Chesapeake & Ohio in Color 1950-1975 by Thomas W. Dixon Jr. 1992 SC
Chesapeake & Ohio in Color 1950-1975 by Thomas W. Dixon Jr. 1992 SC
Chesapeake & Ohio in Color 1950-1975 by Thomas W. Dixon Jr. 1992 SC
Chesapeake & Ohio in Color 1950-1975 by Thomas W. Dixon Jr. 1992 SC

Chesapeake & Ohio in Color 1950-1975 by Thomas W. Dixon Jr. 1992 SC

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Chesapeake & Ohio in Color 1950-1975 by Thomas W. Dixon Jr. 1992 SC
 
Chesapeake & Ohio in Color 1950-1975 by Thomas W. Dixon Jr.
Soft Cover
Copyright 1992
86 Pages
This is a color album that samples the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway's operations roughly from 1950 to the mid 1970s, with emphasis on the latter portion of this time span. The intent is to give a visual representation of most of the standard equipment in use during this time of transition from steam to diesel, from first to second generation diesels, and from regional coal carrier to major force in American railroading. The book begins with the last era of big steam on the C&O, shows some of its early diesels, and then illustrates its major operations in the diesel era up to the threshold of the Chessie System era and the period of merger growth that led to today's giant CSX Transportation system. The presentation of the photos is geographical, beginning in the east at Newport News, Virginia, and Washington, DC, and traversing the system across the Virginias to Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Indiana.
This is not intended to be a detailed treatment or history of the period, but rather a colorful sampling of "how it was" in a time that is receding more and more into historical perspective as the years go by and the things that were commonplace in this era pass from the scene.
Photos are drawn, to a large extent, from the work of Dr. Eugene L. Huddleston, one of the C&O's most avid photographers, as well as the author's own work, supplemented by the photos of several others, primarily for the earlier material and for material on the western reaches of the system. Arguably, it is unbalanced in favor of passenger service and mainline action, however in an overall treatment, these aspects offer much color, a great deal of interest, and in fact form the bulk of the railway's operations. Branches, unfortunately, were not as well covered by photographers in this period, or for that matter in earlier ones, when black and white photography was the standard. The C&O has fairly poor photographic coverage until well into the 1960s when the railfan movement "discovered" it, transportation by highway improved in its region, and photographers began to explore every nook and cranny of its operations. But, most of this coverage came too late to capture much of the steam or early diesel operations, and those who did venture into C&O territory during the earlier period mainly took black and white photos. Unlike B&O, PRR, NYC, and the western roads, or even neighbor N&W, the C&O's coverage in color is practically nonexistent before 1960. Probably the N&W would have been similar had it not been for its adherence to steam long after all other railroads had dieselized, which attracted railfans from around the country beginning about 1950. Though the C&O and Virginian were literally next door, most photographers didn't visit either on their trips into N&W territory in Virginia and West Virginia. Thus, we are left with a sketchy record of C&O operations in color photography really until the late 1960s and early 1970s. By that time most of the first generation diesels were disappearing and the F units had long been transferred to the B&O, along with many other early C&O diesel classes. The GP7s and GP9s were thus all that was left of the C&O's early dieselization, and they soon dropped from sight during the decade.

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