S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Pennsylvania Railroad Continuation Page 3 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:   01 Nov 2011, 18:50  ET
(missing images restored 04 Sep 2003)
[Page created 03 Feb 2003; converted 01 Nov 2011;
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/prr3.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/prr3.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 4, 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 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 this 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,

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

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)

* - 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

{the above heading is a link to the 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.

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!

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}

Carried over from the main PRR page, how many but the most dedicated Pennsy steam fans remember that a Decapod survives1923 Baldwin Class I1sa 2-10-0 #4483, c/n 56534 (259th of 475 Baldwin units), formerly used on the Harrisburg Division, Elmira Branch, was preserved at the Northumberland roundhouse in 1959 and, after several moves, ended up with the Western New York Railroad Historical Society in Hamburg, New York, where she is being restored for eventual move to a WNYRHS museum abuildin' at Orchard Park.

Here she is at Hamburg 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)

OK, I'm not normally larcenous, but who'll help me steal her and get her down to Strasburg where she belongs?

The WNYRHS site has a separate page devoted to the Class 90F82 short-haul tender #4485 presently on the #4483 Dec.

The WNYRHS also owns a PRR "Coast-to-Coast" class 210F75A 16-wheel tender, removed from an M1 locomotive, which they believe to be one of the last long-haul tenders with 8-wheel trucks in existence and they intend to eventually hook her up to #4483.

Decapod Backhead - the Chapter wants to know the function of every control in the cab, especially the valves on and around the backhead.  So do I!  Here, courtesy of the Chapter, are detailed photographs of #4483's backhead, bulleted by them, A - P and R - X, plus six more, Q, under the engineer's pressure gauges, X and Y, up near the engineer's window, AA and tripled BB, CC, and DD that I added, all on the boiler water level sight glass, and EE (behind the Johnson bar):

Please note that the top photo (of the turret) is a pieced composite;
don't let the multiple shafts on the center valve handle throw you!}

PRR I1sa 4483 turret

PRR I1sa 4483 backhead center

PRR I1sa 4483 left cab floor
(Photos courtesy of and © 2003 S. M. P. Hawbaker/WNYRHS, by specific permission - all rights reserved to source)
[Thumbnail images, click on the pictures for VERY much larger images.]

Now, who out there is truly knowledgeable about the functions of these valves and other controls?  There is a fully-keyed illustration of a Pennnsy backhead out there somewhere; I remember seeing it but can't locate it (odds are it was for the K4s or the S1).  There must have been official PRR engineman's manuals with all this spelled out and illustrated.

Between Scott and me, we've doped out some of them; here's a first shot at it.  The tentative functions in plain text are the Chapter's, those in Italics are mine.  Blanks mean your guess is as good as ours, but we really do NOT want guesses.

A - Air Pump
B - Stoker
C - ?
D - Water Heater?
E -" my buddy says Steering Wheel ??? Why two handles?"#
F - Feed Pump?
G - ?
H - Generator
I - ?
J or R - Boiler Pressure Gauge?
K - ? Fireman's Boiler {Stoker?} Pressure Gauge?
L - ?
M - ?
N - ? {Low Water Alarm?}
O - ? Lever moves up and down, both crewmen have a handle
P - ? Water Gauge Level Manifold - 3 valves have a bleed off tube
Q = ?
R = ?
S - ? Not* the double needle Air Brake Gauge
T- ? Top and bottom of Water Level Site Glass?
U - ?
V - ? Injector blown down valve? Fireman's side floor
W - ?  3" pipes run up to injector
X - ?  3" pipes run up to feedwater pump
Y = ?
Z = ?

AA = ?
BB = high water level drain cock
CC = normal water level drain cock
DD = low water level drain cock
EE = ?


E# is the main steam valve for the turret, the far handle is for access
    through the turret cover sheet out on top at the rear of the Belpaire..

Q - may well be a proof label.

S* - "Not" or "Note"?

W and X - seem self-explanatory - need confirmation.

Y and Z - I spotted these and they cry out for explanation!

I thought I'd be able to identify more, but it seemed too much like guesswork so I stopped.

Let's hear it from an awesome Altoona authority, a great Gallitzin guru, an estimable Eddystone expert, or a supreme Sodus seer, please.  If you think you have the answers, please document HOW you know.

# - It's odd, but both the "MR Cyclopedia - Steam" and the reprint of the '41 "Locomotive Cyclopedia" show keyed backhead photos and turret details, but they both depict the NYC 4-6-4 Hudson!  On that loco, the big valve handle in the center of the turret is for the Injector in the '41 but the "Turret main valve" (with a T-handle) in the MR!  ???

Scott's jumped 'way ahead and posted a page about the Decapod as it is being recreated virtually for Microsoft's Train Simulator, TRAIN SIMULATOR FOR #4483.  Here, thanks to Scott, is a sample photo of the backhead with the vertically-opening firedoors spread wide:

PRR I1sa 4483 TrainSim Backhead
(Photo courtesy of and © 2003 S. M. P. Hawbaker/WNYRHS, by specific permission - all rights reserved to source)

Feel that heat?  C'mon, folks; somebody out there's gotta know about all those controls!

Cabin Cars - the PRRT&HS Discussion Web has had a number of posts about the term "Cabin Car"; I opined that British practice has long been to call RR trackside structures (shanties, towers, and such) "cabins" and assumed that the practice came over here with the first locos and their operators.  Once you moved the function of the "office" (the "cabin") onto a RR car, it seems logical that it would then be a "cabin car".  Anyone out there know better?

John Sieber sent this in from the Port Royal (Pennsylvania) The Times of 10 Apr 1890:  "Hereafter the Pennsylvania road will have no cabooses; but trainmen will travel in 'cabin cars.'  The cabin car is a new style and it holds all conveniences of an ordinary boarding house.  It is 34 feet long, rests on two four-wheel trucks, and is so arranged that a brakeman can go to the top of his train without climbing up the sides or ends.  Large orders have been placed in the Pennsylvania shops for these cars."

Penn Station (NY) Electrical Service

I asked a question on the PRRT&HS Discussion Web on 03 Apr 2003 regarding Consolidated Edison power supplies in Manhattan: "The thread on the 13 Mar {2003} question about Pennsy operating frequency brought to mind my early childhood in midtown Manhattan on the West Side.  Our rotary household appliances all had to be rewired sometime within my techno-ken, starting ca. 1940 or so, and before we moved in 1945; we had DC household power back then, NOT AC!  As I vaguely recall, that came from a Con Ed power plant somewhere behind (and perhaps a bit north of?) Penn Station.  It brings the question to mind: Was Penn Station running on DC house power back then?  Anyone know for sure?"

Well, I got quite an extensive answer, far too much for the PRR page 2, so I posted it here (only edited for format):

"Up until the late 1970's, at least, Consolidated Edison still supplied power billable at their meter, depending on your location in NYC, at DC, 25 Hertz and 60 Hertz, in a variety of voltages.  At the turn of the {last} century {and} well until the 1940's both DC and 25 Hertz were fairly widely used as power for commercial stablishments; after all, Edison started the city off with a DC system.  Most of the Broadway theatres are fairly old houses (buildings), and some of them still use DC resistance dimmer control systems, for which Consolidated Edison supplies DC power directly.  The NYC subway also obtained power here and there at DC, mostly (I understand) for station lighting and station power (sump pumps and air compressors).  Due to high billing costs, the subway migrated as quickly as they could to 60 Hertz power supply, and used their own converters to supply DC.  One would have to check the current tariffs to see what is exactly the present situation; the power company may have decided by now that it is more economical for them to just supply 60 Hertz power, and let the customer foot the bill for any power conversion devices.

The PRR had a 25 Hertz power supply feed account established with Consolidated Edison in the 1930's when they strung catenary into NYC.  The interesting thing is that this was supplied and billed by Edison to the PRR at catenary voltage (11 kV at 25 Hertz), and not at 132 kV as done by the PRR's other 25 Hertz suppliers (Philadelphia Electric, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Public Service Electric & Gas, Safe Harbor Power Co., Potomac Electric, and Pennsylvania Power and Light, if I remembered them all).  The Consolidated Edison 25 Hertz supply generally was the highest cost power to the railroad, even well into the Amtrak era, and supplied the area generally between the Bergen phase break between Portal swing bridge and the west end of the North River tunnels, and the Harold phase break on the Long Island Rail Road west of Sunnyside Yard.  The New Haven took care of the NY Connecting Railroad over Hell Gate.  There are subfeeds mixed into this for the area's signal system (6600 V at 100 Hz from the railroad's own motor-alternator sets) that also power some of PATH's signals (going back to the days of PRR control of the H&M).  Amtrak installed their own 60/25 Hertz converter system a few years ago at Sunnyside Yard to power the NYC area, so by today I suspect that Consolidated Edison has discontinued their own supply of 25 Hertz power and canceled their tariffs.

As to the original Pennsylvania Station power supplies, I will take a guess and say that they likely received both utility commercial DC (for some larger loads like the elevators, pumps and the like) and 60 Hertz AC for other building use, since I have never come across any accounts of the station electrical systems needing to be rewired for a change in frequency.

As an aside, the electric utility serving LA operated for many years in isolation from the outside world at 50 Hertz.  When they finally connected to the outside grid, they had a major effort to rewind their customers motors for 60 Hertz, similar to what you experienced growing up."

Enola - all Pennsy fan(atic)s KNOW that Enola was named by the lonely section hand stationed there before the yard was built - "Alone", spelled backwards.  Enola (where my sister lived) has its own little library but the township has a large, new central library in adjacent Camp Hill, the Cleve J. Fredricksen Library, replete with historical stained glass windows, one of which depicts Enola Yard; the accompanying historical brochure states that the PRR bought the riverfront property for the yard in 1905 from one Wesley Miller and offered him the right to name the yard.  His first two suggestions were rejected but his third was accepted; the yard is named after his (then) four-year-old daughter, Enola.

Northumberland Yard Photos

Paul B. Pettit was the motive power foreman at the Pennsy's Northumberland Yard (where the steam collection now at the Pennsylvania State Museum in Strasburg was stored) from 1960 to 1964 and mentioned in a 17 Sep 2004 post on the PRRT&HS Discussion Forum that he had photos; he was kind enough to send scans and permission to post them here.  "All three photos were taken be me from half way up on the coal wharf at Northumberland in about 1964."  "The round house tracks are numbered clockwise.  The building to the left was the oil house with an engine crew area in the North end.":

Norry Yard ~'64 - 1
(Ca. 1964 photo by, and courtesy of, P. B. Pettit, by specific permission - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on photo for larger image]

"Second is a view looking North away from the house.":

Norry Yard ~'64 - 2
(Ca. 1964 photo by, and courtesy of, P. B. Pettit, by specific permission - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on photo for larger image]

"The third is to the East and shows the car shop area.":

Norry Yard ~'64 - 3
(Ca. 1964 photo by, and courtesy of, P. B. Pettit, by specific permission - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on photo for larger image]

A fourth photo "is of the inside of the diesel service area.  The building was brick with a cement roof":

Norry Yard ~'64 - 4
(Ca. 1964 photo by, and courtesy of, P. B. Pettit, by specific permission - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on photo for larger image]

Paul "was there 1960 to 1964; then to Kiski Jct. for a year; then to St. Louis/Rose Lake as general car foreman".  Thanks from every PRR fan, Paul!

Incidentally, Paul advised that he "was sent to Stamford, CT, in 1969, as shop manager after the merger" but "did not see a good future so I left and became a superintendent on the NYC transit"; he "retired from there as a general superintendent in 1990 after 49 years of rail service".  Quite a record, eh?

John C. La Rue, Jr., has a collection of almost 30,000 RR photos in his collection, of which some 1,500 are of the PRR (see a photo of PRR boxcab A6 #3905 from his collection on my PRR boxcabs page); he can be reached at:

John C. La Rue, Jr.
27491 Duvernay Drive
Bonita Springs, Florida  34135-6029
Tel.:  239-992-8802
E-mail: MOFWCABOOSE@aol.com.


(Continued from PRR Continuation page 1)

I had written that "No one seems to be able to find a master copy of Penn Roman, the unique type font the Pennsy had created for them.  There is a very good reason for this (actually many very good reasons); there were many different Penn Roman faces!  The Pennsy had drawings for different faces for use in every conceivable situation.

Just for example (from my head, without looking it up) there are different drawings for lettering used on steam tenders, steam cab side numbers, steam number plates, number boards, pilot deck codes, tender rears, plus diesels, passenger car letterboards, freight car PRR name, freight car type, freight car data, building signs, station signs, RoW signage, and so on, ad infinitum.

If that isn't bad enough, there were different drawings for different font sizes in many, if not each, category, as well.

There are two options available to you; one is the buy copies of the PRR drawings from the PRRT&HS; the other is to buy a computer font from Benn Coifman's RailFonts.   rev (20 Aug 2016)

Benn has two fonts posted on his FontShop:   new (20 Aug 2016)

Pennsylvania 1930's - comparable to the lettering once used by the Pennsylvania Railroad for coach names in the 1930's; an extended version included in the package is comparable to the style used on passenger car letterboards.  These fonts include small caps, they do NOT include any numerals.

Pennsylvania Wayside - comparable to the lettering once used by the Pennsylvania Railroad for wayside signs; taken from lettering diagrams, this font includes standard and narrow versions of the lettering.  These fonts include small caps, numerals and some punctuation, they do not include any accents.

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 4, 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.


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