Big Blue in all its glory! Armed with a Conrail release and photo permit, I was able to get into a great position on a grubby morning in 1989 for a shot on Horseshoe Curve. This is a westbound intermodal (single stack at the time) roaring around the curve at full throttle and full sand. Conrail was rather neat to experience and photograph. After the gloomy days of the '60s and '70s, American railroading was in the early days of renewal in the post-Staggers Act era of unfettered and unregulated freedom to compete. And, there was no better showcase of this new era than the bright blue optimism of Conrail. Sure, a lot of ex-PRR, NYC and other Northeastern trackage and routes would be retired or abandoned, but the leaner Conrail was rebuilding on fresh legs. Today, this is NS territory, but it would have never been the railroad it is now without Conrail. This blue SD40 isn't a Pennsy unit---but at least it's not Penn Central.