Conrail Cyclopedia: Always Updating

Page Updated:
Jan 31, 2002


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The Conrail Cyclopedia - Serving Conrail fans world-wide since 1998.

The detailed rosters below are based on a January 1977 and an October 1991 Official Railway Equipment Register and reflect those roadnames that were in service at that time. I have made every effort to check them for accuracy, though cars that were taken off roster might still appear in service several years later. Plus many errors crept into Conrail rolling stock fleet over the years. Please use these rosters only as a guide for your modeling efforts, combining them with photographic evidence.

During the early years of the railroad, as reflected in the 1977 rosters below, Conrail had higher priorities than repainting their massive freight car fleet. As a result, there were usually more freight cars still numbered and lettered for the predecessors than for Conrail. If you model these years, as I do, knowing the ratio of predecessor to Conrail lettered cars is essential if you're striving to be as prototypically accurate as possible.

As of January 1977, Conrail had only renumbered a few hundred of the thousands of H43 hoppers. Unfortunately, we don't know which cars were renumbered, only the totals. The same goes for the Penn Central cars and the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Pennsylvania Railroad roster gives us a good idea of how many of these cars were still around as of 1977. All valuable information for the transition era modeler.

One note. You may notice some discepiencies between some Conrail series and some Penn Central series when it comes to classes. For example, there are a number of CR cars listed as H43A's, whereas on the PC roster these are listed as H43's. This is the way the rosters are listed in the January 1977 Official Railway Equipment Register and are not typos on my part.

By the early 1990s, well over 10,000 H43 had been renumbered and repainted Conrail. While some of these cars might have been simple CR-stencil jobs over the PRR and PC reporting marks, my trackside observations proved that to be rare.

What surprised me while I was compiling this roster from my October 1991 Official Railway Equipment Register was that 1672 H43D's were still lettered for the Penn Central. Unfortunately, of the nearly 6,000 PRR cars still on the rails in 1977, only 43 survived into 1991. I don't remember seeing any in 1999.

As always, please use these rosters only as guides when modeling your hopper fleet. Conrail was notorious for slipping a few other classes into series here and there--just to make our lives more difficult. The 1991 roster also combines some series that were broken down in the 1977 version.

January 1977
Series              Class  Total
================================
CR   472000-473846   H43      97
CR   473847-475262   H43A     42
CR   475263-478083   H43B     88
CR   478084-479021   H43C     31
CR   479451-483499   H43D     15
PC   472000-473970   H43     361
PC   473972-475463   H43A    166
PC   475464-478450   H43B    356
PC   478451-479450   H43C    124
PC   479451-481971   H43D   2470
PC   482000-483499   H43D   1472
PC   483500          H43B      1
PRR  180000-181999   H43    1399
PRR  225000-226499   H43A   1191
PRR  226500-229499   H43B   2388
PRR  229500-230499   H43C    789


October 1991
Series              Class   Total
=================================
CR  472000-473846   H43      1488
CR  473847-478083   H43A/B   3131
CR  478084-479021   H43C      765
CR  479025-479450   H43C     1176
CR  479451-483499   H43D     4689
CR  483500          H43B        1
CR  485300-485306   H43         7
CR  485900-485905   H43B        6
CR  485925          H43B        1
PC  472000-473970   H43         8
PC  473972-475463   H43A       12
PC  475464-478450   H43B       35
PC  478451-479450   H43C       20
PC  479451-483499   H43D     1672
PRR 225000-226499   H43A       11
PRR 226500-229499   H43B       14
PRR 229500-230499   H43C        8

Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Robert S. Waller. All rights reserved.
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