The early years
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Created from the 1976 merger of the eastern bankrupt carriers, Conrail was a rainbow of color the first several years of it's existence. Locomotives from all the merger partners could be seen teamed up pulling trains. Engines from the Penn Central and Lehigh Valley could now be seen running on former Erie Lackawanna lines and vise-versa. It was an interesting time to say the least. Below are some photos from that era.
A colorful Bethlehem, Pa engine terminal in October of 1977 features former Lehigh Valley units and a former Lehigh and Hudson River Alco C-420. Conrail 2072 would soon become the only Alco C-420 to get a coat of CR blue, although it was applied with a roller inside the roundhouse here!
A Conrail westbound will run the "Erie side" this July 1977 evening in Akron, Ohio. A freshly painted ex Penn Central U25B looks good in it's new blue.

A former Erie Lackawanna U33C (ex EL 3302) sits outside the Collinwood Locomotive Shop in Cleveland, Ohio. It's a partial renumbering from the looks of it with the new number applied but the EL diamond and name are still intact. Thats the office building behind the unit and the shop in the distance. Everything in this photo is totally gone today.

Conrail 3684, a former EL GP-35, is on home rails as it leads TV-98 east at Akron, Ohio in September 1977.
A pair of Conrail ex PC FP-7's have just yarded their train from Columbus in Collinwood yard near Cleveland. They are backing into the engine service area as a yard job is already working their train in the background. It's July, 1977, and these two old PRR veterans are on borrowed time.
A Conrail lite power move has just departed Whiskey Island for Collinwood and is seen crossing through Bridge one over the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
A "Mutt and Jeff" engine duo of an F-7 and an SD45-2 have a Collinwood puller on the Short Line. The decaying remains of the Cleveland Union Terminal electric operation can be seen to the right of the train.

Continue to Conrail - The early years Page 2
Conrail 9195, a former Detroit Terminal unit, rests at Motor yard in Macedonia, Ohio.
Conrail 3277 waits on the former EL in Akron as a Chessie freight passes.
Conrail 3279, an ex Reading GP40-2, leads TV-98 on the ex EL in Akron.

A pair of Conrail SD80macs are almost at the top of the mountain with train PIBA on a bright winter day in Cresson, Pa.
Conrail 4123 drifts through Altoona, Pa.
Conrail 4129, a former EMD demonstrator unit, leads CAPI at MO in Cresson, Pa.
The "Red Baron", ex CNJ SD-40 3097, now Conrail 6291, leads eastbound tonnage on the former EL in Akron, Ohio.