Sep 1, 2016
When Conrail took over operations back in 1976, they retired many of the first generation diesels that had been in hump duty, leading to a major shortage of those engines. In a Railroad Model Craftsman article, Ken Goslett mentions how Allentown hump went from using CNJ RSD-4's to leased BAR Geeps and P&S switchers. By 1978, however, Conrail's "real" hump engines had become their former Penn Central SD38's. Still, a pair of painted-out PC SD9's worked the Allentown hump for quite a while after the leased power left. Over at the Rutherford hump, a pair of GP30's did duty on one end until the hump closed.
In 1978 and 1979, Conrail decided to construct a fleet of slugs using worn-out Alco RS-11, RSD12, and RSD-15 units. Conrail removed the diesel engine, generator, and cab from the original units. The underframe, trucks, traction motors, and blowers remained. The hoods were chopped down and patched up. Details of individual slugs varied depending on the original unit and what the shops had on hand. As a result, the former-RSD15 MT-6's are slightly longer than other units due to the longer RSD-15 frame. Those slugs that came from six-axle Alcos became classed as MT-6's (Motor Trailer 6-axle). Conrail began rebuilding their MT-6 slugs around 1988. The original 3-axle Alco trucks were replaced with EMD trucks from retired SD7's and SD9's.
Back in 1975 Penn Central in their DeWitt shops did create one six-axle slug from an RSD-5 carbody with portions of an RS-1 hood. Created from PRR 8450 and numbered as PC 9949. In 1976 Conrail renumbered this as CR 6849 and paired it with an "AEH12" also numbered 6849, which was an RSD-15 that had been repowered with a 12-cylinder EMD 567 prime mover, producing only 1,200hp spread across 12 traction motors. In 1979 the mother and slug were set aside and renumbered around December that year as 6899. The units were retired on January 30, 1980 and then sold to NI&M scrappers. (X2200S #72, p24)
By May 31, 1999, all 29 MT-6's remained in active duty. These units were transferred to CSX and Norfolk Southern on June 1, 1999. The other units had been sold to other railroads or scrapped.
Comprehensive MT-6 Roster [Download PDF Version ]
The roster below covers those units operated by Conrail from the creation of the first unit in 1978 to their retirement from Conrail, along with first disposition. Roster source the X2200 South, Conrail Historical Society, and various railfans.
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