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.

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The Pennsylvania Railroad had operated a specially designed car constructed on a flat car. It's purpose was to accurately measure the distance above and/or adjacent to the tracks of bridges, tunnels, stations and rock cuts, etc.

The demaind for increased speed to shorten travel time in both present day industry and the business world has caused the railroad to provide more clearance for movement of equipment. The trend to larger equipment such as locomotives, passenger & freight cars and larger loads in open top cars has made the gathering of clearance information an area of growing importance. The Pennsylvania has spent millions of dollars to increase clerances for handling traffic. In the 1950s alone, the Panhandle Division tunnel project between Pittsburgh, Pa., and Dennision, Oh., cost over $8 million.

I've visited the following Pennsylvania Railroad model railroads and consider them to have a high degree of fidelity to the prototype. They are not freelance, protolance, etc., but depict specific locales on the Pennsy based on historic documentation.



The Alco PA1 is considered one of the most attractive passenger locomotives ever built.

Alco FA1 / FB1, Class AF15

Classified as AF15 on the Pennsy.

Road Numbers Delivery HO Scale Models
9600B-9603B (even)

Precision Craft Models (9600A, 9600B, 9601A, 9601B)

Life Like Proto 20001 (960A, 9603B)

9604B-9607B (even)
3-4/50 Life Like Proto 2000 (9605B)
1 Model lacks Trainphone per prototype.


PRR GP7 8553 1

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.

Road numbers in bold are in my personal collection (or are on order).

EMD GP-7 vs. GP-9

  GP-7 GP-9
Build Dates October 1949
- May 1954
January 1954
- December 1959
Horsepower 1500 1750
Louvers at Rear of Car Body 2 Full Rows 1 Single Louver
Louvers on Battery Box 3 Single Louvers 1 Louver


prr9456 mp

FM ERIE-A / B, Class FF20 / FP20 / FP20a

Road Numbers Qty Delivery HO Scale Models
9456B-9470B (even)
9472B-9476B (even)
6-7/48 Life Like Proto 10001 (9472A, 9472B, 9473A, 9478A)


9/48 Life Like Proto 10001 (9478A)
9480A-9491A 12A 9-12/48 Life Like Proto 10001 (9487A)
1 Model lacks Trainphone per prototype.


FM CFA / CFB 16-4, Class FF16

Road Numbers Qty Delivery HO Scale Models
9448B-9454B (even)
9492B-9498B (even)

9-11/50 Life Like Proto 1000 (9448A, 9448B, 9450A, 9452A, 9493A)