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Re: PC: Update and rememberance

Jerry Jordak wrote:
> Lastly: Remember that tomorrow, Sunday, February 1, marks the
> thirtieth anniversary of the merger of the Pennsylvania and New York
> Central railroads to form the Penn Central. It's a day that the PRR
> and NYC fans hate, and it marked the beginning of a journey that saw
> the mangled merger of two of the largest railroads in the U.S.,
> followed by bankrupcy, government intervention, and finally, Conrail.
> But despite all that went wrong in the eight years that followed that
> day, there was still a lot of history being made and a lot of
> interesting railroading going on, much of which is gone forever. Never
> again will trains run on many lines of the former PC system, nor will
> most of the locomotives that were running during that time ever be
> seen again. There are no more GG-1s or E44s pulling tonnage on the
> Corridor, no more SD45s pushing freights over Horse Shoe Curve, no
> more F-units running transfer jobs around Cleveland, no more black
> E-units pulling passenger trains out of Chicago Union Station or
> down the Hudson River, no more six-axle Centuries pulling ore trains
> to Youngstown or Pittsburgh. And in a few more months, even PC's
> successor, Conrail, will fade in history......
It's important to keep the Penn Central in historical perspective.
Business consolidations and reorganizations are a fact of life. Both the
New York Central and Pennsylvania were built out of subsidiary lines
that were later merged into the parent.  In a major 1936 NYC
reorganization, railfans "lost" the New York Central & Hudson River,
CCC&STL (Big Four), Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, and Boston &
Albany.  In 1968, we "lost" the NYC and PRR, and in 1976, the PC and
many other eastern roads. But admit it -- Conrail is really nothing more
than PC in blue paint.

What makes the PC unique is the incredibly short time it lasted. To say
you are a PC fan is to admit that you LIKE first and second generation
diesels, electric freight, lots of passenger trains, ALCOs, Baldwins,
FMs, and variety. But even if PC had survived, most of this would all be
gone. As railfans, we can remember all of the fun and forget the
problems (turn of the century work rules, government mandated passenger
service, and strong unions were killing ALL the railroads). Railroading
in the '90's is a different world. With all the mega-mergers taking
place, PC would have been eaten up or split up just as is happenning to

Yes, I miss the PC .... and NYC, steam, first generation diesels ....
and being 20 years old when life was so much simpler! But time goes on,
and there's a lot of good stuff to watch and photograph, so much life
left to live. So in closing, let me wish the Penn Central a happy 30th
birthday. Thanks for giving me many great memories. May your successors
keep rolling those freights along the Water Level Route and through
America's heartland.

Gary Stuebben
San Antonio, TX

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