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Merger time in Warren

Change comes to an Erie Railroad town in Ohio

By W. L. Gwyer
Published: December 4, 2012
Renumbered DL&W E8’s (top) roll into Warren with train 6 in 1962. Earlier that year, E8 833, its livery only slightly altered to reflect the 1960 EL merger, led an ex-DL&W E8 on No. 9.
Photo by W. L. Gwyer
The Erie Railroad served my hometown of Warren, Ohio. During my college years in the early 1960s, after the October 17, 1960, merger with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western produced the Erie Lackawanna, an even dozen passenger trains stopped there. These included two Youngstown–Cleveland round trips and a Pittsburgh–Cleveland train each way (the Steel King), as well as the six mainline trains between Chicago and New York.

For years, the railroad shared the right of way with automobiles and trucks on a gantlet arrangement that was a pain for both the Erie and for the city. Legend has it that Warren was so glad to get a railroad they let it build it right down the main street.

In the top photo, train 6, the eastbound Lake Cities, is arriving on an evening in 1962. The lead unit gives evidence the EL merger has occurred, as do the 1300-series lightweight coaches in the consist. The other train is No. 9, the Sunday Pacific Express, on a wintry afternoon in February of the same year; this train conducted a lively head-end business, as the lower picture indicates. The parentage of E8 833 shows in the livery, despite the “EL” in the old Erie diamond.

First published in Fall 2005 Classic Trains magazine.

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