Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

  by pennsenseless
Hey guys..

First check my timeline.

PC merger 1968.
NH included by 1969.
PC bankrupt 1970.
Amtrak created 1971.
Conrail created 1976
Northeast corridor sold to Amtrak 1977 (?)
Commuter authorites take over after that.

I have some confusion about this. I know PC operated the long distance trains up to Amtrak, then Amtrak took over their operation. But PC still owned the corridor. Did PC continue to operate commuter trains out of Philly 30th street until Conrail, which means you would see both PC passeneger trains and amtrak. Plus I guess PC still had all the track manitenance functions till then as well, or did Amtrak take over everything at 30th street after 1971?

Any info, thanx
  by ExCon90
As to the last point, Conrail (by law) ceased operating commuter trains on January 1, 1983 (PC operated them out of Philadelphia -- actually Suburban Station, through 30th St. -- and elsewhere on the system, from its formation in 1968 until Conrail took over in 1976). Starting in 1983 the commuter authorities were required to make their own arrangements. SEPTA elected to operate their own trains with their own employees (as far as I know, mainly those who lacked the seniority to stay with Conrail); other authorities contracted with Amtrak to operate their trains. Following the creation of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, all participating railroads, including PC, operated trains for Amtrak until Amtrak gradually assumed operation by employing its own train-and-engine service, and on-board services crews. (I rode the Super Chief at the end of Labor Day weekend in 1971, and to all intents and purposes it was a Santa Fe operation through and through -- John Reed was Chairman of AT&SF, and as far as the on-board crews were concerned, this was the Santa Fe Super Chief.) Thus, Corridor trains were operated by PC, but on behalf of Amtrak, except for mail trains 3 and 4, which were strictly a PC operation and carried no passengers. If my memory has failed me on any of the above points, let's hope someone chimes in.