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.
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Nope, no Pennsy content here! I've always been a closet Auto Train fan, ever since it was first featured in Model Railroader in December 1972 and January 1973. I had the privilege of riding the train later in 1973.
Auto-Train Corporation (reporting mark AUT) was a privately owned railroad which used its own rolling stock, and traveled on rails leased from major railroads along the route of its trains, serving central Florida from points in the Mid-Atlantic region near Washington, DC, and the Midwest near Louisville, Kentucky, during the 1970s. Despite the popularity of the service on its primary route, which parallels busy Interstate 95 along much of the eastern coast of the United States in five states, the company failed financially after operating for almost 10 years. After a hiatus, a similarly named and operated service (Auto Train) was begun under the government-financed Amtrak in 1983, which became one of the railroad's most popular services.
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The Pennsy was known to operate on its rails locomotives which it did not own. These inclued railroad test units, builder test units, demonstrators, and leased units.
Railroad Test Units
July and August, 1924: The PRR borrowed a 37-ton GE gas-electic at the piers in New York City.
1937: The PRR borrowed an EMC 600 hp switcher for potential use at the General Motors plant in Linden, New Jersey. The Pennsy purchased the unit afterwards -- Class ES6 #5911.
1947: The Pennsy tested an F-M H20-44 as a potential helper west of Altoona. They eventually went with EMD F3's for this purpose, in an A-B-A configuration.
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Alco RS-1, Class AS10s / AS10am / AS10ams / AS10as
The ALCO RS-1 was a 4-axle road switcher diesel-electric locomotive built by Alco-GE between 1941 and 1953 and the American Locomotive Company from 1953 to 1960. The Montreal Locomotive Works built three RS-1s in 1954. This model has the distinction of having the longest production run of any diesel locomotive for the North American market. The RS-1 was in production for 19 years from the first unit Rock Island #748 in March 1941 to the last unit National of Mexico #5663 in March 1960.
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Over the years, I have had the opportunity to operate on many fine model railroads, including...
- Chris Adams' New York, New Haven & Hartford
- Bill Blackburn's Pennsylvania Railroad, Great Valley Division
- Jim Clay's Pennsylvania Railroad, Cumberland Valley Branch (deceased)
- 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 (deceased)
- 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
- Bob Zeolla's Conrail Conemaugh Line
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FM ERIE-A / B, Class FF20 / FP20 / FP20a
The Erie-built was the first streamlined, cab-equipped dual service diesel locomotive built by Fairbanks-Morse, introduced as direct competition to such models as the ALCO PA and EMD E-unit. As F-M lacked the space to manufacture the units in their own plant, the work was subcontracted out to General Electric, which produced the locomotives at its Erie, Pennsylvania, facility, thereby giving rise to the name "Erie-built."
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GE U25B, Class GF25
The GE U25B was General Electric's first independent entry into the United States domestic road switcher diesel-electric locomotive railroad market for heavy production road locomotives since 1936. From 1940 through 1953, GE participated in a design, production, and marketing consortium (Alco-GE) for diesel-electric locomotives with the American Locomotive Company. In 1956 the GE Universal Series of diesel locomotives was founded for the export market. The U25B was the first attempt at the domestic market since its termination of the consortium agreement with Alco.
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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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I consider the following Pennsylvania Railroad model railroads 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 with a minimum of "modeler's license."
Those in bold I have had the opportunity to operate on. Those in italics are on my "bucket list" to visit.
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Broadway Limited Imports has been a champion in providing HO scale modelers with a breadth of fine steam locomotives. Herein is a listing of classes and road numbers released to date (may not be complete).
Road numbers in bold are in my personal collection (or on order).
Class H10s, 2-8-0 Consolidation
8014, 8022, 8259, 8304, 8421, 9422, 9915
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‘Two of the greatest post-war symbols of democracy in action’ in Harrisburg in 1947
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The Pennsylvania Railroad invested in diesel locomotives from all major manufacturers until EMD finally "won out" in the first generation diesel wars.
What follows is a timeline of diesel locomotive purchases by brand.
Models in bold are represented in the author's collection.
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