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The Lackawanna Express

The Penn Central Transportation Company
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Linking 13 Great States With The Nation

Take a ride on this ill fated railroad, which constituted 86 percent of Conrail's assets when CR was formed in 1976. Though in bankruptcy for more than five years, the Penn Central Railroad and its people never surrendered to anything, but give it their all in keeping the railroad functioning by making do with what resources they had on hand.

The Penn Central Transportation Company was created on February 1,1968 with the merger of the New York Central and  Pennsylvania Railroads, making them one railroad in name,but, due to poor or lack of planning, still two railroads in operation, even though numberings of the two railroads' diesel fleets had been coordinated since 1966, which among other things, gave EMD E7 and E8 passenger diesels of both railroads a common number series and renumbered all roadswitchers of both roads into a common set of number series. Locations where both railroads had terminals included the following: Buffalo,NY, Cleveland,Columbus,Cincinnati,Ohio, Indianapolis,Indiana, St.Louis, Chicago, Detroit, and the New York area, to name a few of the major ones. In the case of Buffalo,NY, the Pennsylvania Railroad discontinued use of its Ebenezer classification yard outside of Buffalo and in West Seneca in favor of using New York Central's Frontier Yard on the east side of the city. Both railroads also operated passenger trains in and out of Central Terminal. The new railroad gradually painted its new logo on road locomotives as they came due for shopping and did the same for freight and passenger cars as well. It was the passenger operations that constituted the number one headache for the railroad. Through line passenger routes of the railroad as it was in 1968 included the following:
1.New York-Albany-Buffalo-Cleveland-Chicago (NYC)
2.Albany-Springfield-Boston (NYC)
3.Buffalo-Detroit-Kalamazoo-Chicago(NYC)
4.Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati (NYC)
5.Columbus-Cincinnati-Indianapolis-St. Louis (NYC)
6.Chicago-Lafayette-Indianapolis-Cincinnati (NYC)
7.New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington (PRR)
8.Philadelphia-Harrisburg-Pittsburgh-Fort Wayne-Chicago (PRR)
9.Pittsburgh-Cincinnati-Indianapolis-St.Louis(PRR)
10.Cincinnati-Logansport-Chicago (PRR)
11.Chicago-Logansport-Indianapolis-Louisville(PRR)
12.Baltimore-York-Harrisburg-Buffalo (PRR)
In addition to these routes, Penn Central also operated suburban pasenger service in the Chicago,Philadelphia, Baltimore-Washington, New Jersey-New York, and Boston areas. These included the following:
1.Chicago -Valparaiso (PRR)
2.Baltimore-Washington(PRR)
3.Philadelphia-Paoli-Harrisburg (PRR)
4.Philadelphia-Chestnut Hill (PRR)
5.Philadelphia-Wilmington (PRR)
6.Philadelphia-Trenton (PRR)
7.Trenton-New Brunswick (PRR)
8.Princeton-Princeton Jct. (PRR)
9. New York and Long Branch (joint with Central RR of New Jersey)PRR
10.Grand Central Terminal to Poughkeepsie (Hudson Line-NYC)
11.Grand Central to Brewster and Chatham(Harlem Line-NYC)
On January 1, 1969, the lines of the bankrupt New Haven Railroad were added to these and other Penn Central operations. The New Haven Railroad had been bankrupt since 1961 and had been in slow liquidation. Its through line passenger routes included:
1.New York-New Haven-Providence-Boston
2.New York-New Haven-Springfield (Boston joint with NYC)
Suburban services on the New Haven included the following Lines:
1.Grand Central-New Haven local
2.Stamford-New Canaan
3.Bridgeport-Waterbury
4.Danbury Branch
5.Boston-Providence Local
6.Boston-Stoughton
7.Boston-Needham
8.Boston-Franklin
Powering the through line New Haven passenger trains were EMD's unique FL9 locomotives, of which the railroad procured 60 units and which could operate both as conventional diesel-electrics and as straight electrics off of third rail. These locomotives were usually used in pairs on most trains. In diesel territory  the 1200 series GP9s and Alco RS3s were used on Boston area suburban trains, while suburban trains out of Grand Central Terminal were electrically operated, either with MU cars or locomotive hauled equipment. Some New Haven through line trains were operated in conjunction with the Pennsylvania south of New York.
Principal freight terminals on the New Haven Railroad included Maybrook,NY,
Cedar Hill (New Haven), and Boston.
OPERATIONAL SETUP
The organization of the Penn Central followed the Regional Set Up long used by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The railroad was organized into the following regions:
1.NORTHEASTERN REGION. Covering the territory between Bayview,NY, Boston,MA, and Hudson,NY. Mostly New York Central Territory, that also reached north to Watertown,Massena and Montreal.
2.NORTHERN REGION. Covered the territory between Buffalo,Detroit, Chicago and also included the Pennsy lines in Michigan as well as NYC lines reaching to northern Michigan.
3.CENTRAL REGION. This mostly Pennsy region also included the New York Central lines that once constitued Central's Pennsylvania Division.
4. LAKE REGION- Covered Pennsy and Central territory between Bayview,NY, Pittsburgh,PA, and Berea,Ohio.
5.WESTERN REGION- covere both Pennsy and Central lines west of Berea,Ohio,and Crestline, OHio. to Chicago.
6.SOUTHERN REGION- covered territory between Columbus,Cincinnati, Logansport, St. Louis.
7.NEW YORK REGION-Covered both of Central's commuter lines to Grand Central, the freight-only West Shore River Line, and Pennsy's northern New Jersey operations.
On January 1, 1969, the entire New Haven Railroad became the New Haven Region of Penn Central.
8.EASTERN REGION-Covered most of the Pennsy east of Harrisburg.

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