S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Pennsylvania Railroad Page 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; 16:40 ET
(missing images restored 04 Sep 2003)
[Page converted 15 Aug 2011
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/prr.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/prr.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 0, 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 this 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 the 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 PRR Classification and Description of Locomotives and Tenders page:

    September 1956 Classification and Description of Locomotives and Tenders - Form No. 109-L.   added (28 Jul 2014)

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.

PRR Alphabetical Index Page   new (13 Feb 2013)

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,
S. Berliner, III's Boxcab Page, et seq., including survivor boxcabs:   added (14 Mar 2014)
    S. Berliner, III's PRR Boxcabs Page, with:   added (14 Mar 2014)
        S. Berliner, III's PRR P5 Survivor Boxcab Page   added (14 Mar 2014)
        S. Berliner, III's PRR DD1 Survivor Boxcab Page   added (14 Mar 2014)
        S. Berliner, III's PRR B1 Survivor Boxcab Page   added (14 Mar 2014)

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)
(all new links)

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

LIRR Ping Pong car baggage racks available - click here.

* - If you are a Pennsy fan, there are endless sites to surf, some of which are listed below; 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.

(The PRRT&HS Discussion Forum was previously called the Discussion Web.

[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 down below (click here to jump down).

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.

On my Model Railroad page 4, I added a Railroad Grades chart, with the major Horseshoe Curve grades included.

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

If you think the huge Pennsy eight- and ten-coupled duplexes are big, they only ran around 25' - 27' rigid wheelbase; specifically:

Q1   4-6-4-4   26' 10"  (322")
S1   6-4-4-6   26'  6"  (318")
Q2   4-4-6-4   26'  4½" (316½")
T1   4-4-4-4   25'  4"  (304")
J1   2-10-4    24'  4"  (292")
I1   2-10-0    22'  8"  (272")
N2   2-10-2    22'  4"  (268")
N1   2-10-2    22'  2"  (266")
with the other long-legged PRR ten-coupled engines shown just for reference.  However, the UP's Union Pacific class 4-12-2 engines measured a whopping 30' 8" (368"), the longest rigid wheelbase ever!  See my ALCo page for more on the UP giants.

Pennsy and NYC fans, visit my/Dave Morrison's RAILROAD EAGLES page about the

Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal eagles.

Penn Station fans should see the write up about Lorraine Diehl's fantastic ode to "The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station" on my NRHS/LIST page.

Hoorah!  A new Penn Station (in NYC) has been authorized!  See my LIRR page.

Hoorah, INDEED!  I found out from the PRRT&HS Discussion Web that PRR Class P5 boxcab electric motor #4700 survives at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis!  I missed it when I was there; it is not mentioned on their site and I am trying to get more information for here and my boxcabs pages.  No streamlined P5a Modified units were saved.

The Infamous G½ (half GG1)

The PRR - yes, Virginia, there really was a half-GG1 running around!  Here she is, #4846, after having been wrecked, cut short (actually a wee bit more than in half), and fitted with a rear coupler and a diaphragm (with a rear light) to close the opening:

G½ #4846

Dig those craaaazy fish-eye bay windows!

An e-mail on 20 Apr 00 reminded me that this gem was reputedly used as a snow melter at one point in its truncated career!  Another on 21 Aug 03 advised that it was a snowplow, used at the Wilmington shops; the plow blade, which is very low and small, is hidden in the shadows under the "rear" of the engine as shown in the left photo, above.

O.K., I blew up the underbody detail and enhanced it; sure looks like a blower nozzle to me:

G½ #4846 plow

My, that loco looks a lot like one end of a streamlined electric Beyer-Garratt or Beyer-Peacock (if there were such a thing)!

For Garratt fans (if you don't know what a Garratt is, or what Beyer or Peacock mean, you REALLY must look up this link), see Gavin Hamilton's inclusive "A Complete list of all Garratt Locomotives" site.

PRR Paint Color Codes

The official PRR paint color codes, with Du Pont automotive finish line numbers, which can be mixed by any auto paint jobber, have been moved to PRR page 2.

As a corollary to paint, these abbreviations are good to know:

NK = Non-Keystone
CK = Circle Keystone
SK = Shadow Keystone
PK = Plain Keystone

The HIPPO Boiler

As noted on my Horseshoe Curve continuation page, the two so-called "hippo-boilered" K5 class Pacifics had the "hippo" boiler from the I1 class Decapod, not the one from the K4 class Pacific - except for one little detail!  The PRR Steam Locomotive Diagrams (as reprinted by Alvin F. Stauffer) clearly show an 89" (7' 5") boiler diameter for the K4 class Pacifics (and the L1 class Mikados, which shared it) vs. a 93" (7' 9") hippo boiler on the I1 class Decapods BUT only an 89" boiler on K5 #5698 and #5699!  What gives here?

I contacted the PRRT&HS and Bill Kiesel, IV (grandson of the great PRR designer), to little avail; does anyone have the straight poop here?

- - - * - - -

PRR Class I1sa Decapod #4483,
    (and Class 90F82 short-haul 8-wheel tender #4485
and Class 210F75A 16-wheel tender)

Speaking of Hippos, how many but the most dedicated Pennsy steam fans remember that a Decapod survives?  Yes, Virginia, there IS a Decapod!  Coverage was moved to new PRR Continuation Page 3 on 03 Feb 2003.

Here she is at Hamburg, NY, in Apr 2001, courtesy of photographer Scott Hawbaker and from the WNYRHS site by specific permission, in all her cosmetically-restored glory:

PRR I1sa 4483 Hamburg NY 4/01
(Photo courtesy of and © 4/2001 S. M. P. Hawbaker/WNYRHS, by specific permission - all rights reserved to source)

THE SOUTH PENN RR (moved from the Horseshoe Curve pages here and then from here to PRR Cont. page 0 on 04 Feb 2004)

The Only B4a Still Steaming
    (the only B4a at all?)

There is an amusement park southwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Williams Grove Park, where they run an actual, live 1901 PRR B4a class 0-6-0 #643!

Great Grange Fair
Last Sunday in August thru Labor Day
Open Nine Great Days
Steam Engine Parade Daily
Historical Steam Engines Exhibit

They have a fantastic show and also pull each Memorial Day and 04 July weekend, and operate the 1901 PRR B4a switch engine and a real steam calliope.  For a few bucks you can ride on a flatcar with benches OR caboose (with cupola), or, for a few more, IN THE CAB!

From B. F. Smith's Pennsy web page:

B4a class 0-6-0 #643, owned by the Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association,
is the only PRR steam locomotive currently operating.
She is a 1901 product of the Altoona shops.

Click here to go to a tiny photo on Dr. Smith's page 7 and here for his color photo of the B4a.

What's so odd about this engine, other than that it survived at all and still steams, is that it is almost impossible to find on the great Websites devoted to the Pennsy!

Thomas J. von Trott has a current write-up and color photo on his 643 page.

In Paul Carleton's early (ca. 1970) book "Pennsy, A to T", he notes that #643 "was found at an abandoned steel mill in Harrisburg, Pa., and was bought by enthusiasts".  Now, THAT's enthusiasm!

Well, she's not operating now!  I was at Steam Fair on Labor Day 2003 (01 Sep) and #643 is stripped down (photos are on PRR page 0); 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.

PRR Modeling - moved on 25 Nov 2004 to PRR Modeling (including Penn Line and Cary)

[Cary was Don Stromberg's Cary Locomotive Works of Cary, Illinois, which was sold out to Bowser ca. 1980-85.]

I may not be a confirmed Pennsy "nut" but my sister (who lives in Enola) sure had me pegged on my 57th birthday (lo, these many moons ago):

57th b'day cake
(Photo by and © 2000 - S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
(O.K. - why 21 bolts?)


If you are reading this page, you are most likely a Pennsy fan, in which case here are just a few major linked Pennsy sites (in no particular order, except the PRRT&HS):

For me, the première site must always be that of the

Pennsylvania Railroad
Technical & Historical Society

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum.

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.

Dr. D. Mark Bej's Pennsylvania Railroad - PRR home page.

(Mark also happens to have a great HTML guide!)

Robert Schoenberg's Rob's PRR page, with most of the PRR Equipment Diagrams!  These include diagrams for:

Revenue freight equipment (Boxcars, Flat cars, Hopper cars, Gondolas, Stock cars, Containers, Freight car trucks), Maintenance of way equipment (Tank cars, Test weight cars, Polling cars, Cranes, Derricks, Side dump cars, Hand cars, Tower cars, Cabin cars), Locomotives (Electrics, Diesels, Steam, Tenders), Passenger cars (Baggage, Baggage dormitory, Passenger dormitory baggage, Baggage mail, Business, Coaches, Head end power, Mail (RPOs), Passenger baggage, Passenger baggage mail, Passenger cafe, Passenger lounge, Cafe observation, Sleeper, Sleeper observation, Parlor, Diners, Motor passenger, Motor passenger baggage, Motor baggage, and Motor baggage mail).

B. F. Smith's Pennsylvania Railroad Page (PRR).

Chris Brandt's (PRR) Homepage.

Jerry Britton's P.R.R. Pages.

Mike's Pennsy's Home Pages (from Australia).

The PENNSYLVANIA Pages... Links.

George Elwood's great PRR Photos site.

and, last but not least,

Author Lorraine Diehl's The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station site; see the write up about Lorraine Diehl's fantastic ode to "The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station" on my NRHS/LIST page.

There is also a photo of a ca. 1923 Pennsy double-ended crane for tunnel service, rated at only 50 tons at 17 foot boom extension on my Big Cranes page, which I have reproduced here:

PRR 2x70ton Tunnel Crane
(Photo from pg. 997, Car Builders' Cyclopedia of American Practice, 11th ed., 1925,
Simmons-Boardman Publishing Co., New York)

There are endless other sites for you to surf; one 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 was trying to go Rob one better by adding a space, a hyphen, and an apostrophe, and by superimposing a keystone outline (ya gotta have a keystone to make it a REAL make-believe Pennsy station sign!).  Aha!  Rob has added a keystone!

Artist and fellow NRHS/Long Island Sunrise Trail Chapter member George L. Wybenga is so taken with cabooses (cabeese? - hacks, crummys, cabin cars, etc.) that he specializes in limning them and has a Website, cabooseart.com where you can see his vast array of cabooses from many varied roads, among them the PRR.  Here, by his specific permission, is his painting of LIRR hack #14, just as an example of his work:

GLW LIRR Caboose #14
[painting by and © G. L. Wybenga, by permission - all rights reserved]

You can see all George's paintings on his site, where you can order copies in various sizes and formats.  Scroll through to page 7 for some PRR paintings (page 5 for LIRR cabins).

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 0, et seq.

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

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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