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The Lackawanna Express

The Pennsylvania Railroad
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Linking 13 Great States With The Nation

Here we will take  a look at the  mighty Pennsylvania Railroad in its final years of independent operation. Examined will  be its  freight,passenger, commuter, and TrucTrain  operations, terminals,equipment, and   the people who made it all work from James M. Symes  and Stuart  T. Saunders on down.

To get an idea of how the Pennsylvania Railroad, which got its charter in 1846, evolved into the 10,000 mile juggernaut that merged with the New York Central in 1968, a rough family tree of some of the more than 600 companies that went into the railroad's formation over the years may not be a bad place to start. The principals of these are organized into Lines East and Lines West, with Pittsburgh and Erie being the dividing points. Principal components of Lines East included the following:
A.Belvidere-Delaware Railroad
B.Camden and Burlington RR
C.Connecting Railroad
D.Delaware Railroad
E.Harrison and East Newark RR.
F.Freehold and Jamesburg Agricultural
G.New York Bay RR
H.Pennsylvania and Atlantic
I.Pennsylvania Tunnel and Terminal Company
J.Perth Amboy and Woodridge Rr
K.Philadelphia and Trenton RR
L.Rocky Hill RR.
M.United New Jersey RR
CENTRAL AREA
A.Northern Central Railway
B. Pennsylvania Railroad
SOUTHERN AREA
A.Catonsville Short Line RR
B.Delaware,Maryland & Virginia RR
C.Philadelphia,Baltimore & Washington
D.Union Railroad of Baltimore
E.West Jersey and Seashore RR
F.York, Hanover and Frederick
NORTHERN AREA
A.Elmira and Lake Ontario RR
B.Elmira and Williamsport RR
C.Lykens Valley RR
D.Shamokin Valley and Pottsville RR.
WESTERN AREA
A. Bradford RR.
B.Cherry Tree and Dixonville RR
C.Connellsville & Monongahela RR
D.Erie and Pittsburgh RR
E.Johnsonburg RR
F.Monongahela Railway
G.Redstone Central RR
h.Western New York and Pennsylvania
I. Winfield RR.
LINES WEST OF PITTSBURGH AND ERIE
Pennsylvania Company
Fort Wayne Lines
a.Akron  and Barberton  Belt
b.Calumet and Western
c.Cleveland and Pittsburgh
d.Cleveland,Akron and Columbus
e.Cincinnati,Richmond  and Fort Wayne
f.Grand Rapids  and Indiana
g.Lorain, Ashland   and  Southern
h.Manufacturer's Railway
i.Pittsburgh,Fort Wayne  and Chicago
j.Pittsburgh,Youngstown and Ashtabula
k.South Chicago and Southern
l.Toledo,Columbus and Ohio River
m.Youngstown and Ravenna RR
Panhandle Lines
1.Cincinnati,Lebanon and Northern
2.Louisville Bridge and Terminal Railway
3.Massillon  and Cleveland Rr
4.Pittsburgh,Cincinnati,Chicago & St. Louis
5.Pittsburgh,Chartiers & Youghiogheny  (still in business today)
6.Pittsburgh,Ohio Valley and Cincinnati RR.
7.Toledo,Peoria and Western  (currently in business as regional)
8.Wheeling Terminal
9.Vandalia
As these companies were merged into a cohesive railroad system, the basic outline of the final form the Pennsylvania Railroad would take  began   to appear.
Once  these   were  all merged into a single railroad, the Pennsylvania Railroad then organized its operating department along the lines of the Region, Grand Division, and Division,with the division being the smallest unit of the three. Each Region controlled several Grand Division,each of which in turn, controlled several Divisions. Moreover, each Region operated essentially as a railroad within a railroad and this kept up right up to the time of merger with the  New York Central in 1968,by which time   the  Pennsylvania Railroad  had three Regions instead of nine or more as  in years  past. The 9 Region set up  was as follows:
1.New York Region
2.Philadelphia Region
3.Chesapeake Region
4.Northern Region
5.Lake Region
6.Northwestern Region
7.Pittsburgh Region
8.Buckeye Region
9.Southwestern Region
In 1964, regional consolidation took place with the following consolidations:
New York,Chesapeake,  and Philadelphia regions consolidated into the EASTERN REGION, the Northern, Pittsburgh, and Lake Regions were folded into the CENTRAL REGION,  while  the Buckeye, Northwestern, and Southwestern regions became the WESTERN REGION, thus requiring three  timetables instead of  nine, since the Pennsylvania Railroad's  financial health was in decline by  that time. This very operating region set up  carried right through the Penn Central era right into Conrail.
FREIGHT OPERATIONS
In its final years of independent operation, the Pennsylvania Railroad operated more than   900 daily  freight trains including locals, through freights,  unit  trains  and other special freight movements, including piggyback TrucTrain  service,   which began in 1954 using railroad owned trailers and  in 1955 for motor   carrierr   trailers.The inaugural TrucTrain schedules for motor carrier  trailers appear  here  and  sample  schedules for a few other  trains will also be presented  here. Major  terminals were located as follows: Chicago-55th Street, Conway(Pittsburgh),Enola(Harrisburg),Bayview(Baltimore), Rose  Lake  (St. Louis area),Terre Haute,  In  the 1960s, the  Pennsylvania Railroad, like most of its neighbors, got into unit train operations for bulk commodities, such   as coal, grain,  to name a  couple. Of  the freight services offered by the Pennsylvania Railroad to its shippers, the TrucTrain piggyback service soon became the fastest growing segment of the Pennsy's freight business.Schedules to be shown incude those for the Northern Region as it was in 1962. If one were to  examine  the freight schedules posted on Mark Bej's excellent Broadway  website, a few of which are quoted here, one will note that the blockings of these trains was far  more complicated and involved than it was  during the Conrail era, when groups of cars for,say stations in the Buffalo,NY area were placed in the Buffalo Block. Pennsy's blocking system for its manifest freight trains  does indeed seem primitive and complicated as the schedules indicate. However, the operating personnel of the Pennsylvania Railroad directly involved with the make up,dispatching, and operation of these trains made it  all work and work with the precision of a well planned military operation, for one Pennsy President, William Atterbury, was indeed, an army general.. Due to the industrial nature of the territory it served, the Pennsylvania Railroad, like rival and merger partner, New York Central, was a yard heavy railroad. Its two largest terminals were located  at Conway (near Pittsburgh) aand Enola (near Harrisburg),both of which still function as major terminals for Norfolk Southern  today. These two yards further sorted the cars arriving on the east-west Blue Ribbon Freight fleet into groups for  destinations on the Northern Region, Chesapeake Region, and so on. Some   trains between the New York area and Chicago were reclassified  at one yard or the other  at these two locations.. Both yards had two humps and groups of classification trackage, one for westbound traffic, and the other for eastbound traffic..Typical motive power  on most  Pennsy through freight  trains generally included 3 or 4 unit locomotives,with  a fifth unit added to some of the heavier trains,particularly when  solid GP9 lashups were  available. When   the Pennsy began to receive higher horsepower  diesels of 2500 hp or more, these allowed the railroad to reduce  the number of  units needed to  get  a train over the road according to the schedule prescribed for that train. Example, when the GP30s,35s and U25Bs arrived, any combinationn of  three of these locomotives could take the   place of a four or five unit F3/F7 road locomotive,since  the  greater pulling power of a 7500 hp     3 unit locomotive could out  pull a 6000 hp 4  unit F7. Greater unit  reduction became possible when the more powerful  SD40,SD45s and   companion GE and Alco units joined the Pennsylvania's diesel fleet, replacing many  first generation  diesels, particularly  the  EMD F units and Alco FA units. These new locomotives  also enabled the Pennsylvania  to dispatch even heavier trains than was possible with the older motive power.To handle Pennsy's heaviest freight trains, some SD40s and SD45s were fitted with Locotrol radio control  gear to allow for the remote  operation of midtrain diesels on the Pennsy's heaviest unit  trains.The Pennsylvania Railroad assigned its freight diesels to the  following engine terminals: Juniata  (Altoona),Conway(Pittsburgh),and Enola(Harrisburg),where the major diesel shops on the railroad  were   also located. Another diesel pool was located at Columbus, serving what had  been the Buckeye, and Northwestern Regions since the 1964 consolidations of regions. While  the six  axle EMDs worked in  general  freight  service with their  four axle brothers,    the big GE   and Alco six motor units were  assigned primarily to ore train service out of Mingo Jct.,Ohio. The  passenger diesels, on the other hand, were assigned to two major pools: Harrisburg and  Columbus, to  service the needs of the through line  passenger     service, which will be covered shortly. The road freight diesels were generally deployed around the system as follows:
Buckeye Region,103 units
Philadelphia Region, 220 units
Pittsburgh Region,63 units
Northwestern Region,20 units
Northern Region,16 units
In addition, all of the more than 200 GP9s  and GP9Bs were placed in a system pool based at Enola(Harrisburg) and could be used anywhere on the system as needed to beef up each Region's diesel fleet. By the end of  the 1950s,   the Pennsylvania Railroad wound up with 275 GP9s and 41 GP9Bs in its diesel fleet..When used in matched sets, the GP9s were  generally operated in sets of four units on a train, and when B units were mixed in a GP9 consist, these freed up cab equipped units to be used elsewhere around the railroad. Unlike other roads' GP9s, the Pennsylvania's GP9s were not  equipped with steam generators and signal lines for use in passenger   service. These were  purchased primarily for freight  service only. In addition, the Alco PAs came set up and equipped for both passenger   and freight   service and could rotate from passenger to freight  service or  vice versa as could the EMD FP7s. When used in passenger  service,  the FP7s usually got secondary trains for their  assignments in passenger  service.

This section will feature supporting material such as equipment rosters as available, freight and passenger schedules,including the inaugural TrucTrain schedules implemented in early 1955. First up is the all time diesel roster.
Make        Model            HP          Road Numbers                  QTY
EMD     LWT12           1200            1000                                      1
BLW        RF16           1600            2000-2027
                 RF16B         1600           2000B-2024B(even#s)    39
EMD       GP30             2250          2200-2251                           52
EMD       GP35             2500         2252-2370                         118
Alco       RS27             2400         2400-2414                            15
Alco       C424              2400         2415                                        1
Alco       C425              2500         2416-2446                            31
GE          U25B             2500         2500-2519                           20
BLWDS44-10             1000          5550-5594                           45
BLWDS44-7.5               750         5595-5618                           24
Alco       RS1               1000         5619-5640                           21
Alco        S2                 1000         5641-5660                          20
Alco        S1                   660         5661-5670                           10
Lima  T2500                2500        5671-5683                            13
EMD       E8A               2250        5700-5716                            17
Alco       PA1               2000         5750-5759                            10
EMD       E8A              2250         5760-5769                             10
BLW     6-4-20            2000        5770-5787                              18
EMD      E8A               2250        5788-5810                              22
BLW  DR12-8-30       3000        5811-5820                              10
BLW  DR12-8-60         ?            5823-5834                               12
EMD      E8A                2250      5835-5839                                  5
EMD      E7A               2000       5840-5883                                44
EMD      E8A               2250       5884-5899                                17
EMD      E7A               2000       5900-5901                                  2
EMD      E8A               2250       5906-5909                                  4
BLW    VO660              660       5910-5911                                  2
EMD      NW2              1000      5912                                            1
BLW    VO1000          1000      5913-5920                                  8
EMD      NW2               1000     5921-5925                                  5
Alco       S2                   1000    5926-5931                                  6
BLW    VO660               660    5932-5943                                 12
EMD      SW1                 600    5944-5953                                   10
Alco       S1                    600    5954-5956                                    3
BLW     DS44-6            600    5957-5966                                  10
BLW     DS44-10         1000   5967-5979                                  13
FM        H10-44             1000  5980-5986                                    7
EMD     SW1                   600   5987-5999                                  13
EMD     SD35               2500   6000-6039                                  40
EMD     SD40               3000   6050-6104                                   65
EMD     SD45               3600   6105-6234                                130
Alco      C628               2750   6300-6314                                   15
Alco      C630               3000   6315-6329                                   15
Alco     C636                3600   6330-6344***                               15
GE        U25C               2500   6500-6519                                   20
GE        U28C               2800   6520-6534                                   15
GE        U30C               3000  6535-6539                                      5
GE        U33C               3300  6540-6559***                                20
EMD     GP9                 1750   7000-7269                                 270
EMD     SD9                 1750   7600-7624                                   25
EMD     SW1200          1200   7900-7934                                  35
BLW     S-12                 1200  8100-8104                                     5
BLW    RS12                1200  8105-8110                                     5
BLW   AS616               1600  8111-8114                                     4
Alco      T-6                   1000  8424-8429                                     6
Alco      S4                    1000  8430-8434                                     5
Alco      RS3                 1600  8435-8445                                 111
Alco      RSD4              1600 8446-8451                                      6
Alco      RS3                  1600 8452-8484                                   33
Alco      RS1                  1000  8485-8486                                    2
Alco     S4                     1000   8487-8499                                   13
EMD    GP7                  1500    8501-8511                                  11
EMD    SW9                  1200   8512-8544                                   33
EMD    GP7                   1500  8545-8587                                   43
EMD    SD7                   1500  8588-8589                                      2
Alco     RS3                   1600 8590-8605                                    16
Alco     RSD15             1600  8611-8616                                       6
Alco     RS11                 1800  8617-8654                                   38
FM       H24-66              2400   8699-8707                                     9
FM       H12-44              1200   8708-8723                                   16
BLW    RT634               2400  8724-8731                                      8
BLW    S12                    1200  8732-8796                                   65
EMD    GP7                    1500 8797-8806                                   10
FM       H16-44               1600  8807-8816                                   10
Alco     RS3                    1600 8817-8856                                   40
EMD    SW9                    1200 8859-8860                                     2
EMD    SW7                    1200 8861-8867                                     7
EMD    SW1                      600  8868-8872                                   5
Alco      S3                       1000 8873-8885                                13
Alco      S4                      1000 8886-8901                                 16
Alco      RS3                   1600  8902-8916                                15
FM   H20-44                    2000 8917-8942                                 26
Lima T2500                    2500 8943-8951                                   9
Lima RT624                   2400 8952-8965                                  14
BLW  AS616                  1600 8966-8974                                    9
BLW   S12                       1200 8975-8993                                 18
BLW   BS7                        700 8994-8999                                   6
BLW DS44-6                    600 9000-9049                                   50
BLW DS44-10                1000 9050-9079                                  30
FM H10-44                      1000  9080-9099                                 20
Alco   S-1                           600 9100-9103                                   4
EMD   SW1                        600 9104                                              1
Alco    S-2                        1000  9105-9109                                  5
BLW  DS44-10                1000 9110-9121                                 12
EMD   F3A                        1500   9500-9567A                             68
BLW DR44-15/16    1500/1600  9568-9593                              25
BLW  RF16                        1600   9594-9599                                 6
Alco    FA1                          1500   9600-9631                             32
BLW  RF16                         1600  9632-9633                                2
EMD   F7A                           1500  9640-9699                              60
BLW  DR44-15/RF16 1500/1600  9700-9745                           46
EMD   F7A                          1500     9764-9831                            68
EMD   FP7A                        1500    9832-9871                            40
EMD   F7A                           1500    9872-9879                               8
 
Many carbody units had cabless boosters whose road numbers corresponded with the A units but   were  suffixed B and came in groups of even numbered units only in most  cases. Only  the E8As  did not come with  booster units. These units were purchased as cab units only for  the    various passenger trains they and the E7 fleet were deployed on.
Table1A annd 1B. Inaugural TrucTrain Piggyback Schedules
TT1 Meadows,NJ to Chicago,IL
Lv Meadow...............................2300
Lv Waverly................................2345
Ps Holmes.................................0130
Lv Frankford Jct......................0200
Ps Paoli......................................0300
Ar Enola(Day)...........................0530
Lv Enola (Banks).....................0630
Ar Altoona (Antis)....................0930
Lv Altoona (Slope)..................1015
Ps Pitcairn(WG).......................1325
Ps East Liberty(CM)...............1345
Ps Federal Street....................1415
Ar Island Avenue....................1420
Lv Island Avenue...................1440
Ar Conway...............................1510
Lv Conway..............................1555
Ar Crestline.............................2000
Lv Crestline............................2045
Ar Fort Wayne (Adams).......2359    ET
Lv Fort Wayne (Jct.)............2345     CT
Ps Bart....................................0215
Ar Chicago (55th Street)....0300
Consist of this train: Trailers for Chicago
Meadows,NJ-Closing hour for receipt of  trailers from motor carriers-10 pm (2200 hrs).Deadline for Rail-Trailer Company to turn cars over torailroad: 10:30 pm   (2230 hrs).
Philadelphia-(Frankford Jct)-Closing hour for receipt of trailers from motor carrier 11:30 PM(2330 hours), Deadline for RailTrailer  to turn cars over to railroad 0001 hrs(12:01am)
Chicago-Rail-Trailer able to start releasing tie-downs and unloading 0330 (3:30am)  and   trailers available to motor   carriers at rail terminal, 0400 (4:00am)
Table1B TT-2 Chicago,IL  to Meadows,NJ TrucTrain Service
Lv Chicago (55th Street)..........2300
Ps Bart..........................................0010
Ar Fort Wayne (Jct.)...................0315   CT
Lv Fort Wayne(Adams).............0445   ET
Ar Crestline..................................0735
Lv Crestline.................................0805
Ar Conway..................................1205
Lv Conway..................................1250
Ar Island Avenue.......................1320
Lv Island Avenue.......................1340
Ps Federal Street.......................1345
Ps East Liberty (CM).................1415
Ps Pitcairn (SZ)...........................1445
Ar Altoona (Slope).....................1800
LvAltoona (Antis).......................1845
Ar Enola (Banks)........................2145
Lv Enola(Day).............................2245
Ps Paoli........................................0115
Ar Frankford Jct.........................0215
Ps Holmes...................................0245
Ar Waverly...................................0430
Ar Meadows................................0500
Blocking of TT-2
1.Trailers for Philadelphia
2.Trailers for Meadows
Philadelphia (Frankford Jct.) Set off Block 1. Rail-Trailer able to start releasing tie downs and unloading 0415. Trailers available to motor carriers at Rail-Trailer Terminal, 0445
Meadows:Rail-Trailer able to start releasing tiedowns and unloading at0515.Trailers available  to motor carriers 0545.
These were the inaugural TrucTrain schedules for motor carrier trailers published on February 21,1955 and placed into effect on March 2,1955    for both trains.
Tables 3-5 Condensed Northern Region Freight Schedules
Table 3A. Southbound Buffalo to Renovo
Stations..........BF4.........BNY16.........BF20...........BF14
Ebenezer L  0030..........0500............0900.............1201
Olean............0400..........-------.............1201.............1530
Emporium...0715..........1000.............-------..............------
Renovo.......0900...........1130............-------..............2030
Table 3B.Renovo to Buffalo  Northbound
Stations.............BF21..........BF7..........BF3.............BF5
Renovo..............------..........0745..........1201...........2300
Emporium........-------.........0900...........------............0030
Olean................0230.........1045...........------............0230
Ebenezer........0800..........1430..........1800...........0500
Table4A.Buffalo-Oil City-Brady   Southbound
Stations......................CBF4..............CBF2
Ebenezer...................0900................2100
Oil City............Ar.......1500................0800
Oil City............Lv.......1645...............1100
Brady.............Ar.........1830..............1330
Table4B. Brady-Oil City-Buffalo  Northbound
Stations.......................CBF3................CBF1
Brady..............Lv.........0430.................2030
Oil City............Ar.........0700.................2245
Oil City...........Lv.........1030.................0130
Corry...........................-------..................0430
Buffalo.......................2100..................1000
Table5.Rochester-Olean
Southbound     OR4
Lv Rochester    1600
AR Olean            0001
Northbound      OR3
Lv Olean           0030
Ar Rochester   0730
Table 6. CNY-2 Chicago to Greenville
Chicago (59th Street).......Lv.......0900 CST
Chicago (Dolton)...............Lv.......1000
Logansport (Van).............Ar.........1215
Logansport (Anoka)........Lv.........1430
Bradford.............................Ps.........1720 CST
Columbus..........................Ar..........2025  EST
East Columbus................Lv..........2155
Acre....................................Ps..........0055
Esplen...............................Ps..........0235
Pitcairn(WG)....................Ar...........0315
Pitcairn(SZ).....................Lv...........0400
Altoona (Slope).............Ar............0705
Altoona (Antis)...............Lv...........0750
Enola (Banks.................Ar............1201
Enola (Day)....................Lv............1300
MA....................................Ps............1610
Waverly (Lane).............Ar..............1730
Greenville......................Ar..............1830
Note: Train not to exceed 60 cars Saturday to Wedesday inclusive,nor was train to exceed diesel engine tonnage rating east of Columbus.