Saturday, June 22, 2024

A lucky photo

 Sometimes we just get lucky.  Today I came across a photo that ended up in a scroll on the Facebook page, and realized something familiar about the image.  It was another Conrail unit from a location in Harrington, Delaware, a spot with lots of Conrail activity back in the day.  

Wait - I know that number!  That's what is so familiar.  Athearn about 10 years ago did a nice looking release of EMD SD40 locomotives, a model on the prototype that was the predecessor to the famous SD40-2.  Conrail had a number of SD40s that were handed down after the consolidation merger and 6286 was one of them, a former CNJ nee-B&O locomotive, and Athearn chose this one to be part of that release.  

This photo, by Ken Carden and posted on a Conrail photos group, went from just another Conrail image to one that shows important details.  First, it was taken in August of 1994, which is exactly my era.  Conrail SD40s were rare by then but this one was still out working.  It also has nice clean paint and black-on-white numberboards, without the white frame stripe, which makes this one a 1989 or early 1990 repaint.  I will need to do new numberboards as Athearn's are the original white-on-black, but besides that my version is ready to go.

What this shows is the importance of keeping our eyes open as modelers, all the time.  You never know when you'll find a helpful photo or text that suddenly verifies what you're doing, or gives you new information so you can better do what you do.  Progress comes in many forms!