New York Central [Penn Central]
March 26, 1971
In this view from the rear of one of Penn Central's nameless trains that made up the "Empire Service" one can almost imagine the former 4-track main that used to hold sway here. Reduced to 3 and 2 tracks for most of the way from New York City to Chicago by Alfred Perlman in the late 1950's and early 1960's, it was not quite the tragedy it might seem: whan originally built the Central's freights typically ran at 15 mph and passenger trains at 70 mph, requiring in effect separate railroads for freight and passengers and making for a quite inflexible railroad ill prepared for the needs of the latter twentieth century.
One nice thing about those 2-3 car Penn Central consists: nobody chased you away from the back vestibule if you wanted to spend most of the ride there. This view is somewhere between Rochester and Buffalo, New York; in this slide the track at far left is now a passing siding.
Last updated 5/1/2018. Text and photo ©2018 Lamont Downs.