Oct 29, 1999
The U34CHs, with the exception of 1776, never showed any sign of Conrail ownership. The units were delivered in 1971-1973 in NJDOT paint, with EL diamond logos on the nose. On December 2, 1976, Conrail transferred all their U34CH's to New Jersey Department of Transportation, which eventually became NJ Transit. That same year, the EL diamonds were removed from the noses, but the NJDOT logos remained on the sides of the locomotives. Beginning in 1981, with the formation of NJ Transit, the NJDOT logos were removed. Some of the U34CHs were repainted into NJT disco-stripe scheme, but the majority remained in the NJDOT scheme with only slight modification until their retirement.
CR 1776: NJDOT/EL U34CH 3351 was wrecked at Belleville, NJ on July 8, 1974. The locomotive was sent to the General Electric Apparatus Shop in Cleveland, Ohio, for repair. Upon its return in 1976, it was repainted as Conrail Bicentennial Unit 1776. Upon NJDOT ownership (Dec 2, 1976), the unit was renumbered 4151, but kept the Bicentennial Scheme. In March 1978 the unit was repainted into an incorrect NJDOT livery and with number 4151. When the unit was repainted back into NJDOT livery, painters accidentally used the Erie Lackawanna hood unit masks, and thus the unit received a thinner silver stripe placed higher on the hood.
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