S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Pennsylvania Railroad Continuation Page 0 keywords = Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR railroad Horseshoe Muleshoe Curve Altoona Juniata Gallitzin Allegheny Alleghany Allegrippus Tunnel Hill Cresson Sang Hollow Lilly Hollidaysburg Duncansville Glenwhite Kittaning Burgoon Sugar Run Blair Gap Bennington New Portage Main Line Public Works Utilities model train Z HO scale track Berlinerwerke

Updated:   01 Nov 2011; 08:30 ET
(missing images restored 04 Sep 2003)
[Page created 04 Feb 2004; converted 01 Nov 2011;
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/prr0.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/prr0.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Pennsylvania Railroad Page




"The Standard Railroad of the World"

PRR Keystone

NOTE:  07 Apr 99 - I gave up!  I had avoided a Pennsy page as long as I could but there comes a time when some things just can't be avoided.

Because of former page size limitations, this page is now continued on PRR Continuation Pages 1, et seq.

This is more of an INDEX page than anything else, although I may well add tidbits for Pennsy fans here and there.

NOTE:  HTML limited my pages to 30kB!  Thus, I was forced to add separate pages to fit the lengthy stories of the prototype and HO (1:87.1) Horseshoe Curve and Berlinerwerke; the Berlinerwerke-Z (Z-Scale - 1:220) story is on its own page.


On the main PRR Page:

The Infamous G½ (half GG1)
PRR Paint Color Codes (moved to PRR page 2 on12 Jan 03)
The HIPPO Boiler Question
The Only B4a Still Steaming (the only B4a at all?)
PRR Modeling (including Penn Line and Cary) {moved to Page 0 on 25 Nov 04}
PRR Links*
and just scroll away! On this PRR Continuation Page 0:
THE SOUTH PENN RR (moved from main PRR page 04 Feb 04)
BNSF Red Rock Sub in OK/TX (moved from main PRR page to Cont. page 1 and then here 04 Feb 04)
"Main Line" (moved from main PRR page and then here 04 Feb 04)
More on B4a #643.
PRR Modeling (including Penn Line and Cary) {moved from main page on 25 Nov 04}.
Odd AF15½ (FA-1½) 5772 Tuscan Shell.

On the PRR Continuation Page 1:

PRR Marker Lights (moved from main PRR page 16 Jul 00)
Penn Roman Type Font
PRR Help and "Whatsis"

On PRR Continuation Page 2 page:

PRR Bibliography
PRR Semantics
PRR Paint Color Codes (moved from PRR main page on12 Jan 03)

On PRR Continuation Page 3 page:

PRR Class I1sa Decapod #4483, with
  Class 90F82 short-haul 8-wheel tender #4485 and
    Class 210F75A long-haul 16-wheel tender.
  {moved from main PRR page on 03 Feb 2003}
PRR Class I1sa Decapod Backhead Details.
Northumberland Yard Photos.

On PRR Continuation Page 4:

    Cary Locomotive Works (cont'd).
        Bowser Manufacturing, Incorporated.

On PRR Continuation Page 5:

    Pennsy Pantographs
    Charlie Crofutt and #944

On the PRR Bibliography Page:

    Motive Power
        Staufer's "Pennsy Power" series
        Also on Motive Power
        Also, on specific classes of locomotives
    Overall History
    The Books of the two "Dons" (Ball and Wood)
    Horseshoe Curve
    Other Books Recommended

On the PRR Track Charts:

    Allegheny Div. - New Florence/Johnstown (MP 291) to
        Duncannon (near Harrisburg, MP 113) - 2 pages.

On the Horseshoe Curve page:

Prototype Horseshoe Curve Story
Berlinerwerke (HO) Saga

On the Continuation Page 1:

Dimensions of the Horseshoe Curve - with HO (1:87.1) Scale Equivalents -
    a mile-by-mile and even foot-by-foot guide to the Curve.

On the Continuation Page 2:


On the Continuation Page 3:

Dimensions of the Horseshoe Curve in N (1:160) and Z (1:220) Scales -
    also mile-by-mile and even foot-by-foot.

On the other RR pages:

S. Berliner, III's Railroad Page
S. Berliner, III's Model Railroad Page
S. Berliner, III's Model Railroad Continuation Page
S. Berliner, III's Z-Scale (1:220) Model Railroad Page,

PRR Keystone

For modelers, the BERLINERWERKE (HO) Story, the story of the HO pike and Horsehoe Curve.
The full prototype Horseshoe Curve story will appear shortly.
The Z-scale Berlinerwerke-Z Saga is on a separate page.

My own LIRR pages may be of interest, as well (the Pennsy owned the LIRR from 1904 to 1966, having bought it out to gain access to Sunnyside Yard for Pennsylvania Station, and see also the Steinway System).

LIRR Keystone

LIRR CLass MP41 All-Steel Motorized Electric Passenger Car (1905) Page,
    with 1906 text, dimensioned drawings, and photgraphs.   new.gif (08 Feb 2014)

Visit these courtesy and official home pages:

Long Island Rail Road Historical Society

Long Island Sunrise - Trail Chapter (National Railway Historical Society)

Sunrise Trail Division (Northeastern Region, National Model Railroad Association)

* - If you are a Pennsy fan (how can anyone NOT be?), there are endless sites to surf, some of which are listed at PRR Links; however, for me, the première site must always be that of the

Pennsylvania Railroad
Technical & Historical Society

The PRRT&HS Philadelphia Chapter runs a fantastic PRR Discussion Forum.

[Fans of Pennsy relative NYNH&HRR will be pleased to hear that the New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association, Inc. (NHRHTA) now has "THE NHRHTA NEW HAVEN RAILROAD FORUM"

(their site is wholly framed, meaning no separate direct URL, so you must go to the right-hand frame
  and click on the link down near the bottom of the frame) .]

One site that really got me, however, is Rob Schoenberg's, on which he has a PRR station sign maker, which allows you to assemble a Pennsy-style station sign in color, letter by letter.  I'm trying to go Rob one better by adding a space, a hyphen, and an apostrophe.  He has since superimposed a keystone outline (ya gotta have a keystone to make it a REAL make-believe Pennsy station sign!).

Rob also has on his site most of the PRR Equipment Diagrams!  These are detailed below under PRR Links.

Also, for Pennsy fans with good imaginations (or strong stomachs), ya gotta see my Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page and its continuation page 2!

The rest of the links are at PRR Links.

The Prototype HORSESHOE CURVE Story

On 18 Oct 97, I saw a film of the Sat./Sun. 12-13 September 1970 runs of the High Iron Company's Nickel Plate Berkshire 2-8-4 #759 running up the Curve and back, unassisted, with 15 heavyweight passenger cars at speed!  Wow!  I was there, but time dims even the keenest memories.  Wow, again!  It WAS 15 cars, I counted them; NOT 17 or 18 as I remembered.

I've finally added the Continuation Page 1, with Dimensions of the Horseshoe Curve, a mile-by-mile and even foot-by-foot guide to the Curve with actual (1:1) and HO scale (1:87.1) dimensions, and now Dimensions of the Horseshoe Curve in N (1:160) and Z (1:220) Scales to my Horseshoe Curve Continuation Page 3.

Also, on the Continuation Page 2, you'll now find an UPDATE of the BERLINERWERKE (HO) Saga.

These old shots, ca. 1955, from a retired PRR engineer, were sent to me by Jim Muhr, and show fitting a driver tire in the Camden shop and taking water at a track pan along the Juniata River on the PRR Middle Division at what must to be the Hawstone pump/heater house (near Lewistown - see page 135 in Don Wood's "I Remember Pennsy") with a loco approaching in the dark distance and a pair of M1s, one going in each direction.  The latter two pictures are so dark as to be almost unreadable, so I artificially lightened them, thus all but wiping out the mountains in the background:




(photos courtesy of J. Muhr - all rights reserved)


(moved from the Horseshoe Curve pages to the main PRR page and then here on 04 Feb 04)

The right-of-way of part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was the right-of-way of the still-born South Penn Railroad (abandoned 1885), and Mike Natale, who runs THE TOLL ROAD MAP MASTER LIST, also has a page on the abandoned highway and tunnels of the old route, with great color photos.

For far more extensive coverage of the old South Penn, see Russ Love's South Pennsylvania Rail Road site.

[New URL as of 12 Oct 2004, with maps of the Right of Way (AND no more ads!).]

The old South Penn RR was originally thought to be the through route from Philadelphia across the Allegheny wilderness to Pittsburgh and Chicago, but it never quite seemed to get built.  In 1883, William H(enry). Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, and other parties tried again; they were going to connect with the Reading (heavily influenced by Vanderbilt) at Harrisburg and continue on to the P&LE and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, with a tie-in to the West Shore line across the Hudson from New York City.  Work continued apace, including nine Alleghany tunnels, three of which were almost a mile long each, until threatened bankruptcy of the connecting railroads and other problems (depression, etc.) brought work to a screeching halt.  Court fights gave the West Shore to the NYC and the South Penn to the PRR; the Pennsy let the South Penn go stagnant for some 50 years until January 1935 when William Sutherland, General Manager of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, joked to Clifford Patterson, a Washington County legislator that the South Penn right-of-way would make a dandy toll road to help truckers beat the Pennsy.  The idea took hold and on 23 April 1935, Patterson introduced a bill to appoint a commission to look into the idea and, as they say, "the rest is history".  In 1937, Patterson introduced another bill which authorized the Turnpike and it was signed into law on 21 May 1937.  Work commenced on 28 October 1938 and paving was completed on 29 June 1940.  So much for the South Penn Rail Road!

Ref.:  "Pennsylvania Transportation", George Swetnam, Pennsylvania History Studies: No. 7, The Pennsylvania Historical Association, Gettysburg, 1964/68. Russ Love sent around this glorious photo of the South Penn right-of-way alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike (visible through the trees at left), looking downgrade back towards New Baltimore or Bedford in Nov 2005:

(reduced from Nov 2005 photo courtesy of R. Love - all rights reserved)
[Click on thumbnailed image for larger picture.]

This looks so much like an old RoW at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island that also never saw trackage.

The "Main Line"

{moved here from PRR Cont. page 1 on 04 Feb 2004}

It doesn't seem possible to me that I'd left this out, but I can't find it anywhere, so here goes (again?):

The term "Main Line" derives from the "Pennsylvania Main Line of Public Works and Utilities", that system of canals and inclined-plane and level railroads, started in 1826 (with an initial appropriation of $300,000 - that didn't get them very far), that first joined Philadephia to Pittsburgh back in 1829.  Running through some better neighborhoods in Philadelphia, it raised property values, not the opposite, and so became linked with "upper crust" society.  In 1831, authorization was given to build an "Allegheny Portage Railroad" to bypass the troublesome inclines; its opening in 1833 was effectively the death knell for the canals (hastened by the opening of the PRR in 1852).  Oddly enough, horses were still in use on some parts of the APR as late as 1850.  The "New Portage RR" was completed in 1855 to bypass all planes and canals and its RoW was used in part by the PRR, which emerged victorious, buying out the canal system for $7,500,000 in August 1857, followed by the PRR buying out most other Pennsylvania canals, and the canal system then faded away ingloriously ca. 1877, whereupon the PRR promptly raised its rates!

Ref.:  "The Pennsylvania Main Line Canal", Robert McCullough and Walter Leuba, The American Canal and Transportation Center, York, 1973.

BNSF Red Rock Sub in OK/TX

{moved here from PRR Cont. page 1 on 04 Feb 04}

Why is there a BNSF item here on a PRR page?  Because it is the partial story of how a bunch of water tanks on the Red Rock Subdivision of the now-BNSF from Oklahoma City (Norman) to Gainesville, Texas (and on to Ft. Worth) came to be named for towns on the PA Main Line, that's why!  Some became towns that still exist.

From my old National Geographic map, road maps, and atlases, here they are, starting halfway north from Ft. Worth (Marietta):  Overbrook, Ardmore, WynneWood, Paoli, and Wayne (not counting Gene Autry and a few other unrelated towns between Ardmore and WynneWood).  Note that all the "Main Line" towns are north of the Texas line in Oklahoma.

{I added Overbrook and capitalized the second "W" in WynneWood.}

Supposedly, a PRR civil engineer went out to the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe in 1887 and did the naming; I'd put up a request for more background on the PRRT&HS Discussion Web; I think this was covered here long ago but have lost my record of it.  I would swear there were more Main line towns out there but don't see any more on the maps.

Ref:  "ON LOCATION - Ardmore, Oklahoma", Dwane Stevens, July 2000, TRAINS, pp. 70-73,
    an article about the Red Rock sub that does NOT note the Main Line connection.

More on B4a #643

[See The Only B4a Still Steaming (the only B4a at all?) on the main PRR page.]

When I last visited Williams Grove, on Labor Day 2003 (01 Sep), #643 was stripped down; they are operating with a tiny Whitcomb diesel sporting #643's whistle (or one like it).  Seems that not having any public highway crossings, they are not covered by the NRA Boiler Code but, rather, by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's DoT, whose boiler inspection is more rigorous and she flunked!  Her backhead has some thin spots and her rating was dropped to 80#, which is enough for their minimal operation but NOT enough for the air brakes!  So, down she went and the smokebox was found to be a rusted disaster; it was almost rotted through where the spark arrestor screen support meets the smokebox barrel (just above where the the steam pipes enter the valve chambers) and those areas have been cut out.  They'll be rebuilt and a new backhead will be fabricated and fitted.

Here's what I saw as I walked in:

2003 Wms Grv PRR #643 3
(01 Sep 2003 photos by and © 2003, 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

2003 Wms Grv PRR #643 4

2003 Wms Grv PRR #643 4

2003 Wms Grv PRR #643 4

2003 Wms Grv PRR #643 4

2003 Wms Grv PRR #643 4
(01 Sep 2003 photos by and © 2003, 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The damage to the smokebox can be better seen on this blown-up detail from picture 8:

2003 Wms Grv PRR #643 x8
(Enlargement of 01 Sep 2003 photo by and © 2003, 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The Whitcomb at work:

2003 Wms Grv Switcher
(01 Sep 2003 photo by and © 2003, 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

PRR Modeling

(including Penn Line and Cary) {moved from main page on 25 Nov 04}

Looking something up on the PRR J1 and N1, I found my ca.-1970 catalog for Cary details and antimony-lead conversion boilers (no longer available) for (among others) Penn Line (now Bowser) and Mantua chassis.  The big "Hippo" boiler for the I1 Decapod 2-10-0, a monster boiler for the N1 Santa Fe 2-10-2, and a (relatively) small boiler for the K2 and K3 Pacific 4-6-2 predecessors of the famed K4s.  They were designed to fit, respectively, the following mechanisms:

Big "Hippo" boiler for the I1 Decapod 2-10-0 to convert Penn Line (Bowser) I1 Decapod, PL (B) K4 Pacific, PL (B) L1 Mikado, PL (B) H-9 Consoliddation (with frame extension) and Varney "Old Lady" Consolidation (with frame extension).

{This big boiler was also sometimes used to make a K5.}

Boiler for the N1 Santa Fe 2-10-2 to convert Penn Line (Bowser) I1 Decapod (no frame extension required).

Boiler for the K2 and K3 Pacific 4-6-2 to convert Penn Line (Bowser) K4 Pacific, Mantua Pacific, and (on special order) to convert the Mantua Mikado, PL (B) Mikado, and Varney Pacific or Mikado.

I completely forgot to note here that I picked up an unfinished, yet complete, Cary-and-Penn Line K2 kit ca. mid-2001 for a whopping $10!

Here, for comparison, are the Cary K2 (not K3, as previously stated) boiler and an ancient Penn Line K4 boiler:

Cary K2 vs PL K4
(21 Jan 02 photo by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - All rights reserved)

Perspective prevents your seeing that the K2 is 1/8" (3.2mm) shorter (from the boiler front to the cab) than the K4; note also the dramatically smaller Belpaire firebox and ashpan.

This same K2/K3 boiler could make a Mikado 2-8-2 out of a Consolidation 2-8-0 (with frame extension): Varney "Old Lady", or PL (B) H9.

Just for the record, it was Don Stromberg's Cary Locomotive Works of Cary, Illinois, which was sold out to Bowser ca. 1980-85.

Incidentally, just so you dedicated collectors and fellow nit-pickers know, here's what the Penn Line and Cary "builder's plates" and the equivalent area on a new Bowser G5 look like up close:

Penn Line K4 Bldrs Plt Cary K2 Bldrs Plt Bowser G5 Blders Plt area
(21 Jan 02 photos by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - All rights reserved)

Penn Line's "PL", Cary Locomotive Works's "CLW", and Bowser's "   " (no plate!).

Here, courtesy of Harry Quirk in Pennsylvania, is his Cary K3 on an old Bowser K4 chassis, backdated to 1913, "just before the K4" (23 Nov 04):

Cary K3 on Bowse rK4
(cropped and doctored from photo by © 2004 H. Quirk - All rights reserved)

[Wow; what acceleration!  That front truck is doing a wheelie!]

Harry got me off my duff and down to the cellar where I found the old cigar box in which I'd gotten the K2, labelled "L.I.R.R. (PENNSY) K-2" (not by me).  Since all LIRR K2 and K3 locos were worn-out PRR locos foisted off on the LIRR, that shouldn't make any difference.   Inside was the Cary boiler shown above, a strange chassis that sure as hell isn't a Penn Line or Bowser (perhaps a Mantua?), a lightweight, fabricated K2/3-style trailing truck in lieu of the heavy KW truck of the E6/K4/L1, and a Bowser low-side tender with Kiesel trucks instead of Dolphin trucks, as well as a "K-2" {sic} tearsheet from a Cary booklet.  The latter is reproduced herewith:

Cary K2 Sheet Obverse Cary K2 Sheet Reverse
(25 Nov 2004 scans by S. Berliner, III - All rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed images - click on pictures for larger images]

Note that there is no mention of swapping trailing or tender trucks, that, together with the detailing parts, such as electric headlight and generator, cross-compound air pumps, and a power reverse date the conversion to a very late K2, very near the end of its service life (quite appropriate for an LIRR loco, except for the KW trailing truck).

Some PRR modelers are also LIRR modelers and, for them, see my LIRR CLass MP41 All-Steel Motorized Electric Passenger Car (1905) Page, with 1906 text, dimensioned drawings, and photographs.   new.gif (08 Feb 2014)

Odd HO AF15½ (FA-1½) Tuscan Shell - here's an oddity; it's a well-detailed but unidentified Tuscan Red FA-1/AF-15 shell (possibly Model Power or Life-Like), five-striped and numbered for PRR #5772, but too long for an FA-1.  I picked it out of the junk box at the Model Power SHOP in Farmingdale, LI, NY.  It's more like an FA-2/AF16 but lacks the additional grille behind the air cleaner louvres; I show it here opposed to an also unidentifed UP FA-1 #1506A:

FA-1 vs. FA-1½ side

FA-1 vs. FA-1½ top
(28 Feb 2005 photos by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - All rights reserved)

That UP unit has the number 98801 and an illegible logo in a "C" cast on the bottom of its fuel tank; there is no ID of any kind on the Tuscan shell.  I initially thought that the long Tuscan shell could make a reasonable facsimile of an FA-2/AF16 simply by blanking off the last four louvre vanes, keeping the louvre length of the UP unit (left), but the proportion of louvre to grille is 'way off, so I tried blanking seven vanes and scribing in the regular grille lines and that looks fairly convincing (right):

FA-1-cum-2 4 vanes FA-1-cum-2 7 vanes
(28 Feb 2005 photos doctored by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - All rights reserved)

Of course, there never were any Tuscan AF15 or AF16 freighters, so the shell would have to be stripped and repainted DGLE.

For tall tales of the Berlinerwerke and its equipment and such (much of which is PRR or PRR-ish,
visit the
Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page, et seq.

BW Key

You will specially appreciate (or hate)
  the PRR Class Z6s Arctic 4-2-2,
  the PRR Class V Rocky 4-14-2,
  the PRR Genesis Engine (unlikely!), and
  the PRR Centipede Engine 4-D-D-4 (even more unlikely, but oh, 'tis true, 'tis true!).

Because of former page size limitations, this page is now continued on PRR Continuation Pages 1, et seq.

You may wish to visit the Railroad Page, et seq.

frstpage.gif = prevpage.gif nextpage.gif
of this series of Pennsylvania Railroad pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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