Strasburg, Lancaster County, PA – The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will highlight the history of a fallen flag railroad during Conrail Days on Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 13, 2012. This program is presented in partnership with the Conrail Historical Society.
“Although Conrail ceased to exist 13 years ago, many of our visitors will recognize their signature big blue engines, like the GP-30 No. 2233 prominently exhibited in our now climate-controlled Rolling Stock Hall,” says Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania director Charles Fox.
Railroading in the northeast United States in the early 1970s was facing extinction. Conrail arose from the wreckage of six failed railroads to become a profitable and successful private enterprise. The railroad started its life with a colorful mixture of aging, classic locomotives. Eventually, as it became profitable, Conrail utilized modern and innovative cars and engines, like the legendary giant SD80MACs and the unique Coilshield cars. The railroad operated through the heavily populated northeast and served many of the nation’s largest cities, from New York and Philadelphia to Chicago. Conrail’s demise was a result of a merger between Norfolk Southern and CSX. However, during its 23 years in business, Conrail transformed northeastern railroading from bankruptcy to blue chip status.
Conrail Days will feature a number of “Conrail In Pennsylvania” static displays including those on the roadrailer, General Electric 8 locomotive, Juniata Shops, Samuel Rea Hollidaysburg car shops, 1995 clearance project, Mon Line and Pier 122 in Philadelphia. Also featured during the event will be various Conrail videos and slide presentations. Conrail Days activities are included in the regular Museum admission. Proceeds from Conrail Days benefit important Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania preservation and education programs.
The more than 100 historic locomotives and railroad cars in the collection of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania chronicle a society on the move. Museum visitors may also enjoy hands-on activities in Stewart Junction railway education center, view the “Role of Railroads in Pennsylvania During the Civil War” gallery exhibit and browse the Whistle Stop Shop museum store. A number of historic engines and railroad cars will be open for visitors to explore.
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, with the active support of the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.rrmuseumpa.org or call (717)687-8628.