Conrail B36-7 locomotive photos. Always updating.

Page Updated:
Sep 13, 2014


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

CR B36-7 Conrail placed its only order of General Electric's B36-7 in 1983, ordering 60 units and placing them in the CR 5000-5059 series. The B36-7 uses a turbocharged 16-cylinder 16-7FDL prime mover to create 3,700hp. Conrail specifically purchased these high-horsepower, 4-axle units for high-speed intermodal service.

But time and deferred maintenance were not kind to these units. By the late 1990s, Conrail's B36-7 were battered and worn, often belching thick plumes of black exhaust while pulling lowly general merchandise freights. A long way from their former glory days on hotshot intermodals.

A major spotting feature of the B36-7 is the large 'bath tub' exhaust silencer on top of the long hood. In the early 1980s, the Federal Railroad Administration began mandating that all new locomotives be equipped with silencers in order to reduce noise pollution. As locomotives grew in horsepower, so did the noise that they produced; therefore, something had to be done. As a teenager, I clearly remember the distinctive, bone-rumbling 'glug-glug' of a trio of non-silencer GE locomotives fighting to accelerate up a grade. This is a sound we just can't hear anymore. Plus the dilapidated nature of Conrail's GE fleet back in the late 70s and early 80s just made the matter worse (or better, depending on how you looked at it!). Thick smoke and ear-pounding noise were the hallmarks of the old U-Boat fleet. Ah, the good old days....

A feature unique among Conrail locomotives were their FRA-approved classification lights. (These are the small, red lights on the nose and rear of Conrail locomotives.) Unlike standard classification lights, which shine their light out along the angle of the locomotive nose, FRA lights shine their beam directly down the tracks. Until its final days, Conrail adhered to the tradition of classification lights. All B36-7's came with such FRA lights.

The last feature we'll look at are the B36-7's trucks, which are General Electric's high-adhesion FB2 model. Not really too much I can say about these. Finally, all Conrail B36-7's are equipped with Type EL cab signal equipment, which is important to know if you model an area of Conrail were cab signals are in effect. I grew up in an area where there were no such beasts, so we had nothing to worry about.

While a fast and powerful locomotive, the B36-7 eventually found itself being over-shadowed by its more reliable and efficient successor, the 4,000hp B40-8.

Comprehensive Roster
The roster below covers those units operated by Conrail from the arrivial of the first unit in 1983 until May 1999.
CR #   Built          CR #   Built
============          ============
5000   1983           5030   1983
5001   1983           5031   1983
5002   1983           5032   1983
5003   1983           5033   1983
5004   1983           5034   1983
5005   1983           5035   1983
5006   1983           5036   1983
5007   1983           5037   1983
5008   1983           5038   1983
5009   1983           5039   1983
5010   1983           5040   1983
5011   1983           5041   1983
5012   1983           5042   1983
5013   1983           5043   1983
5014   1983           5044   1983
5015   1983           5045   1983
5016   1983           5046   1983
5017   1983           5047   1983
5018   1983           5048   1983
5019   1983           5049   1983
5020   1983           5050   1983
5021   1983           5051   1983
5022   1983           5052   1983
5023   1983           5053   1983
5024   1983           5054   1983
5024   1983           5055   1983
5025   1983           5056   1983
5026   1983           5057   1983
5027   1983           5058   1983
5028   1983           5059   1983
5029   1983

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