Brock Kerchner and Wes Reminder hardcover
One of the most sought-after topics in northeastern railroad history is finally being explored in a comprehensive new book. The Consolidated Rail Corporation, better known as Conrail, was a federally-created railroad that rescued the northeast's financially troubled rail system in 1976. From then until it was acquired by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern in 1999, Conrail’s success was one of the most significant developments in the American railroad industry. For all 23 years of its tenure, the railroad maintained a fleet of specialized railcars and locomotives equipped to "test the condition of [its]track, allow Conrail’s management to inspect the right of way and facilities at the ground level, and show customers and potential customers exactly how their freight [would] move.”The specialized railcars in this fleet were split between Conrail's business train (often called the Office Car Special, or OCS) and the railroad’s research and track department.
This hardcover book will include the authors’ three decades of combined research on the subject, making it the definitive work on Conrail's special equipment fleet.
With every specialized operation came specialized employees, and Conrail's business and research trains were no exceptions. From the mechanical staff that rebuilt and maintained the cars to the on-board management that ensured their smooth operation, this book features interviews and stories from the major players in Conrail's special equipment staff. Specific trips are recounted in detail by those who were there, accompanied by rare and never-before-published black & white and color photographs showing these unique and memorable trains under construction, in operation, and even in a foreign country! The book also gives an in-depth look at the Conrail Technical Services Laboratory and the special railcars equipped for the Conrail Police Department.
Each railcar and locomotive in Conrail's special equipment fleet is examined in detail, with original diagrams and drawings reproduced alongside color photographs depicting the interiors and exteriors of the railroad's opulent business cars and its specialized research equipment. This book is a must-have for local historians, Conrail railfans and model railroaders, passenger car and business train aficionados, or even those with a casual interest in railroad engineering, track, or research.