The Roundhouse Podcast

029: WNYP Railroad President Carl Belke

Train ME-1 leaves Meadville to work on the Oil City Branch. Photo by Nick Ozorak.

Train ME-1 leaves Meadville to work on the Oil City Branch. Photo by Nick Ozorak.

Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad – President Carl Belke talks with us about his 40+ year career in the railroad industry, including his tenure at the Delaware & Hudson, why he prefers ALCOs, and how the WNYP participated in the 2010 movie ‘Unstoppable’.

This episode is sponsored by the Strasburg Rail Road. Click here to learn more about their upcoming Steampunk unLimited event!


We discuss recent developments at Norfolk Southern, including Wick Moorman stepping down as Chairman of the Board, the end of ‘Roadrailers’, and the purchase of the southern Delaware & Hudson lines.

Carl Belke Interview (3:50)

Getting Started in the Industry in the ’70s – 3:50

His thoughts on the Norfolk Southern D&H purchase – 16:27

His role at the Western New York & Pennsylvania – 23:30

The Importance of ALCOs – 32:22

Railfans – 35:26

Filming ‘Unstoppable’ – 39:44

The future of the Railroad – 47:43

Question of the Day (53:52)

What is (or was) your hometown railroad?  Let me know and I will respond to your comments in our next episode.

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4 thoughts on “029: WNYP Railroad President Carl Belke

  1. Etienne Ozorak

    Boy. Took me back. I’m sure I have some 8mm footage of Conrail engines going across the bridge in Meadville to Dad;s Dog Foods plant. I served for a brief period on the city’s board that ownder the line. Nice to see that the future has been stabilized.

  2. Luke

    My hometown railroad was actually two rail lines. First the old Rock island line now operated by CSX hold some special memories including a cab ride along the line on a CSX freight. The other line was the old CB&Q Fox River branch, I wish I lived in the time when CB&Q 4960 ran down this line.

  3. Oliver H. Shortrifge

    My hometown railroad was the Reading Company, specifically the now disused Newtown Branch. I have also lived in Langhorne, PA, which had two railroads going through it; the PRR’s Trenton Cutoff now part of NS, and the Reading’s New York Short Line, now part of CSX’s Trenton Subdivision and SEPTA’s West Trenton Line.

  4. Cameron

    The American railroad industry always fascinates me, most nations have one national railroad operated by the government, sometimes one or two independent companies funded by the government,
    But you guys have between five and fifty class one railroads at any given time, with competitions, alliances, mergers, that’s not even counting their relationship with the maritime, bus, and airline industries.

    Even now, American railroads have suffered a great amount of loss and down-scaling in the last half century, yet you have five class one lines, on top of a couple dozen class two lines, not even counting Amtrak.

    This is why I love American railroading, even as a Canadian with my own rich history in railroads and expansion, I still can’t help but love the classics like Pennsy, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and so on.

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