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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Over the years, many lettering "schemes" have graced the sides of the Pennsy's vast fleet of rolling stock used in freight revenue service. This is a brief summary of an article by Brady McGuire which originally appeared in the Summer 1988 (Vol.21 No.2) issue of The Keystone, published by the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society. I highly recommend referring to the original text which contained much more information, prototype photos as examples, and official painting and lettering diagrams.
For modeling purposes, please remember that a particular scheme could be seen well after the period indicated below for the scheme. The period indicated represents what scheme would be applied to a car if painted during the period in question. But many cars, especially gondolas, were rarely repainted. For instance, a Circle Keystone gondola might be seen well into the 1960s...or even today!
Lettering banners and slogans were periodic modifications to lettering schemes which were not tied to a specific scheme but rather to a type of service or concept. For example, "Merchandise Service" or "Buy War Bonds".
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By Ed Spodobalski
[This article is presented in its entirety as it appeared in the December 1978 issue of Rails Northeast. No attempt is being made to present it here as original work. We have no means of contacting the original author, though the original publisher has indicated no offense in republication. We hope that the author would approve of its republication here and we are prepared to remove it if requested to do so. Also note that the content of the article is one of reporting simple facts as determined from actual PRR publications and it does not contain conjecture or personal opinion on the part of the author. Therefore, any researcher could arrive at the same data fairly readily.]
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The information presented following was cumulated from the January 1955 edition of the ORER (Official Railroad Equipment Register). The data pages for the Pennsylvania Railroad indicate that the data is current as of October 1, 1954.
Subclasses are tallied separately, with the exception of H21a, H21b, and H21e hopper cars which which were listed in different combinations, but combined here as "H21a & variants".
The list only takes into account equipment available for interchange, so does not include miscellaneous and maintenance of way equipment.
The referenced HO scale models are listed based on how the cars are lettered... not what they best represent. Some cars show comments as to their appropriateness, while cars that have not been evaluated are followed by a "(?)". "(OOB)" indicates that the manufacturer is out of business.
My compilation shows a total fleet of 183,689 cars available for interchange, broken out by Box, Gondola, Stock, Coke, Hopper, and Flat car types.
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The paint scheme on the Pennsy's passenger diesels changed over time. Bob Johnson, Chairman of the PRRT&HS Archive Committee, provided the following summary from documents found within the archives of the PRRT&HS:
Before 8-11-1952 - Dark Green with Gold Leaf lettering and striping. Five stripes. (photo above)
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The first all-metal door to gain general acceptance was launched in 1910 by the Chicago Railway Equipment Corporation (Creco), a major supplier of other accoutrements to car builders. Creco three-panel steel doors were used on Pennsylvania Railroad’s X23 boxcars built in 1912 but acceptance of Creco doors remained limited. Things changed in 1923 when the three-panel bottom-supported Creco doors was applied to many PRR X29 boxcars. Variations of the Creco door continued in use into the 1940s.
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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).
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Gregg Mahlkov writes "Fresh fruits and vegetables went to two types of consignees. The largest portion, by 1954, would have gone to grocery store chain warehouses, like Acme Markets of Philadelphia. The remainder would have gone to the "Pennsylvania Produce Terminals" in the larger cities, where it was sold by brokers who maintained offices and leased trackage in the terminal and sold to restaurants and independent grocery stores."
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|Interpretation of Truck Classification|
|First||Number of axles per truck|
|Second||A.A.R. Class letter for journal dia. only (see below)|
|Third||Dash-for standard A.A.R. axle
number-for numerical deviation from A.A.R. standard
|Fourth||Service of truck. F=Freight, P=Passenger, T=Tender|
|Fifth||Consecutive design of truck for class|
|Sixth||Modification to truck design|
|Journal size (in.)||3-3/4x7||4-1/4x8||5x9||5-1/2x10||6x11||6-1/2x12|
|Capy. per axle||15000||24000||32000||40000||50000||60000|
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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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