Conrail was the northeast’s premier freight carrier from 1976-1999. It’s headquarters and located in Philadelphia, Pa.

Conrail was the result of the governments answer to saving railroading in the Northeastern United States. This included the Penn Central, Erie Lackawanna, and the Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines (PRSL). The railroad was created April 1, 1976. The government owned 85% and the employees owned the rest of the 15%. The creation of Conrail was mainly due to the struggling railroad companies in the mid to late 70s. The PC had declared bankruptcy and was struggling to meet customers’ needs. Between 1976 and 1987, Conrail was government funded. After this they privatized the company. Between 1997-1999, NS and CSX, Conrail’s competition in the Northeast, began discussing splitting Conrail between the two of them. By 1998, the rail companies came to an agreement and a deal was made to give Norfolk Southern 58% of Conrail, and CSX 42%. However, there were three areas, North/South Jersey, Philadelphia, and Detroit, that if either NS or CSX acquired them. It would pose an uneven advantage to one of the railroads. As a result, these areas remained Conrail and operate under Conrail Shared Assets, and is controlled by both CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Paint Schemes

Can Opener

The can opener scheme included the entire locomotive to be painted blue. With the Conrail logo on the side, nicknamed the “Can opener” with Conrail printed on the front and rear of the unit.

Photo Credit: Michael Desoi


Conrail Quality

This scheme included the locomotive painted blue with Conrail Quality lettering on the front and rear of the locomotive. On the long hood it had the can opener logo inside of a Q, with Conrail quality written on top.

Photo Credit Andrew Koenigsberg
Photo Credit: Andrew Koenigsberg