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Modeling Maintenance of Way (MoW)
PRRT&HS 2014 Annual Meeting
Different types of MoW trains:
Living Quarters (Camp Trains)
Section or work gangs
Moved with the work
Parked in a siding near the job
Providing riding, eating and sleeping functions
Might also have cars for tools and other supplies
Typically made up of retired revenue service cars (passenger or freight)
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Based on the Pennsylvania Railroad Passenger Equipment Register dated 9/26/54.
A link in the Class column performs a search on the Varnish database and returns the individual car roster. However, the database performs a "contains" search, so a search on class "P70f" will also return "P70fa" records, etc., but not vice versa.
Note that during 1954, the Pennsy dropped the "R" suffix from the class designation which previously indicated air conditioning.
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Cabin cars were modified for express service in three groups and information on cars were modified for express service in three groups and information on these cars can be summarized as follows:
1. Total of 45 cars (all class N5) modified late 1926/early 1927.Car Nos. 4980 - 5024. By 1937, all but seven of these cars were renumbered with their original freight equipment numbers and reassigned to freight service.The seven which remained went to Penn Central (Nos. 5001/10/11/12/13/15/18).
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The Pennsy had 550 class R50b high speed express reefers, numbered 2551-3100. They were 54'6" long and rode on PRR standard 4-wheel cast steel passenger trucks, class 2D-P5. When not needed for refrigerator duties, express reefers often carried dry express shipments. One unit is preserved at the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, PA.
The Pennsy also had 36 class R60 63' reefers, built by ACF in 1913. Car and load could not exceed 140,000 pounds. Ice capacity was 184 cu. ft.
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Iron ore travelled on the PRR from the inception of the steel industry. Until the 1940's, when the import of ore made any significant impact, the majority of the ore came from the Misabe range of Minnesota and was shipped via boat on the Great Lakes to eastern ports.
Until the arrival of cars specifically designed for the weight of iron ore -- the G38's and G39's circa 1960 -- almost any class of hopper came into use. H21a's were the most prevalent on the system, followed by GLa's.
Since iron ore was significantly heavier than coal, these hoppers could only manage one "scoop" of ore placed directly over each truck. This is why photos of ore in hopper cars make the cars look like they are largely empty. Filling the car or loading the center of longer cars would cause the car to buckle under the load! (An overhead view of an iron ore-loaded H21a appears on page 70 of Pennsy Steam Years, Volume I.)
Ken McCorry wrote "The H-21 class was the biggest on the PRR until the H-39 came along in 1960. Since the import ore business started in Phila in 1954 my educated guess would be H-21'a , GLa, H-31, H-35. The PRR knew the H-21 fleet was close to the end of it's economic life in the early 50's. They built or purchased the H-35 in 1956 as a possible replacement for the H-21 fleet. The H-36 and H-37 class were also built as a possible replacement. While most railroads would build a few cars for a test the PRR did it in a big way buying 1000-1500 of some of the pre H-39 classes. By the end of the 50's the 70 ton car was the norm and the H-39 became the replacement for the H-21. The ore business also showed the weakness of hopper doors keeping ore inside the car so thats one of the reasons the G-38's were built. When pellets became the norm the steam lance holes in the 38's would leak a steady stream of pellets along the right of way. The G-38 also cubed out with pellets before it weighed out therefore the G-39 class.
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Four Axle General Purpose (GP) Road Switchers
The following tables illustrate the various spotting features of EMD GP7 and GP9 units purchased by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The basis for these tables are from a Jim Williams presentation at the May 2000 annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society.
EMD GP7 vs. GP9
|Build Dates||October 1949
- May 1954
- December 1959
|Louvers at Rear of Car Body||2 Full Rows||1 Single Louver|
|Louvers on Battery Box||3 Single Louvers||1 Louver|
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Over the years, I have had the opportunity to operate on many fine model railroads, including...
- Dave Abeles' Conrail Onondaga Cutoff
- Chris Adams' New York, New Haven & Hartford
- Bill Blackburn's Pennsylvania Railroad, Great Valley Division
- Jim Clay's Pennsylvania Railroad, Cumberland Valley Branch (fallen flag)
- Jim Dalberg's New Jersey Northern
- Tony Koester's Nickel Plate Road
- Steven Mallery's Pennsylvania Railroad, Buffalo Line
- Bob Martin's Central Pennsylvania Railroad (fallen flag)
- Larry Reynolds' Pennsylvania Railroad, Altoona Area
- Dave Rohrbaugh's South Penn Railroad
- Dave Trone's West Penn Railroad
- Jeff Warner's PRR/RDG/WM South Central Region (fallen flag)
- Bob Zeolla's Conrail Conemaugh Line
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The P70 was the first of the Pennsy's 80-foot all-steel coaches. Over 1,000 of the cars were built by Altoona and several other car builders between 1907 and 1929. The early cars featured 88 seats, but as of 1926 they were built with 80 seats. Depending on the builder, some vestibule door windows were one solid panel where others had a vertical divider. A group of cars built by American Car & Foundry had larger vestibule windows.
The "P" prefix designates a "passenger" car -- a coach specifically -- and does not include "passenger baggage" (PB), "passenger baggage mail" (PBM), "cafe" (PC), or "electric cars and trailers" (MP).
The "70" designates the length of the passenger compartment. The P70 series was an 80-foot car less two vestibules leaving a 70 foot passenger compartment.
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From a Westerfield kit...
The Pennsylvania Railroad installed nearly 7,000 box cars in 1912-13 as an intermediate step between its steel underframe fleet of the first decade of the twentieth century and its all-steel fleet commenced in 1915. Pennsy converted 75 X23 box cars to war emergency cabin cars beginning in May 1943. Classed NX23 the cars were numbered 478520-478594. They were rebuilt consecutively at Altoona beginning May 24 and ending January 29, 1944. There were at least three physically different versions. The first car used vertical sheathing on the side and as with all subsequent cars, horizontal sheathing on the end,. A full X23 ladder was mounted to the right of the side door. Photographic evidence shows that some cars received partial (3-rung) ladders with two drop grab irons finishing the five runds. All of these cars would have been rebuilt from standard X23 box cars. A third variation used cars rebuilt with horizontal side sheathing and the removal of horizontal side braces. Such upgrades were performed on "raised roof" X23B box cars but it is certain that X23B's were not used for the cabin car conversions. No records survive to show how many of each type were built. These cars were painted freight car color on all surfaces. All extant photos show the cars originally lettered for WESTERN REGION so it is assumed that all cars were so assigned.
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From a Westerfield kit...
The earliest reference to conversion of XL box cars to maintenance of way and crew cars (or camp cars as they were called by the Pennsylvania Railroad) is 1937. Blueprints were issued for standard sets of cars. One set entitled "four car unit for living quarters" included a riding car, two sleeping cars and a kitchen/dining car. Another entitled "four car unit wreck train" included a tool car, cable car, riding/locker car, and commissary car. A third showed wire train cars: a riding car with cupola and pantograph and a tool/material car. These were far from the only variations as photos reveal many others. The details, especially smoke jacks and vents were added from available supplies, resulting in standard cars on which almost nothing was standard. The Westerfield models are based on the blueprints in most cases as the plans reveal the position of internal details making the location of ventilators more precise.
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As of 1900 (interpreted from Form CT1000), the Pennsylvania Railroad -- which did not include "Lines West of Pittsburgh" -- was organized into Grand Divisions, Divisions, and Railroads. Railroads represented in bold are included in the listings but are believed to be independent railroads (many are confirmed so).
The Track Segment series documents track segments as indicated in the CT1000 of 1945 in conjunction with the Employee Timetables of 1954. Where available, locations indicated may link to a corresponding On Location series article for more detailed information.
The On Location series takes a deep dive into a Pennsylvania Railroad location as indicated within the CT1000 - List of Stations and Sidings.
The Interchange series contains articles about railroads that interchanged with the Pennsy, including fleet statistics and paint schemes with era-appropriateness guidance.
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