Pennsy Diesel Years Volume 2 By Robert Yanosey Dust Jacket Morning Sun Books
Pennsy Diesel Years Volume 2 By Robert Yanosey Dust Jacket Morning Sun Books
Pennsy Diesel Years Volume 2 By Robert Yanosey Dust Jacket Morning Sun Books
Pennsy Diesel Years Volume 2 By Robert Yanosey Dust Jacket Morning Sun Books

Pennsy Diesel Years Volume 2 By Robert Yanosey Dust Jacket Morning Sun Books

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Pennsy Diesel Years Volume 2 By Robert Yanosey Dust Jacket Morning Sun Books
 
Pennsy Diesel Years Volume 2 By Robert Yanosey Dust Jacket Copyright 1989 First printing  128 Pages  Morning Sun Books
Introduction
Like the steam and electric locomotives that preceded them, the diesel power that roamed the Pennsylvania System acquired that certain "Pennsy" look. Switchers generally carried the Brunswick Green and Craw Clarendon lettering and had little else to distinguish them from the same models owned by other roads. Road switchers and other units assigned to road service, however, carried the rooftop train phone aerials that were a Pennsy exclusive. The most characteristically Pennsy diesels, of course, were the Baldwin Sharknose passenger and freight units. I am not aware of any other instance where a major builder of diesel locomotives was persuaded to adopt an entirely different carbody style that was specified by the customer. I am grateful to have had abundant opportunities to observe and photograph the colorful machines of the Pennsy for posterity before they became extinct, disappearing in a world of Penn Central black.
My first recollection of Pennsy diesels were of the Alco switchers that pulled transfers between Meadows yard in Kearny, N.J. and the Harsimus Cove carfloat bridges north of Exchange Place in Jersey City during the 1950's. I made frequent trips between North Arlington, N.J. (where I lived down the street from Bob Yanosey) and Jersey City or Bayonne to visit relatives. Quite often, the car or bus in which I was riding would be stuck in traffic on a section of highway that paralleled the Pennsy's Passaic & Harsimus Branch and I would have the opportunity to see and hear these 6-cylindered machines in action. They were bit players in a region of the railroad that was dominated by the P-5a and GG-1 electrics. The whistling and chirping sounds that emanated from the switchers' turbocharged exhausts suggested that they were straining with their consists, as compared with the seemingly effortless humming of the electrics.
Later observations of diesel power on the Pennsy were the first few passenger diesels on the New York and Long Branch. Mid-50's pilgrimages to South Amboy enabled me to see and photograph the K4's running off their final miles, the last mainline steam power in the New York metropolitan area. The occasional E7's and PA1's seemed to be intruders on a stage where the K4's were the main attraction. However, they were attractive enough to photograph, as the rooftop aerials, large aftermarket numberboards and the GG-1 style striping and lettering characterized them unmistakably as Pennsy power.
By 1957, the Sharknosed DR-6-4-2000's appeared as a sort of consolation prize for the loss of the K4's. The real reason for their assignment to the shore route was a desire by the PRR to concentrate the E7's on the long distance trains. It was interesting to observe these units that were custom designed for and exclusive to the Pennsy. The Loewy design was a dramatic esthetic improvement over Baldwin's previous body style. The low pitched rumble of the supercharged De LaVergne six cylinder engines in the Sharks' car-bodies suggested effortless starting and acceleration, even if the units' maintenance history told otherwise. The Sharks were another step in the progression of the Pennsy's adaption of the products or designs of outside builders to suit their preferences. The addition of Belpaire fireboxes to the N-2 USRA light 2-10-2's and the adoption of the 2-C + C-2 wheel arrangement of a borrowed New Haven EP-3 with a Loewy styled carbody to create the GG-1 are earlier examples that come to mind.
While P-5a's, GG-1's and rectifier electrics were the main occupants of the Meadows engine terminal, I would occasionally see freight diesels that handled trains whose routes were partially non-electrified. The F7's, PA's and other road diesels aroused an interest to venture west of Harrisburg where they could be seen and photographed in greater numbers. I would plan vacation trips to achieve this goal.
Photo jaunts to Harrisburg and Chicago in the 1960's provided opportunities to see and photograph Pennsy's long distance passenger trains and the EMD E's that powered them. A mix of first and second generation units hauling tonnage enhanced the action. At last, Pennsy diesels were on center stage; they were the raison d'etre for the trips. Seeing the first of the new generation units like the U25B's and GP3O's with rooftop aerials and Craw Clarendon road numbers in the number boards offered a sort of continuity and the appearance of a confident future for PRR diesels. However, watching the heavy mainline traffic moving without the familiar network of overhead catenary was a sort of culture shock on my first visit. Unlike Bob Yanosey, who had the good fortune to visit relatives in the Pittsburgh area (and photograph Pennsy operations there) quite frequently, I had not ventured that far west on the Pennsy.
Looking at the slides and black and white photos I took on my trips to Chicago in 1963 and 1965, I can see that the PRR passenger fleet could still hold its own esthetically among the glistening name trains of the western roads like the Burlington, Milwaukee or Santa Fe. Both the 5 stripe and single stripe Pennsy passenger unit color schemes were dignified, but attractive. The simplified paint schemes and deterioration of later years drastically changed the comparison; a visit to the Windy City in the summer of 1970 after the Penn Central bankruptcy showed how the mighty had indeed fallen. Obliterated Keystones and peeling paint made it clear that the Pennsy Diesel Years as I had known them, had finally ceased to exist.
Follow the Standard Railroad of the World as it winds its way west from Exchange Place and the Hudson River to Mackinaw City, Michigan and the Great Lakes. This 128 page all-color book looks at Pennsys diverse fleet of diesels featuring everything from GE 44 tonners to PAs and Geeps.
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