Conrail "Special" Graphics

Westbound Conrail C32-8 6612 in the distinctive grey "Ballast Express" livery rolls through the curve at Oak Harbor, OH on xxxxx 1996 (R. Craig photo)

A shipper special led by Conrail E8A 4020 and 4022 run south from Chicago to Schneider, IN where it will turn north towards Streator, IL and then back to the Windy City. (R. Craig photo)

Conrail was a product of the 4R Act (Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act), which was passed in 1976 to avert the potential collapse of railroading in the eastern U.S. The railroad began operations in 1976, and it struggled for the most part until the national deregulation of the railroading industry four years later. Conrail's turnaround was huge; by 1983, "Big Blue" had become the fourth largest freight carrier in the country.

As profitablity grew, so did recognition of the Conrail name within the general public and financial community. In terms of graphic design and layout, there was a lot more to the big eastern freight hauler than just its "can-opener" logo. Some of the more notable graphic treatments are identified here.


Four-Axle Power

click on image to enlarge

GP15-1 1679

R. Craig photo

B30-7 1980

John Pari photo

B40-8 5079

Bruce Gage photo

GP38 7868

Bill Hough photo

GP38 7898

Robert Pisani photo

SW1001 9402

Don Albertson photo

Six-Axle Power

click on image to enlarge

SD80MAC 4100

Kevin Burkholder photo

SD70MAC 4130

R. Craig photo

C40-8W 6272

R. Craig photo

SD40-2 6288

John Pari

SD40-2 6300

Matt Stellpflug

SD40-2 6373

Kevin Gulau photo

C32-8 6611

R. Craig photo

SD50 6707

Brian Ferrell photo

SD50 6726

Gary Dyhouse photo


Format by: R.Craig New: 1 November 2017
Reference sources: Conrail (volume 1) by Scott Hartley; Conrail Power Review (volume 1) by Gordon Lloyd, Jr. and Louis A. Marre, along with the "Conrail Special Graphics" roster on TDS website.

"Rail" and "" websites were especially helpful here in identify potential photographers and related images.We extend our thanks to these valuable resources. Thanks also to Michael Richmond who was very helpful in identifying and gaining permission to use many of the above photos.

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