Eastern Railroads

This section is a potpourri of documents from (mostly) extinct railroads from the eastern United States. Many of the companies were merged into much larger systems, and a few of the lines may still be important segments of one of the major systems still in operation today. With a few exceptions, information posted here is from years before 1970. I am indebted to a close friend from Indiana for the Penn Central (and PRR/NYC) material. Many of the miscellaneous other timetables were received from friendly dispatchers and railroad tower operators over the years. Before all the recent concern about security, such employees were generally open and friendly with visitors and happy to share their information and expertise about the operation of their railroads.  As additional materials are discovered from other railroads, no matter how large or small, they will be posted in this section.

Delaware Lackawanna and Western

Documents from the Delaware Lackawanna and Western, Erie, and Erie Lackawanna were provided from a generous donor (EL donor for short) that received them from various family members. They provide a snapshot of various functions of the railroads, particularly from the duties of the local railroad agents. I have tried to group the various files by subject matter, such as shipper instructions, or agent communications, or agent forms, etc. While any particular form is not unique or of great interest, in general the paperwork from the earlier era reminds us of the much slower speed for communications at the time (with the exception of telegrams). In my own railroad career from the late 1960's decade into the 1970s, there were still many local agents that generated car orders and billings for the railroads at many locations. The adoption of computerized billing and central communications through toll free numbers would soon lead to the elimination of most such local agency offices for the railroads. So many thanks to EL donor for these snapshots of the past from these three fallen flags.

This first group is various types of Agency Forms. The last two listed are not necessarily agency business, but might have been on hand for the various other departments. 

The final group for the DLW contains short communications about car shipments, requests for spotting, and telegrams regarding shipments. 

Erie Lackawanna

These two Erie Lackawanna multiple division timetables (both cover: Susquehanna, Buffalo, Mahoning, and Marion divisions) were acquired from a college friend who had some EL contacts at interlocking towers or dispatcher offices. When we were both working for the B&O at Willard, Ohio we were amused by the label the B&O fellows had for the EL: "Erie Lack of money". Although not in bankruptcy until hurricane Agnes destroyed many miles of the railroad in 1972, the EL was not as financially sound as the B&O, thus the moniker. Those aware of the B&O's financial history would note that it was not a financial gem by any means before it was taken over by the more prosperous Chesapeake and Ohio in the 1960s. Most of the Erie mileage was abandoned with the Conrail creation in 1976, except for a few routes used by short line or regional operators.  

EL Four Divisions 1965         EL Four Divisions 1968

The various files that follow are from the generous EL donor mentioned above under DLW. Only the first two forms are from the original Erie, the remainder are from the merged railroad, Erie Lackawanna. As in the DLW section, no particular form is of great importance perhaps, but they all convey an idea of how important paperwork was in the "old" days. 

Louisville & Nashville

Among the more miscellaneous timetables that I found in my dusty folders are these two from the L&N. By the dates (1969) I suspect that I received them from a college friend, as I recall no trips where I visited any L&N facilities. The railroad is now part of the much larger CSX system, and its old identity mostly gone I suspect. One timetable that I would have enjoyed looking at would have been the first L&N document that included the former Monon route (below).

LN_Cincinnati_5_1969          LN Louisville 7 1969

Under Construction

Norfolk & Western (also NKP)

The B&O crews in Indianapolis worked over a few miles of NW track rights as part of the trip west to Springfield, IL. We were issued NW employee timetables for this reason. This portion of the NW in Decatur, Illinois was part of the former Wabash, but there were also several former Nickel Plate lines in the area. Unfortunately, I just have these few documents from that era, and all the lines involved have changed greatly with the Norfolk and Western merger with the Southern to form Norfolk Southern, and the later acquisition of part of the Conrail system by Norfolk Southern.

Recent Addition (December 2020):  Somewhere I borrowed a pad of Nickle Plate blank order forms from a tower or station. While not N & W originally, it became part of that system by merger in 1964 and these forms are included here. Any NKP fans wishing to duplicate either version (original size and somewhat enlarged) can download them from the link. 

Penn Central  (and Pennsylvania and New York Central)

The Penn Central operated from 1968 to 1976. My source for these documents was a tower operator in Indianapolis, IN (his original railroad was New York Central), Robert R McCord. At various times he also worked in Ohio and Illinois as an operator, and a short period as a dispatcher in the Indianapolis office. His tenure with Conrail (1976-1999) was the longest of his four railroad employers (all the changes due to mergers). His shortest company affiliation was a few years after Conrail when CSX controlled the Indianapolis area lines, immediately before his retirement. Sadly, Bob passed away a number of years ago, a few years after his retirement. When I received most of these materials, Penn Central was struggling in bankruptcy, and I didn't particularly admire or have much interest in the company. Unfortunately, I have nothing from his Conrail or CSX years, as I was working in the western United States and we didn't get together very often. With hindsight, I wish I had pestered him for more Penn Central items, and then Conrail and CSX in later years. Because of his working location, these materials are from the western regions of the Penn Central, and do not include any of the extensive eastern operations. The Indianapolis Union material is included here because it was part of the various merged systems after 1968 (jointly owned prior to that era). Thank you old friend, Robert R McCord, I learned a lot from you - my humorous but accurate label for Bob was "walking encyclopedia" of midwestern railroads. Rest in Peace.

Additional note on PRR materials:  The Western Region General Orders cover the period from just before and after the merger with New York Central into the combined Penn Central in early 1968. One of them formally renames the company by General Order. The Rules Revisions for the 1956 book are from 1957 through 1960 and show various changes that were occurring in the industry that required rule updates. Both series of revisions were small loose leaf inserts that were never posted in the books being modified. Perhaps they were spare copies in a PRR tower somewhere in Indianapolis that my contact took home after they were out of date. They provide a small snap shot of an era when a lot of changes were taking place on this important major railroad. 

Recent addition (December 2020):  Somewhere at an old station or tower, Bob and I borrowed some blank New York Central Form B Clearance Forms, and some blank Form 31 train order forms. In case anyone is interested in duplicating these as part of a model railroad operation, or if just wanting to possess these for whatever reason as a NYC fan, they are added at the bottom. There are two versions, one actual size and one somewhat enlarged by the scanner. Both versions are available for download.

Added note August 2023: I discovered a fairly large number of old PRR division timetables that were forwarded to me from and Amtrak source. These have been added and labeled by the PRR division and year. Other sources likely have more complete PRR timetable materials. Also posted in this PRR material is a typewritten file of passenger consists dated 1960, which might be of interest to some PRR enthusiasts.

Work in Progress


One of the fine senior engineers at Grand Junction, Colorado was Arthur Schwab. Art helped me a lot as a new engineer, and we shared a mid-western heritage, since Art hailed from Moberly, Missouri. His first railroad was the Wabash, and he also put some time in with the Rock Island. When he passed away a number of years ago, his family generously  gave me a couple of his railroad items, including this Q & A from the Wabash Railroad. It appears to be an extensive review of air brake and mechanical questions for engineers on the Wabash, preparatory to their promotion from the fireman's ranks. The portion of the NW where B&O crews worked a few miles in Decatur, Illinois (noted above) was part of the former Wabash main line. I believe Art and I discussed that coincidence when we first met in Grand Junction, since he had worked into Decatur from Moberly in his Wabash career. I wish I had more items from Art, and especially about the Wabash, as it has been a "fallen flag" since its 1964 absorption into the NW system. Naturally, he has a "Follow the Flag" Wabash hat on in the photo below.

Wabash Airbrake Q & A            Photo: Art Schwab 1980

Work in Progress