Built in 1984 as the first -8 series of locomotives from GE, all ten of this model only saw service initially on Conrail. Numbered 6610 to 6619, they were orphans in both the railroad world and on CR. Rated at 3,150 horsepower and carrying 3,900 gallons of fuel, they spent most of their careers in the Boston-Selkirk world on the former B&A until 1997 when all ten were painted into gray and black Ballast Express paint for dedicated ballast trains. Of note are the following: 6612 was involved in an accident in Philadelphia in 1988 and emerged from Juniata with the cab and nose from former GE B40-8 demo #808; 6615 and 6616 both wore Quality paint before being painted gray in 1997; and gray 6619 was involved in a wreck in 1998 or 1999 and emerged wearing fresh Quality blue immediately before being transferred to NS. Upon the split in 1999, six went to NS (8543-8548) and four to CSX (7476-7479). After the lease expired, CSX chose not to lease then again but NS picked up all ten for a brief period and renumbered them all (8460:1-8469). When NS retired them, one unit (6616) was leased by RMDI (BDLX) to Junction City Mining in Talbottom, GA while the others sat in RMDI's lot rusting away. The former 6616 managed to escape the US and at last report (9/2006) was in green and yellow as Ferronorte 9339 in Brazil.
Chicago Line - Burdick, Indiana, USA
October 22, 1998
C32-8 6610 on ELPR-2
Rolling westward in her final autumn, a Conrail Ballast Express GE leads a pair of Espee motors and a leaser towards a UP connection at Proviso. Conrail never made it to October of the next year, and this trackage is now under the ownership of NS.
Photo by Don Kalkman III