2016-3:TRP marks the 40th anniversary of the American Bicentennial celebration with a look back at the colorful red-white-and-blue paint schemes displayed by railroads from coast to coast, as well as a look back at the American Freedom Train. Olev Tamrae takes us trackside to the Genesee & Wyoming in western New York, while Mike Bednar recounts the history of the Slatington wreck. All this and more in the 2016-3 issue of Trains & Railroads of the Past!
In the 1970s, Bicentennial fever was everywhere, as people were proud to show their love of this country. The railroads, however, took it to another level, with special paint schemes rolling on trains from coast to coast.
If it weren’t for the paper industry, you probably would never have heard of the Maine Central Railroad. Railfans found the railroad to be a great target for their cameras. The motive power was well-maintained and painted in a very attractive scheme.
Most of the Soo Line’s trackage runs through the rural landscape of the lightly populated upper Midwest. That belies the importance of this rather quiet railroad that never really acquired the celebrity status of other carriers.
If the Penn Central merger that brought the Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central together was a disaster, what would you expect to get when you add five more ailing bankrupt carriers? That’s what the managers of Conrail were faced with on April 1, 1976. There is one thing for sure, it was one of the most interesting times to be a railfan!