EMD GP8 and GP10 Rebuilds

The Conrail GP8 and GP10 fleet originally began their lives as EMD GP7 and GP9's built for a variety of roads in the early fifties. Conrail, with hundreds of units lined up in graveyards and in dire need for reliable power decided to begin a GP rebuild program.

The railroad selected the Illinois Central Gulf RR's Paducah, KY shop to perform the work in 1976. At Paducah, the short hood high noses were chopped for better visibilty and the control stands were set up for the new short hood lead operation. The prime movers were overhauled and all former GP7's received the 567BC while the GP9's received 567C's. Air filter work was also performed, outfitting the new Geeps with Dynacell paper air filters.

Nine GP8 units were turned out during the third quarter of 1976 wearing new CR paint and road numbers 5720-5728. Sixteen GP10's were released as well sporting CR paint and numbered 7560-7575.

By 1978, Conrail desired more from the rebuild program and selected another 39 GP7's to be rebuilt. This program was not as extensive as the original consisting of only mechanical and electrical work. The dynamic brakes were removed, and the control stand remained setup for long hood forward operation. Paducah was not the only shop contracted this time around. The work was split between Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific's Silvis, IL shop, Morrison Knudsen's Boise, ID shop and ICG Paducah. The units were returned to Conrail during the third quarter of 1978 wearing 5400 series CR road numbers. The 1976 batch (5720-5728) were subsequently renumbered 5400-5408.

59 GP9's were also sent out for rebuilding in 1978 split between Paducah, Morrison Knudsen and Precision National Corporation in Mount Vernon, IL. This was the first rebuilding program PNC had undertaken and after the 6th unit, Conrail terminated the PNC contract due to quality and delivery issues. The remainder of PNC's contract was given to Paducah for completion. The same work, electrical and mechanical, was done and by early 1979 Morrison Knudsen turned out 17 units (7513-7529), PNC 6 (7530-7537) and 36 from Paducah (7545-7597). Road numbers 7532, 7536, 7538-7544, 5414-5427 were never used.

The GP8's lasted well into the 1990's and though most all were stored in the mid 80's, all but 1 were reactivated in 1987 when a batch of GP38-2's went off lease. The units were again returned to storage until 1989 when less than a dozen were reactivated again to make up for the loss of 10 MP15's that were returned to their lessor. This was the last active group until April 11, 1991 when the entire class was retired.

CR GP30 2187 (RDG Patch) + CR GP10 7576 + CR GP30 2174 (RDG Patch) w/ Mixed Manifest under wires
Conrail GP8 5406 is seen at Conway, PA in 1983. We are thankful to Dick for obtaining this roof-angle shot of this unit, as not a lot of the GP8 rebuilds kept their "torpedo-tube" roof-mounted air tanks.
A pair of GP8's pause at AY in Akron, Ohio with a rail train. Rail was being lifted on both some ex EL and ex PC lines in the area. CR 5407 was rebuilt from CR/PC 5856 at ICG Paducah in Dec 1976, and was originally numbered by Conrail as 5727. The 5445 was CR 5941, the ex EL 1211, rebuilt at CRI&P Silvis in Nov 1978.
CR GP-8 5409 works Elizabethport yard in February, 1979.
Conrail GP8 No. 5411 is in front of the Chicago Junction Railway office at Conrail's Ashland Avenue Yard in February 1990. Doug Davidson photo with permission
Some veterans in the trail position on the extra 3328 east in Hinsdale on March 14, 1981. The white sill stripe on the 2521 marks it as ex NYC.
Fresh-looking GP8's 5442 and 5456 at Pittsfield, MA. on April 11, 1981. Assigned as the power for the Pittsfield local WNPI-10...."Oh, great, now I gotta start TWO of these things when I go on duty!" Those who are familiar with starting procedures for EMD's know what I mean.
GP8 5442 with local WNWS-2 at Palmer, MA. on Aug. 4, 1983.
GP-8 5443 and sister 5440 have a westbound ballast extra in tow at Bancroft, MA. on Sept. 26, 1981.
GP8's 5448 and 5440 working as local WNWS-5 at MP 107/"Salt City" in Westfield, MA. on May 4, 1981.
Former CR/PC/NYC 5607 is seen at Allentown, PA on 9/26/1984.
CR 5451 is seen working on the former EL Northern Branch at Piermont Dock NJ in Feb of 1982.
Conrail WNWS-5, a local on its eatbound return run to West Springfield from Woronoco, MA photographed at Williams Riding Wat in Westfield, MA on 15 April 1983.
GP8 5455 at Westfield, MA on 15 April 1983.
Conrail GP8 5455 brings a Trap Rock Work Extra west at Williams Riding Way in Westfield, MA on the Boston Line on 15 April, 1983. Bushes and trees largely obscure this view in 2009.
CR 5455 takes WNWS-5 westward just east of Bancroft, MA. on Oct. 12, 1984. The autumn of 1984 was spectacular.
GP8's 5456 and 5442 at Pittsfield, MA. on April 11, 1981.
Former CR 5930/EL 1200/ERIE 1200 is seen with CR 9411, former RDG 2611 SW1001 at the west end of Enola Yard at Summerdale, PA on 4/25/1982. Note the RDG number still visible on the front of the SW1001.

Low-nose GP-8 5726 lined up with PC GP38 7863 outside the Mingo Junction roundhouse in August, 1977.

The 5700 series GP-8's were renumbered into the 5400 series in 1978 to keep a solid number block and make room for further rebuilds.

EP-8 with GP9 7164 and GP10's 7570 and 7562 hold at Marysville, Pa before proceeding east.
HNPI picks up a gondola from the spur into New Castle.
CR 7515 at Bryan, OH back in the early 90's. This is the only GP10 that I have photographic proof of being used as one of the Bryan local service engines. Jason Hall photo, Chris Howe collection
CR 7516 Lebanon, PA
CR 7519, rebuilt from GP9 CR/PC/PRR 7058, is seen at Rutherford, PA on 3/12/1983.
CR 7519, rebuilt from GP9 CR/PC/PRR 7058, is seen at Rutherford, PA on 8/5/1984.
CR 7519, rebuilt from GP9 CR/PC/PRR 7058, is seen at Steelton, PA on 11/13/1983.
CR GP10 7519 (ex PC GP9 7058 nee PRR GP9 7058) + CR SW1500 9563 with mixed freight leaving yard (CP CLINT)
Conrail GP10 7522 idles between assignments at Niagara Falls, NY on 2 April 1995.
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