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Reviewing Lancaster Pennsylvania's Best

Transcribed from a plaque at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Located in Pennsylvania's Lancaster Amish Country


Monongahela Railway No. 67

  • 1949
  • Builder: International Car and Equipment Co. Chicago, IL
  • Build Date: September, 1949
  • Retirement Date: c. 1989
  • Class: NE-6
  • Number Built: 10
  • Length: 37 ft. 10 in.
  • PHMC Loan no.: RR8.1990

The Monongahela:

The Monongahela Railroad, incorporated on December 31, 1900, was a jointly owned venture by the Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh and Lake Erie railroads to tap the rich coal fields south of Pittsburgh.  The Monongahela funneled coal north to its parent roads, which grew to include the Baltimore and Ohio in 1926. 

While many railroads of this size fell victim to bankruptcy or merger in the 1960's and 1970's due to dependency on coal for survival, the Monongahela continued to thrive and grow.  Split ownership ensured the road's independence and the growing demand for high BTU, medium-sulfur content coal brought prosperity.  In 1984, a 15-mile branch line was built to serve Consolidated Coal Company's new Bailey Mine, now the largest underground mine in the country.  The Monongahela, just 177 miles long, became the nation's seventh largest coal hauling railroad. 

Situated in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, the Monongahela's mainline followed its namesake river into the coalfields of Appalachia. 

In 1993, the P&LE and CSX Transportation, successor to the B&O, sold their interests to the line and the Monongahela was finally wholly merged into Conrail.


Caboose No. 67:

Like all railroads, safe operation of the Monongahela's trains required a caboose on the tail end.  The Monongahela purchased ten new cabooses from the International Car and Equipment Company in Chicago in 1949.  Previously, the railroad had relied upon cars provided by its three parent railroads. 

In addition to providing a vantage point for the conductor or brakeman to watch the train, the car also provided office and living space for the crew.  Cabooses would often lead on trains returning from coal mines where there were no tracks to run the locomotive around to the front of the train.  In the late 1960's, No. 67 struck a coal truck at a grade crossing.  An air whistle was added to the roof of the cupola, probably as a result of that collision.

As cabooses began to vanish rapidly from regular service in the 1980's, the Smithsonian Institute began a search for a typical example of such a car to add to its collection.  The Monongahela refurbished and donated No. 67 in 1989, and it was placed on long-term display here in Strasburg.

Recently repainted and donated to the Smithsonian, No. 67 arrived at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in 1988. 

Just three years after the Monongahela purchased No. 67, it also purchased its first diesel locomotives, 27 Baldwin S-12 switchers in 1952.







Find The Railroad Museum of PA on Google Maps

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
300 Gap Road
Strasburg, PA 17579
Tel: 717 687-8628

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