S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Pennsylvania Railroad Continuation Page 1 keywords = Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR railroad Horseshoe Muleshoe Curve Altoona Juniata Gallitzin Allegheny Alleghany Allegrippus Tunnelhill 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 Cary Stromberg"> ">

Updated:   20 Aug 2016; 17:00 ET
(missing images restored 04 Sep 2003)
[Page Created 16 Jul 2000; converted 01 Nov 2011;
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/prr1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/prr1.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 2, 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 the PRR Continuation Page 0:

THE SOUTH PENN RR (moved from this page 04 Feb 04)
BNSF Red Rock Sub in OK/TX (moved from this page to Cont. page 1 and then to Cont. page 0 on 04 Feb 04)
"Main Line" (moved from Cont. page 1 to Cont. page 0 on 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 this PRR Continuation Page 1:

PRR Marker Lights (moved from main PRR page 16 Jul 00)
Penn Roman Type Font (continued on PRR page 3)   rev (20 Aug 2016)
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.
Penn Roman Type Font (continued from PRR Continuation page 1)   ListingAdded (20 Aug 2016)

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,

BW 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

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.

Jack's narrows - One of the most dramatic areas for photography along the Pennsy Main is where the RoW, following the Juniata River upstream towards the crest of the Alleghenies (at Tunnel Hill), cuts northwesterly through Jack's Mountain in central Pennsylvania; it's supposed to be at Mapleton, but there ain't no such place.  There is a Mapleton Depot, which is close enough, on State Road 665 about 3 miles south of Mill Creek at U.S. 22, roughly half way between Mt. Union and Huntingdon, some 20 road miles east of Altoona.

Hey, you Pennsy juice-jackers, think you know all about PRR pan practice, eh?  Have a look at my Electric Boxcabs page, at the upper "Big Liz" (FF1) photo and then the GN-Y1-cum-PRR-FF2 which follows!

The "Main Line" (moved to PRR Cont. page 0 on 04 Feb 2004)

BNSF Red Rock Sub in OK/TX (moved to PRR Cont. page 0 on 04 Feb 2004)



In the period just before WWI and through WWII, PRR steam locomotives and tenders carried marker and classification lights that were unique; large metal globes (spheres) with four lens positions at each quadrant, a tab to rotate them and lock them in position at 90° increments, and a heavy clawfoot base for mounting.  They carried red, clear (white), green, and (or) blue lenses and were placed on the ends of the pilot beam, on the outer rear corners of the tender deck, and on the smokebox on angled brackets.

Here's a rough diagram showing where the lights were placed (NOT which lens was which!)

PRR Marker Lights
(Diagram by and © 2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved. (image restored 20 Aug 2016) ]

This should be the definitive information but I am always open to discussion on the matter; please bear in mind that the whole point of the clawfoot marker was that the ball could be rotated to change the aspect by lifting a small lever out of a detent, turning the lever and ball, and dropping the lever into the appropriate detent.

From The PRRT&HS Information Exchange Forum (now the Discussion Web):

Re: Marker lights

From: Jim Anderson (sny114@aol.com)
Category: General Questions
Date: 9/3/99
Time: 5:34:56 PM

Comments {emphases mine}

According to a 1910 PRR Book of Rules I have, at that time locos had a set of marker lights on the pilot beam; these displayed red to the front and green to the sides and rear.  There would also be a set of markers on the tender, lit if the engine was at the rear of the train pushing, running light, or running in reverse.  These also showed red to the rear, green to the sides.  By 1925, in a PRR Book of Rules, the green lights on the markers were replaced by yellow ones.  Otherwise, the rules were the same into the 50's, I believe.  There was often another set of colored lights, mounted on the loco's smokebox.  These were classification lights, indicating the train's class.  During the day, flags were used, at night the lights were used.  White flags or lights indicated an "extra", a train not listed on the schedule.  Green indicated that this was a scheduled train that had gotten so long that it had been broken into "sections", and that there was another section following this train.  The last section of the scheduled train would not display any special signals.  Starting in the 1930's, I believe, the PRR started removing the marker lights from the pilot beam of the locomotives.  Blue lights or flags (placed at both ends) indicated that workmen were working under or around the rolling stock in question (including locos) and the equipment was not to be moved or coupled to.  The blue signals were placed by the workmen doing the work, and no one but those same workmen could remove the signals.

While at the RR Museum of PA on 27 Jun 01, I made a careful survey of the marker/classification lights on the Pennsy steam locomotives on display; they were hardly consistent.  Here's what I found:

PRR Marker Lamp Lenses:
	H6	Pilot		Front		Red
	2-8-0			Outer		Amber
	#2846			Inner		(blank)
				Rear		(blank)

		Tender		Rear		Amber
				Outer		Red
				Inner		(blank)
				Front		(blank)

	GS5	Pilot		Front		Red
	4-6-0			Outer		Amber
	#5741			Inner		(blank)
				Rear		(blank)

		Smokebox	Front		White
				Outer		Green@
				Inner		White
				Rear		White

		Tender		Rear		Red
				Outer		Amber
				Inner		(blank)
				Front		(blank)

	D6sb	Pilot		Front		Red
	4-4-0			Outer		Amber
	#1223			Inner		(blank)
				Rear		(blank)

		Smokebox	Front		White
				Outer		White
				Inner		Green@
				Rear		Green@

		Tender		Rear		Amber
				Outer		Amber
				Inner		(blank)
				Front		(blank)
@ - Did I miss something here?  I could swear there are (or were) some blue lenses!

Now, there are many other Pennsy steamers there, but they are older or newer and don't carry the clawfoot marker lamps.

LIRR engine #35, having been modernized, only has two marker lamps for the tender deck and they each have an amber and a red lens and two blanks.

Last changed: 12 Jan 2003 (Put up 23 Apr 2000)

PRR BIBLIOGRAPHY - The bibliography, as expanded, overloaded this page and has been moved to a new PRR Bibliography Page.


No one seems to be able to find a master copy of Penn Roman, the unique type font the Pennsy had created for them*; it has been thought to be regular Railroad Roman or even Claw Clarendon but, to the best of my knowledge and belief, that is simply NOT the case.  Just about everything "The Standard Railroad of the World" did was unique to them and that extended to their trade-style lettering, as well.  My brother-in-law had a draftsman who was re-creating Penn Roman as a Tru-Type font but he has long since evaporated and his font set with him.  Even appeals on the PRRT&HS Discussion Forum have failed to elicit any response.  Well, rummaging through 30 to 40 year old model RR stuff, I ran across a whole stash of ancient Champ Decals in various sizes and fonts; here is my largest Penn Roman set:  L-22 Penn Roman, black, 3/16" ALPHABET & NUMERAL SET (at a whole whopping 45¢ for two sheets!).  I did NOT compare it to RR Roman or Claw Clarendon but I DID scan it in and post it here for your inspection:   rev (20 Aug 2016)

PRR Penn Roman Font (Image from Champ Decals set L-22 - NOT for commercial use - all rights reserved)
"Reproduction of this decal in any form prohibited for commercial purposes."
[NOT to any scale nor the size of the original Champ decal
(image restored 20 Aug 2016) ]

To the best of my recollection, Champ used the correct face.  However, Dave Stephenson wrote to the PRRT&HS on 28 Sep 02 that he "would like to comment about the lettering used on the Champ decal set presented as an example".  As far as he can see, "the type face is incorrect, both for letters and particularly for numbers.  It looks like a form of Extended RR Roman.  PRR's style was more of a block form, based on comparisons with several photos of steam diesel and electric locomotives from 1920 through the 1950's.  The numbers are completely incorrect, lacking the characteristic 'notch' at each of the corners and having rounded vertical lines rather than straight vertical lines PRR used."  Dave "did a letter by letter comparison of PENNSYLVANIA, and only the N and V were close.  All other letters were significantly different.  Further, the 'serifs' at the top and bottom of the letters are incorrect.  PRR's were longer than those found on the Champ set.  What PRR's style is called", Dave still didn't know, "but the Champ example is not an accurate reproduction."

"However, there are other decal sets that did manage to get it right."  Dave went through this comparison some years ago when he "tried to find decals for a K4 and Q2 in HO scale.  IMO, Microscale RH21 came very close for both letters and numbers for the dulux gold color (Q2).  Champ's BRH-9 set was equally as good for the metallic gold 1930's steam era (K4).  Champ's EH-798P set also seemed pretty good for the 5-stripe diesel scheme.  In all three of these sets, the numbers have the right proportions and 'notches' and the letters appear correct.

* - but see the further explanation at on PRR page 3.


The HIPPO Boiler Question, on main page.

See also BNSF Red Rock Sub, above.

Ca. Fall 1941, my dad took me on the Pennsy down to Washington, DC, from NY's Penn Station (we flew back in a DC-2); I specifically remember balancing almost the entire trip on a circular stainless steel diamond-plate disc in the floor between two open halves of an articulated (double-length) dining car with a full-width diaphragm between the halves, so that there was no restriction of passage between them.  Does anybody know what car (set) that was?  This was not some rig across end vestibules; the inner ends of both cars were open full width to outside diaphragms and this disc turned with the cars, half-way for each, on the curves and I loved it!  That may not be much to go on but I am absolutely sure of this memory; as a budding mechanical engineer, this was akin to me to an eighth wonder of the world (and I'd just been to the Fair).  Anything solid will be posted to the PRRH&TS Discussion Forum and here:

On 31 May 02, "Bill <diesell48@aol.com>" responded on the PRRT&HS Discussion Forum that "P did have several diner dorm sets that ran in pairs and were joined by a full width diaphragm.  They also had wide doors on the ends that coupled to each other.  The ones I am familiar with had a full dining car in one of the units, and a kitchen/pantry/dorm in the other car.  I recall reading somewhere that P did this because there was insufficient space in dining cars on their 'name' trains.  Everybody wanted to eat in the diner at meal times (not surprising!) and the standard diners which were half aisleway and kitchen just could not handle the flow.  - - -  These combos ran on the Broadway in the 1950s ... that I know.  I have a couple of brass models of these diner dorm combos.  Kind of a neat idea.  And the mid-train lounges, which were NOT part of the 'set' often were hooked up to these cars.  Perhaps it was a nice 'waiting room' before your meal."  That's just what I wanted; thanks, Bill!

Here's a weird one for you:

Odd PRR Car at Enola
(Image by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

I spotted this ~30' car in Sep 93 at Enola but it was too far away (on a cabin car track over on the southeast end of the yard) to read the lettering and I didn't have a camera (fool that I was) or a telescope with me; it was gone when I returned.  I figure it must have been a scale test car (if a very BIG one).  Does anyone know for sure?

I put this question up on the PRRT&HS Discussion Forum on 16 Nov 99 and on the very same day E. B. Levin responded:

"The scale car in question is a 'Monitor' type scale test car.  They were numbered somewhere in the CR 80000-80095 series.  I believe the cars were purchased by Conrail new from Maxon Corp. and we might have built a few more at Sam Rea in the early 80's.  The car is equipped with a self contained hydraulic jacking system that locks the trucks to the carbody and then raises the carbody on four posts to calibrate the scale.  The car is also capable of positioning itself over the proper spot on the scale for calibration."

Here's another weird (but wonderful) one for you,

actually a pair of them:

PRR #3341/3362
(Both photos by and © 1999 S. Berliner, III)

I spotted these Pennsy engines heading down and up the hill on the Curve on 26 Aug 99 at mid-day.  Both are labelled PRR under their numbers (which I love) but the 3341 has white numbers and "PRR" on a black rectangle, while the 3362 has the reverse, black numbers and "PRR" on a white rectangle.

One of the honchos who runs the PRRT&HS Discussion Forum (formerly known as the Discussion Web and the Information Exchange Forum) advises (18 Jul 2000) that Conrail engines which went to the NS have been renumbered to a PRR series; this was done for a number of reasons, one of which was to keep like-numbered Conrail units from being mixed with like-number NS units.  The black and white or white and black stencils with PRR are now NS power.  CSX power has gold/yellow stencils.

[My appreciation to those who had already sent me similar info.;
there were conflicting stories and I needed verification.]

Here's yet another weird one for you:

LMS 726 at HSC
(Blurry photo by and © 1999 S. Berliner, III)

I spotted this engine in a string of helpers heading up the hill from Altoona to Cresson on 26 Aug 99 at mid-day.  Will someone please let me know what "LMS" stands for?  It sure as hell ain't the London Midland Southern!

   On 08 Mar 00, Jason Charron, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada advised that

"LMS" stands for "Locomotive Management Systems"
  and it is a partnership of General Electric and Conrail.  Thank you, Jason!

A correspondent asks about a black oiler in the merchant marine ca. 1919 on the "Grecian" (NY/San Juan) who painted a picture of the ship (and which the correspondent still has) and who then became a Red Cap for either the Penn Central or NY Central RR and was known as " the Painting Red Cap".  He apparently had a one man art show either in Philadelphia (at John Wanamaker's?) or NYC in the late 30's or early 40's.  Does anyone have any more information on this gentleman?

Another correspondent, named Salpino, asks, understandably, how the Salpino Curve just east of Tunnel Hill got its name (oops - I forgot to post the reply) - Oscar Salpino rose to General Foreman on Giulio Brandimarte's retirement in 1947; both men were immigrants who became PRR track workers who rose from the ranks (a particularly hard task, especially for immigrants, in those days) and each curve was named for these outstanding exponents of the American dream.  Salpino retired in 1969 but stayed on as caretaker of the Horseshoe Curve park until his death in 1988.

[Info. supplemented from Dan Cupper's "Horseshoe Heritage".]

John C. Wenrich - Artist - John C. Wenrich, 1894-1970, was a Rochester, NY, artist who did some incredible PRR pieces which turned up in England; the owner would like more information about both the artist and the pieces; they are shown on PRR page 5.   new (22 Mar 2014)

The Pennsy called itself "The Standard Railroad of the World"; perhaps they carried things to the extreme!  Ron Ziel notes in his book, "American Locomotives in Historic Photographs - 1858 to 1949" (Dover Publications, NY, 1993), that the PRR required Baldwin to replace its standard circular builder's plates with oval ones that matched the Juniata Shop's plate [ref. - Plate 63, PRR #9710 2-8-0; ditto Plates 57 (PRR #5400 4-6-2) and 97 (PRR #6775 4-8-2)].  In all these years, I'd never noticed that little detail!

More to follow.

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 2, et seq.

U.S.Flag U.S.Flag


THUMBS UP!  -  Support your local police, fire, and emergency personnel!

S. Berliner, III

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.

U.S.Flag U.S.Flag


THUMBS UP!  -  Support your local police, fire, and emergency personnel!

Contact S. Berliner, III

(Junk and unsigned e-mail and blind telephone messages will NOT be answered)

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2011, 2014, 2016  - all rights reserved.

Return to Top of Page