419 wrote:Another shot of a PC FL-9 in black dip, shot at a very classic location.


Interesting pic! Is this a westbound special excursion train on the Poughkeepsie Bridge, with a view from Highland looking northeast towards Poughkeepsie?



Yes, that shot is from the Highland side of the Poughkeepsie bridge looking back toward Poughkeepsie.

MTA also used some ex-Reading coaches, painted in the SEPTA red/white/blue "circus" scheme that were previously hauled by Reading FP-7's in push pull service between Philadelphia, Reading and occasionally Bethlehem. These cars became surplus after SEPTA ended all diesel service in 1981-82. They were subsequently used in tourist service on the Housatonic and now reside in Danbury. I believe MTA also had some SEMTA coaches after that service ended and even some VRE "Boise Budds" for a while.
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Re: Penn Central and Conrail trains pulled by FL9s

Postby CP-4070 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:36 am

Interesting to read! Thanks a lot guys!
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Re: Cars that PC and CR FL-9s pulled

Postby Otto Vondrak » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:07 pm

jhdeasy wrote:Otto's date is off by 3 years. NY DOT funded the refurbishment of a number of D&H coaches (and other D&H equipment) for use on The Adirondack which was inaugurated in early August 1974. The D&H passenger cars were idled after Amtrak converted The Adirondack to Turboliner equipment in 1977. Sometime after that, NY DOT wanted to ensure they continued to get a return on their investment in these passenger cars, so the D&H coaches and their two dinner-lounge cars were assigned to MTA Hudson line (Poughkeepsie) and Harlem line (Brewster) commuter trains. The diner-lounge cars were used as commuter bar cars. The D&H equipment served in that role until retirement sometime in the early to mid 1980s. Some of them were damaged by fires set by homeless people/drifters while stored inside GCT.


Thank you for the correction! I remember taking one ride in Adirondack Lounge when I was five... One of my first train trips.

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