Forty years ago today, a college friend, a friend of his, and I walked into the yard office at Mingo Junction, Ohio to ask permission to photograph Conrail’s facilities there. After signing releases, we were given souvenirs, including a card that described signal indications, and then sent on our way with the “Be careful and don’t get hurt” admonishment that usually accompanied any railfan interaction with employees. After getting over the small disappointment of the high number of EMD’s in this Alco mecca, we headed out to explore the engine terminal.
Most elements of this overview are long gone, including the black and blue Alco and EMD power, the roundhouse and office buildings, the Penn Central sand hoppers, and the 70’s Detroit iron in the parking lot. Most of all, the welcoming tolerance of visitors at a major facility has disappeared from the fabric of rail photography.