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Page 2 - Conrail's Harrisburg Line in the Lebanon Valley Courtesy Conrail Inc.

Conrail's Harrisburg Line in the Lebanon Valley

Page 2



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Harrisburg Line Timetable
Train BABE-7 (Baltimore to Bethlehem PA) storms up the hill at Annville, PA pulling hot steel ingot cars for Bethlehem Steel (from Steelton to Bethlehem); on September 7, 1996. The ingots, ranging from 30 to 350 tons, are made at Bethlehem Steel's Steelton, PA plant and are shipped to the BethForge operation at Bethlehem, PA. They are forged into vessels for nuclear reactors containers for the U.S. Navy, steel rolls for other mills and other uses. Thanks to Ron Acri for info about the ingot shipments.
Speaking of Erie-Lackawanna, here is a view of a large cut of EL hopper cars in ballast service. They were spotted eastbound in a manifest at Annville, PA in September 1996.
Rare to find outside of the Altoona, PA area; a Conrail dinosaur SD45-2 runs light eastbound past Annville, PA. This former Erie-Lackawanna unit was later spotted running light westbound at Rockville several days hence. A sister unit, 6660 has been sold to the Reading & Northern; reportedly, other units are being sold to other lines as well.
Since the end of 1996, Conrail has made use of "Distributed Power" on it's Philadelphia-Greenwich to Weirton, WV ore trains. These trains are typically 160 cars long, with two or three C40-8W's on the front, and a few 80 cars back. These GE's must be Locotrol equipped for service on this train, so only 6050 through 6059 (correct me if I'm wrong) can be used on trains like this. CR's SD80MAC's were delivered with Locotrol and have been seen on ZWW as well. This is ZWW-920 at Annville, PA on 4/11/97 at 4:58 PM. The head end was powered by 6059-6051 and assisted by 6052-6058-6054 in the middle. Rumor has it that Conrail will begin running Philadelphia to Detriot plate steel gondola trains with Distributed Power, powered by an 80MAC up front and one in the middle.
Photos by Daniel P. Morneau
After the passing of ZWW, Conrail OCS-302 headed past Annville at 5:36 PM on 4/11/97. This OCS was headed home to Altoona after a lengthy tour of the Chicago Line.
Photo by Daniel P. Morneau
This is an early morning view of part of a late-running eastbound Mail parade. Mail-44 (Indianapolis to South Kearny) passes Annville, PA at 7:06 AM on March 31, 1996. Mail-44 was powered by: CR 5027 - CR 3324 - CR 6437 - CR 6205 - NS 8853 (B36-7, GP40-2, SD40-2, 2 C40-8W). The Arnold Sport Center of Lebanon Valley College can be seen in the right background. I am a Music Recording Technology major at LVC, explaining why I have so many pictures there...
This image is 74KB, but it's a pretty good scan!
Again at Annville, westbound ALHB-5A passes by with CR 6620 - CR 6028 - CR 5553 and CR 6982 (C36-7, C39-8, SD60M, SD40-2E); on January 25, 1996. At that time, SD40-2E's were common yard drill engines at Allentown Yard. 6982 was probably being sent to Enola for servicing.
Conrail Mail-3 is on the approach at CP-Wall in Lebanon, PA; behind 6764, 6772, and 6029 (two SD50's and a C40-8). Photo taken January 18, 1997 at 11:11 am.
Conrail ran an Operation Lifesaver trip from Philadelphia to Harrisburg and back, sometime August 1997. The Office Car Special, symbolled OCS-101, is making a station stop at Lebanon, PA. The station is a former Reading Co. structure restored wonderfully; but can rarely be included in photos due to numerous telephone poles between the track and the station itself.
Photo by Lauren R. Lang
Mail-8X crosses 8th Avenue in Lebanon, PA behind CR 5533 and CR 6781. Mail-8X was photographed at 8:53 AM on October 2, 1997.
Later that same day, RoadRailer 262 passes Fifth Street in Lebanon (near the former Reading station) at 9:24 AM, behind a lone SD50.
Shortly after C32-8 6619 emerged as a "Ballast Express" unit, it was pressed into service. Conrail BE 6619 and BE 6621 (still in blue paint but sublettered "Ballast Express"), team up to lead a loaded BAL-43D westbound past Lebanon Chemical in Avon, PA.
Photo by Kevin Burkholder
Running rather late, Harrisburg-bound TV-21 reposes at Avon Heights, PA. Known simply as "Avon" on the railroad, it can be pronounced either "Ay-von" or "Ahh-von". TV-21 is typically powered by one unit, in this case GP38-2 8106. 21 runs from Ameriport in Philadelphia to Harrisburg, connecting to westbound trains such as TV-1 and Mail-3. TV-21 and it's eastbound counterpart TV-20 typically run in the cover of darkness.
As the CSX merger progressed, more of the former Seaboard System power migrated to the north. In 1989, a Conrail XWM empty hopper train rolls westbound near West Myerstown, PA. This consist includes three former Seaboard Units, a C30-7 and two GP40-2's.
Photo by Kevin Burkholder
At Myerstown, PA; Mail-3 heads west to St. Louis on the morning of March 23, 1997 at 11:40. Mail-3 is a popular train to photograph (at least for those of us who like TOFC trains and don't always wake up early!) and generally features a large locomotive consist east of Harrisburg. Mail-3 is powered by a variety of GE products including a C36-7, a C39-8, and several C40-8W's.
Photo by Melanie Good
Dating back to the days of the Reading Railroad, Western Maryland power was often pooled between Hagerstown, MD and the power plants that coal was delivered in the east. This pooled power agreement reaches through today, when CSX power rolls heavy tonnage in both directions. In the early 1990's, solid consists of Chessie System power was difficult to find. This set of GP40 and GP40-2's is broken only by a former CRR GP40 stuck in the middle. This train was returning to Hagerstown as an XWM symbol, at Railroad Street in Myerstown. Today the empty hoppers return to Hagerstown as the symbol XCX.
Photo by Kevin Burkholder
Now extinct from the roster, Conrail GP10's once roamed the system. In 1987, some of the units even received fresh coats of paint. Witness Conrail 7557 at Myerstown, PA on the Harrisburg Line, gleaming in the late day sunlight. - Kevin Burkholder
One of the few "odd-ball" units on the Conrail roster was SD40 6300, when it received a modified paint scheme and proclaimed "Buy and Hold US Savings Bonds". Also in lensed in the late 80's, this consist would be impossible to photograph today. A trio of true SD40's, 6300, 6263, and 6261 lead an eastbound freight at Ramona Rd. in Myerstown, PA.
Photo by Kevin Burkholder
In the early 90's, many of Conrail's GP40-2 fleet were removed from road service and placed in local and work train service. In this view, looking west from the former Race St. overpass in Myerstown, PA, GP40-2 3280 leads two SD50's eastbound with a hefty consist of coal for the Metropolitan Edison generating station at Titus, PA.
Photo by Kevin Burkholder
Lancaster Northern operates on the former R&C branch from Sinking Spring to Denver, PA. LANO gained trackage rights directly into Reading Yard in Spring 1997. The LANO job was seen at Sinking Spring awaiting clearance onto the Harrisburg Line, behind GP10's 57 and 75. The train left for Reading Yard shortly thereafter, but rush-hour traffic prevented me from catching him cross the Schuylkill River bridge in Reading.
A westbound merchandise train winds it's way through the interlocking at Wyomissing Junction. This is the junction of the double-track Harrisburg Line (former Reading Co. Lebanon Valley Branch), heading east into downtown Reading; and the connection to the former Reading Belt Line. The Reading Belt Line bypassed downtown Reading from CP-Belt on the north side, to Valley Junction and Wyomissing Junction west of Reading, and Titus to the south of Reading. Currently, the Belt Line from Belt to Wyomissing Jct. is designated as the west end of the Reading Line; from Wyomissing to Titus and Cumru (thus southward to Philly) is designated also as part of the Harrisburg Line. (See timetable)
Photo by Melanie L. Good



This page was created and maintained by J. Alex Lang, © 1998.
Last updated June 9, 1998
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