The Pennsy Modeler

In order to portray Pennsylvania Railroad and interchange partners as accurately as possible, this blog contains articles which are essentially notes to myself, but are shared should the community desire the same information.

Articles are sorted by modification date, so if an existing article receives an update it will be presented at the top of the list again.

26001334 1755336301177512 4600953790711396682 nThe Railway Express Agency (founded as American Railway Express Agency; later, American Railway Express Inc.) was a national package delivery service that operated in the United States from 1918 to 1975. REA arranged transport and delivery via existing railroad infrastructure, much as today's UPS or DHL companies use roads and air transport. It was created through the forced consolidation of existing services into a federal near-monopoly to ensure the rapid and safe movement of parcels, money, and goods during World War I.

REA ceased operations in 1975, when its business model ceased to be viable.

BLI201313

Pacific Fruit Express (reporting mark PFE) was an American railroad refrigerator car leasing company that at one point was the largest refrigerator car operator in the world.

The company was founded on December 7, 1906 as a joint venture between the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It began operation on October 1, 1907, with a fleet of 6,600 refrigerator cars built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF). The company was founded on December 7, 1906 as a joint venture between the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads. It began operation on October 1, 1907, with a fleet of 6,600 refrigerator cars built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF).

In 1923, the Western Pacific Railroad joined the venture by leasing its own new fleet of 2775 reefers to PFE. They were painted in standard PFE colors with only WP heralds on the cars instead of the paired UP-SP markings. The WP cars were all retired by the late 1950s, among the last wooden reefers in PFE's fleet. WP ended its partnership with PFE in late 1967 and joined Fruit Growers Express instead.

PFE's assets were divided between the UP and SP when the company was split on April 1, 1978. It is now a UP subsidiary.

 WALTH 5885

Bob Johnson's comments, as coordinator of the archives of the PRRT&HS:

a - As built the cars were painted with Tuscan Red body, Metallic Brown roof, Olive trucks and underbody equipment, Black handholds and ironwork (underframe and sill steps), and Gold Leaf lettering edged with a 1/16" Black line. Side lettering included a 6" high "PENNSYLVANIA", 6" car number with figures spaced 1 1/2" apart, 4" high "AMERICAN RAILWAY EXPRESS", and 4" high "REFRIGERATOR". End lettering was 4" high "P.R.R." and car number. Lettering style was the older Block Type with coved letters "P", "S", "R", "C" and "G".

b - On 4-4-1929 "AMERICAN RAILWAY EXPRESS" was changed to "RAILWAY EXPRESS AGENCY, INC." It's possible that the last few cars built received this lettering as built. I haven't seen any photos showing this style.

c - On 10-15-1929 the lettering was simplified to "RAILWAY EXPRESS AGENCY".

d - On 8-14-1930 the end numbers were removed.

e - On 10-21-1930 the side numerals were spaced 2 3/8" apart and the 4" lettering was spaced wider.

f - On 7-9-1936 the lettering was changed from Gold Leaf to Buff Lettering Color, still edged with Black. I believe this is Walthers 5881 (below), "prewar", except I'm not sure about the black edging.

 ColorStrates2 e1493743521195

strates posterStrates Shows, America's only railroad carnival, travels the United States during a seven-month season, transporting personnel and equipment with 61 rail cars and 34 trucks. Traveling with the show are some 400 employees and families who operate the many rides, games and concessions.

VINTAGE 1950s PRR PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD PAINT COLOR DRIFT

So you know what the PRR called the color of paint you want to apply to your model, your shed in the back yard, etc., but how do you go about selecting an available paint?

Color Models

First, you should have a brief understanding of colors. Different media have different models for describing how they depict colors. Here are just a few of them:

RGB - RGB is the system most people are familiar with. It's used for video and is described by expressing percentages of Red, Green, and Blue.

reefer train.jpgAs of 1954, the PRR's "Makeup of Trains" consist books list show only PRR reefers used in the creation of passenger trains. With few exceptions, class R50b is prescribed. Videos and photos, however, show Railway Express Agency reefers in use as well, though to a lesser extent.

The following table was created from data contained in The Official Railway Equipment Register.

ALTO CTC machine right

Union Switch & Signal (US&S) was a primary supplier of control systems to the Pennsylvania Railroad. Their compact, desktop series of CTC machines were labeled the 500 series. What follows is a discussion of what is seen on these machines and how they differed from location to location.

Our first subject is the machine that was installed in ALTO tower (Altoona) to remotely control WORKS, ROSE, HOMER, and ANTIS. It features 30 vertical spaces. Above is the right half of the machine.

x37model

In HO scale, the X37, X37A, and X37B box cars are available as resin kits from Funaro & Camerlengo. In addition to the decals in the kits, Mount Vernon Shops offers decals for the series. Kits were once offered by Sunshine Models, now out of business.

Interestingly, the three X37 sub-classes had different interior heights. The X37 was 10'4", the X37A 10'6", and the X37B 10'8".

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INTERIOR PAINT

Buff from c. 1916 until 1960, then light green (except N8's were Buff and Cream until 1960 -- then light green).

EXTERIOR PAINT

FEBRUARY 20, 1914

"Date" on tracing for the new all-steel N5 cabins. "Issued" one month later (3/20/1914), "Made Standard" (12/30/1915). Although not present on tracing (may have been changed) original color may have been bright red (this assumption is made because of the following item added to tracing 7/9/1915).