The Despised Penn Central

The lamentations came thick and fast on Facebook’s Pennsylvania Railroad Group last night: it was the 50th anniversary of the Pennsy’s demise. Nobody wanted to mention successor Penn Central. Everybody hates the Penn Central. Well, almost everybody.

I have a weird fascination with the PC. By the time I was old enough to appreciate trains, the beloved Pennsy was history, and the PC was the railroad running the Northeast. It was not a good time for railroading. Fairly or not, the PC has been held up as the poster child of Everything Wrong with Railroading in the Seventies.

Even though I’ve settled (mostly) on 1963 as my modeling era, a few Penn Central items have crept into my rolling-stock fleet, and I run them at shows when nobody is looking. I’ve gotta admit:

  • Deepwater Green is a lovely color
  • That “mating worms” logo is bold and distinctive
  • Black is a great color for locomotives

It’s all about the look, really. Kinda like that other much-maligned piece of ’70s culture, Disco.