A PRR Home Page: Questions & Answers
A PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD HOME PAGE

QUESTIONS  & ANSWERS ABOUT THE  PRR


[ Note to Contributors | Copyright & Licensing Agreement ]

NEW

Since the opening of the "Q&A" portion of the PRRT&HS web site, I am no longer accepting new questions on this site, and those listed here will soon be transferred to the PRRT&HS site.


Major Categories

  1. Genealogical Questions
  2. Doing PRR Research
  3. Stations
  4. Operations: current Northeast Corridor
  5. Operations: Main Line--Harrisburg to Buffalo
  6. Operations: Passenger Trains
  7. Operations: Other
  8. Motive Power
  9. Passenger Cars
  10. Signalling
  11. Miscellany; Current Operations; Disposition of PRR Lines


Stations

Q
Desire any info on Madison and N. Madison, Ind., stations, and local operations.
(
J Grimes)
A

(author)

Operations: current Northeast Corridor

Q

How CSX gets their freights from Maryland into Virginia, specifically? I.e., freight is on B&O Metro Sub from Cumberland, coming into Rockville, Gaithersburg, approaching Washington Union Station. Somehow it gets to the (PRR) Long Bridge across the Potomac and onto the RF&P. What's in between, though? How do they avoid the passenger trackage? How much PRR do they use, and from where?

I know a B&O branch came off east of ANACOSTIA tower, but this branched off the freight main on the far side of the freight main, relative to WUT. *IF* that's where the B&O entered the PRR to cross the river to the RF&P, B&O still had to get the trains past (over, under?) the WUT trackage and to the _east_ side of the NEC psgr main, plus over to the east side of the PRR freight main.


                                B&O Camden           PRR NEC
                                /                    |
B&O Metro Sub                  /                     |LANDOVER
---------------------\        /                     /|(Orange line close)
                      --\    /                     / |
                         -\ /       pass line     /  |PRR freight line
                           \    -----------------/   |(to CR)
                            |  /  (to AMTK; here     |
                            \-/   along NY Ave)      |
                             /                       |
                            /                        |
                           /                         |
                          /|                         |
                         / |                         |
                       WUS \                         |
                            |                        |
                            |                       /
                           /                       /
   ~~~~                   /               \--/    /
      ~~~~     /---------------------------------/
        ~~~   /      VIRGINIA             /--\ \-----B&O branch to somewhere
          ~~~/Long Bridge                 ANACOSTIA (movable bridge)
           ~/~~~~
           |   ~~~~
           |
           RF&P, Pot yard

(Mark D Bej)

A

[B&O] gets to Pot Yard in Alexandria ... via the Alexandria Branch, a single track line that Ys off the B&O main at Hyattsville, Md., runs south past Bladensburg and Deanwood to Tuxedo Jct. where it bridges over the PRR main to WUT and PRR line to Alexandria, about 5 miles south of Hyattsville and 3 miles east of WUT's Ivy City Yard. An interchange at Kenilworth, 0.5 mile south of Tuxedo with the PRR's Alex. Line takes the B&O freights to Alex. and on to Richmond. Since Pot Yard closed 8-9 years ago, most trains only stop for crew changes, while others go directly to Richmond. Conrail comes over the B&O from Baltimore and over the Alex. Branch to Alexandria also. The Alex. Branch used to go on to Shepherd and the Bolling air base, 7 miles south of Tuxedo.
(Roger Amato, James R. Nowotarski)

B&O freights reach Potomac Yard by a branch which leaves the Washington-Baltimore main line and Hyattsville and runs south, crossing the NEC Main and the ex-PRR freight line west of Lanham. It then parallels the ex-PRR freight line and connects through the interchange at Anacostia which you mentioned. [shown above] [abridged...]

The B&O branch used to ccontinue south to the Potomac opposite Alexandria, where there was once a car float link to what later became the Southern Railway. In 1872, PRR got control of the Long Bridge, and this was the only way the B&O could connect with the southern lines. At the time of building Union Station and Potomac Yard, the B&O finally got access to the Long Bridge via the route described.
(Chris Baer)

Here is a corrected map:


                                B&O Capitol Sub      PRR NEC
                                /\                   |
B&O Metro Sub                  /--\JD B&O            |LANDOVER
---------------------\        /    \----------------/|-\ Note 1
                      --\    /                     / | |B&O=20
                         -\-/C Tower     PRR      /  | |Alexandria Sub.
                           \    -----------------/   | |
                            |  /  (to AMTK; here     | |
                            \-/   along NY Ave)      | |
                             /                   PRR | |
                            /                        | |
                           /                         | |
                          /|                         | |
                         / |                         | |
                       WUS \                         | |
                            |                        | |
                            |                       /  |
                           /                       /  /
   ~~~~                   /      PRR      \--/    /  /
      ~~~~     /---------------------------------/  /
        ~~~   /      VIRGINIA             /--\ \----B&O Anacostia Jct
          ~~~/Long Bridge                 ANACOSTIA (movable bridge)
           ~/~~~~
           |   ~~~~
           |
           RF&P, Pot yard

	

Note 1: B&O crosses over PRR passenger track, PRR freight line, Metro Orange line and runs on east side of Orange line from Minnesota Ave station until after the Deanwood station, where the Orange line goes elevated to RFK stadium. You get a good view of both the CR and the CSX tracks when you ride the subway.
(James R. Nowotarski)

Operations: fmr. Camden & Amboy

Q
When, where, and why was the C&A cut so one could not go from South Amboy to Camden?
(
Jack Alan Bleiberg)
A
The line was cut shortly after the PC merger (1968) just south of Hightsown (New Jersey Turnpike exit 9). It was then operated as separate stub branchs (ending 1.1 miles apart) coming from Jamesburg and Bordentown. The center point of the missing trackage was approximately where the line crossed Rte 130 south of Hightstown. Several more miles were pulled up between Hightstown and Cranbury Station in the mid-80s when Mercer County refused to pay for maintenance of the overpasses in Hightstown

Both ends appeared as stubs on CR system maps through the 1980s, but no longer. From the maps it was very obvious this was a cut-in-two branch. Why? not enough traffic in between, no need for a continous parallel route, the usual.
(Primarily PTRMgtSvc@juno.com "Michael E. Allen", additions by Mark D. Bej and Jack Alan Bleiberg)

Q
When were the tracks pulled up from Bay Head Jct. to Sea Side Park? [Can anyone comment on the] regression of that line to its present end-of-track in Mount Holly?
(Jack Alan Bleiberg)
A
1948 (I will check on all exact dates when I get the chance). Storm damage to bridge over Barnegat Bay. The line was taken out of service in two pieces--Bay Head Jct to South Toms River (which became the passenger terminal until passenger service was dropped c1952) and South Toms River-Birmingham (Pemberton Junction) c1966. I recall an old wooden coach at South Toms River but know nothing about its heritage. There was virtually no business on the Birmingham-South Toms River line; even in its heyday, it was primarily a passenger route to Long Branch and/or Barnegat City/Beach Haven/Tuckerton via Whitings. A 1923 CT1000 in my collection shows only a handful of sidetracks on the 'pine barrens' section. Probably one of the least documented and known about (other than the Bonhamtown Branch) of all the Pennsy lines in NJ. I believe the track to South Toms River lasted so long because its corporate entity, the Pennsylvania and Atlantic, enjoyed having its annual meetings in Toms River and somehow believed that 'something' would make the Pine Barrens hot (in places like New Lisbon, Upton, Whitings and Keswick Grove). At least that's my theory since the revenue on the line was nil. The cutback of the Pemberton Branch to Mount Holly was with Conrail in '76, as I recall. The UT (Union Transportation Company) went out of business around the same time and the Army unloaded its Fort Dix motive power around then. Passenger service to Pemberton lasted until 1969 (I made the last trip, one of many I made on what was the Pennsy's last true rural branch line).
(Richard F. Makse)

Passenger service on the Camden-Long Branch line was eliminated as follows: Bay Head Jct.-Barnegat Pier last trip 11/30/46 on account of the burning of Barnegat Bay trestle; Barnegat Pier-Toms River 12/14/48; Toms River-Birmingham 6/22/52; Pemberton-Birmingham-Camden 4/25/69. The line abandonments between Bay Head Jct. and Toms River were contemporaneous with the end of passenger service. All of the above are from company agent's notices.
(Chris Baer)

Operations: Main Line--Harrisburg to Buffalo

Q
Did the NYC have rights from Lock Haven to Keating [on the ex-P&E line]?
(Mike Clements)
A
Yes, in fact, from the NYC connection at RICH (McElhattan) to Keating, to access their coal branches in the Snow Shoe -- Clearfield area. (MDB, Drew McGhee)

Q
If the NYC ran over this route did their trains receive pushers from the PRR, or any at all?
(Mike Clements)
A
There may be some confusion as to what "Keating" is being refered to. The route the NYC used over the PRR's Buffalo Line is water level. The Buffalo Line [this is Conrail terminology --MDB], with the NYC trackage rights, followed the [West Branch of the] Susquehanna from RICH (McElhattan, Pa.) to Keating. At Keating the NYC continued (S) along the Susquehanna, on their own track, to Clearfield, whereas the PRR Buffalo line followed the Sinnemahoning Creek W/NW to Emporium. Keating is between Renovo and Emporium. Keating Summit, the summit of the Buffalo Line's helper district, is between Emporium and Olean, N.Y.. So the NYC would not need pushers when using the Buffalo Line between RICH and Keating. The stiffest grade on this route was between PRR's RICH and NYC's BROWNS. In about a mile the NYC had to gain enough height to clear the Buffalo Line at the bridge that took them over the Susquehanna to Avis. According to Rosenberger's (sp?) book on the P&E, these trackage rights predate both the PRR and NYC [probably, predate the PRR's and NYC's ownership of these specific lines --MDB].
(Drew McGhee)

Q
What kind of motive power was assigned by the PRR on the Williamsport route in the 1965-68 timeframe? The NYC?
(Mike Clements)
A
NYC engine terminals in central Pa. were located at, from west to east, Cherry Tree, Clearfield, and Avis. Power commonly found there in the late 1960s included EMD F7's (A & B units), Alco FA cab units, Alco RS3's, and EMD GP9s. On the PRR side, out of Renovo, 2nd generation diesels were common. Renovo in older days was an Alco haven, but by the late 60s, products from all three major builders could be found in both mainline and branchline service. It was a real mix and match. Especially common were U25's, U28s, Alco C425s, EMD GP35s. Less common on the eve of Penn Central were the first generation models, such as RS3's, RS11's, various six-axle Alco's, etc. and cab units, but there were some. Few if any Baldwins, FM, or EMD SW's could be found at Renovo at that time.
(Mike Bezilla)

Renovo was home for PRR RS-3 Hammerhead, which was cover for the Buffalo and Erie passenger trains. Alco did alot of the snapper assignments. R. J. Yanosey's Pennsy Diesey Years series has a lot of pictures and information on the NC and P&E lines.
(M. Vickinovac)

The Hammerhead is preserved at the Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum. It is in Lehigh Valley paint and is viewable on the net at http:205.232.76.174/railmuseum/rgvrrm.html.
(Greg Stone)

Q
Were the Renovo shops still open in 1968? For cars or locos?
(Mike Clements)
A
According to Max M. Magliaro's article, "Renovo and the P&E Railroad" (Summer 1994 Keystone), PRR closed the Renovo shops in January 1968. Employment at the shops was less than 300 from 1966 till the end.
(Drew McGhee)

Operations: Passenger Trains

Q
What were the operating times of the Broadway Limited and how did it run?
(Bates Estabrooks)
A
In the twenties and thirties, the Broadway ran as an 18-hour, then 17-hour, train. Its best elapsed running times were in the post-war period, when it was scheduled at an even 16 hours each way for awhile, then it was reduced even further. At its 50th anniversary in 1952, it was operating on this schedule:

		Lv Penn Station NY         5:00 pm EST
		Lv Pittsburgh             12:52 am EST
		Ar Chicago Union Sta.      8:00 am CST  (16 hrs.)

		Lv Chicago Union Sta.      3:30 pm CST
		Lv Pittsburgh             12:22 am EST
		Ar Penn Station NY         8:30 am EST  (16 hrs.)
		

The scheduled departure times were not always the same from year to year. In February 1948, for example, the westbound left NY at 6 pm, not 5, and the eastbound Chicago at 4:30, not 3:30.

The February 20, 1955, timetable shows an even faster schedule, and so far as I know, this is the best ever for the train:


		Lv Penn Station NY         6:00 pm EST
		Lv Pittsburgh              1:53 am EST
		Ar Chicago Union Sta.      8:45 am CST  (15.75 hrs.)

		Lv Chicago Union Sta.      5:00 pm CST
		Lv Pittsburgh              1:36 am EST
		Ar Penn Station NY         9:30 am EST  (15.5 hrs.)
		

For historical perspective, the May 23, 1920 gives:


		Lv Penn Station NY         2:55 pm EST
		Lv Pittsburgh             12:35 am EST
		Ar Chicago Union Sta.      9:55 am CST  (18 hrs.)

		Lv Chicago Union Sta.     12:40 pm CST
		Lv Pittsburgh             12:05 am EST
		Ar Penn Station NY         9:40 am EST  (18 hrs.)
		
(R. Dan Cupper)

Q
I'm writing an article about my travels between Chicago and Cincinnati/Louisville, Ky., from 1965 to 1971. I also rode the Penn Texas #3 while it was running under court order. Can someone tell me the last run dates of #74/75-94/95, the Buckeye/Kentuckian, and #3/4, the Penn Texas?
(Russ Isbrandt)
A
Can't give you exact dates, but can narrow it down somewhat. Penn Central Form 1 timetable of June 14, 1970 shows Trains 3/4, the Penn Texas, but the timetable was reissued just two weeks later -- June 30, 1970 -- and in that edition, the trains are gone. As you said, a footnote mentions that the train was continuing to run under court order, so the actual discontinuance could have taken place any time. If the order was lifted, PC could have stopped the train in mid-run to avoid further injunctions (as Burlington or Burlington Northern did with its Omaha-Wyoming-Montana service). Or it could have been an orderly discontinuance -- a court could have lifted the order after the June 14 timetables went to print but with an effective permissive date of June 30, which would have given PC time to reprint its timetables.

As for the others, PRR train 74/75, the Buckeye, became nameless Penn Central trains 67-68. So far as timetables are concerned, this became effective with the Penn Central timetable (Form 92, PRR Ohio-Indiana corridors) of April 28, 1968. PC 67-68 were listed in the PC Form 92 timetable of January 10, 1969, but were gone from the next issue, April 27, 1969.

PRR train 94/95, the Kentuckian, appears in the final PRR Form 92 timetable of October 29, 1967, but is gone from the first issue of the corresponding Penn Central Form 92 (same as above), April 28, 1968. The South Wind, trains 90 and 93, continued to serve this route (Chicago-Logansport-Indianapolis-Louisville) under Penn Central.
(R. Dan Cupper)

The last run of #3, the Penn Texas and #30, the Spirit of St. Louis was 6/30/70. #4, the eastbound Penn Texas was renamed Spirit of St. Louis on 10/1/70, and #4 and #31 continued to run through the end of Amtrak.

The last run of the former Buckeye was 2/19/69. The last run of the Kentuckian was 4/20/68.
(Chris Baer)

Operations: Other

Q

With regard to the PRR branch into South Bend, Indiana: (1) When did the last revenue train run into South Bend? (2) When were the engine servicing facilities in South Bend closed? (3) When did the last passenger train run into South Bend? (4) What is the construction date for the still-existing South Bend passenger station?
(
Jan Young)
A
A 1926 PRR Form 1 public timetable shows three trains a day each way into and out of South Bend on the PRR. Of these six trains, four carried "broiler-buffet-parlor" cars in addition to coaches. Four ran to or from Indianapolis via Logansport, and two ran to/from Logansport only. Earlier, in 1919, one daily round-trip ran through to/from Terre Haute, via the Crawfordsville Branch through Frankfort and Crawfordsville.

By 1931, service was down to two trains a day (both with the dining service noted above), and by 1940, it was further reduced to one train a day each way, coaches only. Sometime between January 1947 and March 2, 1947, it was reduced slightly to daily-except-Sunday service. By this time, it also ran only as far south as Logansport, where passengers changed to a Chicago-Indianapolis train if they wanted to go to Indy.

Service ended sometime between November 2 (timetable published this date still shows the train) and December 7, 1947 (timetable effective this date shows the table for that route deleted).
(R. Dan Cupper)

Q
Trying to gather any information on the PRR operations at Camp Kilmer, N.J., (near Edison) during the second World War and the Korean War. Track diagrams, tower info, etc., are needed.

Also requesting track diagrams of South Amboy (coal dumpers, etc.)
(David Hutchinson)

A
Camp Kilmer was a major troop assembly point and POW holding area in WW II. It remained active militarily by being the headquarters of the 78 Division, which was NJ's major USAR units.Reserves occupy a small portion of the former post which is also shared with Rutgers University, the Job Corp. and a major industrial park.

It was served on line by the PRR which had a balloon track above the Plainfield Avenue overpass allowing eastbound trains to access the camp. The bridge for the balloon track still stands. The Reading RR had a connection to the balloon track so they could get into Kilmer as well. The Plainfield overpass bearing the tracks to Kilmer is also still in place. I believe there were three tracks on the bridge.

A veteran PRR engineer who was active during WW2 told me of taking up to seven trains a day from Kilmer to the piers in Jersey City for overseas embarkation. The trains were mostly K4s and P70s.
(Dennis Landadio )

Q

Re: coal shipments to the Keystone Power Plant in Schelocta, Pa.. Conrail currently handles these via old B&O lines, but they may be restoring part of an old Pennsy line from Blairsville to Indiana.
(Michael Sheliga)

A

I was unaware that the line which went on from Blairsville to Indiana went close enough to directly service Keystone Generating Station. The line runs most of the way to Indiana within sight of US 119, and when it does swing away (at the north and south ends of the stretch) it's not positioned in such a way as to provide a likely cutoff for a spur in that direction. On the other hand, I could easily see a spur off this line to the generating station in Homer City, currently served from an old B&O line as well IIRC. That is, assuming the line is restored beyond its current terminus northeast of Blairsville. Haven't some yards and parking lots crept across the right of way along US 119?
(Derrick J Brashear )

Motive Power

Q

I have been searching for blueprints/build specs for K4s-s, especially for the steam whistle and valving.
(
Brian ???)
A
Contact Walt Keely at the PRRT&HS and tell him what you want. The society has all manner of blueprints on microfilm which they will print and send you. I received seveal pages of I-1 piping diagrams for the compressors and mufflers from him. If diagrams exist, the society is the most likely place to find them.
(Donald E. Harper, Jr.)

Q

I'm modeling PRR Baldwin Shark Nose Freight Class (BF16, B-B truck) locos. I only have B&W pictures of these. Should the proper color be Tuscan Red?
(Ray Molesworth)

A

Class BF16 Sharks were freight locomotives and were never Tuscan!!!
(Jerry Britton)

My research has shown that Pennsy painted their BF16's in Dark Green Locomotive Enamel only. Tuscan was used only for passenger equipment (with possible rare exceptions?). The PRR used at least 3 different striping/lettering schemes on their freight sharks: 5-stripe ending at Keystone behind doors on A units, 5-stripe extending to "cat's whiskers" on nose of A units and single-stripe extending to nose. Dates of striping/lettering changes is hard to pin down exactly but nose whiskers may have been added as early as 1949? Single stripes would have started being applied approx. 1952? I'm unsure on the dates so if anyone can add info here I'd also be interested. The BF16's were built between 1950 and 1952 so may not have had the "no nose striping" variation.
(Ron Dugas)

Q

Looking for info, photos, drawings on the A6 diesel boxcap used in the Norristown area. The only thing I have is the keystone photo.
(Charles Ascenzi)

A

Info. is in Staufer's Pennsy Power II, p. 197: "The small diesel-electric switching locomotive made its appearance on numerous roads, especially for work around waterfront piers because of light axle loadings and fire safety. These units had four-wheel motorized trucks (most were commercially produced by a three-way partnership composed od Alco-General Electric-Ingersoll Rand). Pennsy preferred to produce its first three units at Altoona in 1928-1030. ... Class A-6 locomotives 3905 and 3906 ... lifetime was spent along the Hudson River waterfront of Manhattan. A third A-6b No. 3907 came from Altoona in 1930 and spent much of its time working out of Haws Avenue, Norristown, with the experimental rubber tired passenger cars."
(thanks to Ron Dugas)

Q
When did the PRR stop using the trainphone system?
(Mike Clements)
A
According to a caption on p. 122 of Yanosey's Penn Central Power, PRR's trainphone system "was abandoned" in 1964. However, PRR's Central Region, Allegheny, Pittsburgh, Lake, and Northern Division Timetable #2 effective 2:01 AM Sunday, October 31, 1965, still listed towers with trainphone capabilities. My guess is that the PRR gradually made the conversion to radios over a 1963-66 time period.
(Drew McGhee)

Q
Were all antennas removed before the PC merger?
(Mike Clements)
A
Yanosey also has at least two photographs of ex-PRR diesels in Penn Central 'colors' with trainphone equipment still attached. On p. 115, a Fairbanks Morse H16-44, PC 5158, is shown sporting a trainphone system inductor. Page 122 shows a GP7, PC 5954, with a complete trainphone antenna in place.
(Drew McGhee)

I learned at the most recent PRR T&HS meeting that 2 different types of trainphone system were used. In one, there were 2 wires running on the locomotive roof, one for receiving, the other for transmitting. The other system had only one wire on the roof, and a round disk usually (?always) mounted on one end of the locomotive, near the roof. (MDB)

Q
Why has the vast majority of rail history forgotten about a very magnificent, if rare locomotive? The New York & Long Branch (Jersey Shore Line) subdivision operated 29 Baldwin Sharknoses, with nine accompanying B units. This in itself is not an outstanding fact. What makes these trains special is that they were significantly longer than the rest of the Sharknose fleet, generated 2000 h.p. instead of 1600 h.p. and ran on A1A-A1A trucks instead of B-B trucks. The engineers claimed they were faster and more powerful than EMD's E8's and E9's. If anybody knows anything else about these beautiful and elusive Sharknoses, please share the wealth.
( Chris Bertelsen)
A
Built in 1948, Model DR6-4-20, PRR class BP20, 18 A units - 9 B units.
In 1953 the last 4 cab and 4 B units built were downrated to 1600 HP and regeared for freight. The BP20s lasted till '64 or so. It was common for railroads to upgrade or downgrade HP by changing the fuel rack settings. Locomotive builders in those days would do any change or modification a railroad asked. The Penn was still looking for a good passenger engine. Baldwin switchers would pull like hell. I guess they thought that a 2000 HP A1A locomotive would pull a pass. train. A1A was the truck of choice for pass. trains in those days. But like all Baldwins they did more breaking down then running. [...]
(R. F. Tyndall)

Q
According to Robert Aldag (F-M Co.) the Erie was getting stored locomotives ready for heavy service far prior to America's entrance into WWII. According to Bob Downing (GN Ry.) the Great Northern did not follow this lead. Finally, according to Dave MacInnes and Tom Bennett (NP Roundhouse Foremen, Missoula) the NP was actually scrapping older locomotives prior to Pearl Harbor. Can any reader give some information as to what the PRR was doing to stored locomotives from 1939-41?
( JPhillips)
A

(author)

Q
What color did the PRR paint the interior of their cabs? [SP used a] dark green called Forest Green and am wondering if this was more or less universal. Where were the injectors mounted in the cab? I suspect high up on the side of the boiler just behind the forward cab wall. That is where they are mounted on our museum engines. The photos I have never show injector piping running forward outside the boiler jacket, I must assume the pipes ran beneath the boiler jacket. Is this the case? Did the PRR paint valve handles in the cab red? What was the spacing (actual or approximate) along the boiler for the running board supports? Did the PRR use smokebox mounted and pilot mounted classification lights simultaneously? If so, when did this practice stop?
(Don Harper)
A
The interior of PRR steam locomotives were painted a light green (approx. an apple green). The PRR green (not Brunswiick) sold by Accuflex and Modelflex is a near match.
(Richard Orr)

According to PRR rulebooks I have seen, the lamps on the smokebox indicated "extra train" (white) or "section following" (green). The lamps on the pilot beam were used as markers when the locomotive was at the rear of a train, moving in reverse, at night. They showed red or yellow as prescribed by various rules at various times. So, in some sense, "Yes, they used both sets of lights at the same time."
(Bob Netzlof)

Q
Pertaining to the use of the radio decals: (1) when did the PRR start to use the square radio decal that was applied the cab sub-base sides and what units did the decals get applied to? (2) I have a Kato EMD SD40 that is finished except for the radio decals. Do any decal manufacturers make an HO scale decal set with the Radio decal in it?
( Jeremy Helms)
A
I can answer part of this and will leave the rest to others. The "Radio Equipped" decal, if this it the one you mean, was attached to those units that became equipped with radios. Since not all units were equipped at once, hostlers and engineers wanted to know which units were, so that those could lead the train.
(Mark D. Bej; soliciting...)

Passenger Cars

Q
I just purchased a Railworks Pennsy Z-62 Business car and I need help painting it accurately. What were the numbers and or names used on these cars? I'll assume the standard paint scheme is correct. Also when were they built, any specific uses, retirements? Any help is greatly appreciated.
(Roger W. Huber>)
A
Picture on page 399 of Pennsy Power III. Numbers listed as 7525-7531, 7525 being Harrisburg, built 1929, converted to coach 1943, between those dates the official car for the Middle Division. Picture on page 37 of PRR Color Guide to F & P Equip. #1: 7530 was Williamsport, and in later years was used as "hotel" at Wilmington Shops.
(
Derrick J Brashear)

Q
I [...] came across a Pennsy reference while researching a book on the maintenance-of-way equipment of the SP&S [Spokane, Portland & Seattle]. It seems that the SP&S purchased 3 cars of the Pennsy MP54 or MP54-subclass which had been in service for the federal government. They were purchased from the government in 1951/1952. Their former reporting marks are shown to be US 755, 756, and 758. The SP&S MoW diagram sheet for the cars is virtually identical to the MP54A1 diagrams in Wayner's "Pennsylvania Railroad Passenger and Freight Car Diagrams". Unfortunately, the Pennsy numbers are not present on the diagram. So, to the question(s) I have:
  • What were the reporting marks for the Pennsy MP54A1 class?
  • What cars of this class, or similar classes, were sold to the government?
  • When did this occur and why?
  • Is there a detailed record of the renumberings into government ownership?
  • What other information is available on these cars?

( Ronald G. Peterson)
A

()

Q
I have seen references to Pennsy Streamliner Passenger cars. They have been called the "Fleet of Modernism". When did the PRR first use "Fleet of Modernism" Streamliner Passenger cars?
(Larry P. Morgan)
A
I am no expert, but I believe Dan Cupper's book "Crossroads of Commerce: The Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar Art of Grif Teller" holds the answer. The "Fleet of Modernism" was a Loewy design and was used in conjunction with the prototype streamlined S1 steam engine. Only one such engine was ever built. Pennsy was so proud of her that she was featured on three consecutive calendars...1939-1941.
(Jerry Britton)

The Fleet Of Modernism cars are prewar Pullman smoothside lightweights built in June 1938 and thereabouts for the top PRR trains. The basic carbody contour is a heavyweight based turtle roof and skirt design which is also used on NYC, UP, IC, ATSF, SP, C&NW and various odds and ends elsewhere. They differ visually from the postwar Pullmans which have reduced skirts, shallower retractable steps and a generally leaner look. The prewar Pullmans are made of two types of construction: riveted aluminum and welded Cor-ten steel. The UP City Train cars are an excellent example of the aluminum cars and a vivid demonstration of just how far the concept can be pushed. If I am not mistaken, I believe the PRR cars are mostly welded Cor-ten. This is a "controlled rusting" steel which is supposed to build a thin layer of oxidation that prevents further corrosion. However, as many roads have discovered, this is a nice theory only. The Pullman fluted cars, which are their basic carbody with false front stainless corrugation bolted on, suffer distructive corrosion due to electrolysis between the two kinds of steel, and most of those cars won't last long.
(Bob Boyd)

[excerpted] Most of the Pullmans were new but almost all of the diners and coaches were rebuilds. The trains were distinguished by the Ramond Lowey two-tone tuscan scheme. The "Fleet of Modernism" name was amaketing ploy used to counter the NYC's "Great Steel Fleet".
(Andy Miller)

The Broadway Limited, Liberty Limited, General, and the Spirit of St. Louis received newly acquired streamlined equipment with the Raymond Loewy-designed "Fleet of Modernism" paint scheme in 1938. The new Broadway Limited equipment was placed in regular service on June 15, 1938. The "Fleet of Modernism" paint scheme was eventually applied to some older heavyweight equipment so it would match the newer equipment when used together; the paint scheme lasted until 1946.
(Drew R. McGhee)

Q
What were the numbers and quantity of the Pennsy's BM-60 baggage-mail cars? I can find NO information on them except that the N&W purchased 10 of them in 1937.
(Roger)
A

(author)

Signalling

Q
Why does Clear Block have a lower marker lamp, but Permissive Block not (yes, I know Caution has it -- but why was the "pattern" not followed?)
A

Q
Kevin S. Peek brought up the N&W practice (inconsistent, but present from time to time) of physically lowering a signal that governed a siding (?or entering branch). I.e., at a location that was, say, 2 tracks, unidirectionally signalled, with a siding alongside one of the main tracks, there would be 2 signals on the signal bridge, one for one main track, the other for the siding. (Ignore the signal for the opposite direction.) The N&W would (sometimes) place the signal governing the siding lower, the signal governing the main track higher, to distinguish their functions when this was not clear.

I don't believe the PRR ever did this in quite this fashion. However, I have seen, on Conrail, admittedly, older (PRR) signal bridges spanning all main tracks and an additional signal, governing the siding or entering branch, on a mast to the right of that siding or branch.

Now that I've introduced this fully, I now ask: was such placement intentional and was it done for purposes of clarity (as surely we know, but the "rules of signal placement", such clarification was not technically required)?

A

Q
On track diagrams, Itlk signals are shown with a quarter-circle. Why is this sometimes filled, and sometimes unfilled.
(Mark D. Bej)
A
Answer

According to the PRR Standard Symbols S-601-A of 1935, filled-in signals are called "Semi-Automatic (Power) Stick Position Light", versus "Semi-Automatic (Power) Non-Stick Position Light" for the non-filled-in version. According to the notes on this sheet, "A signal not directly controlled by a lever but controlled through a track circuit shall be shown as "Automatic", although some feature of its control may be dependant upon another signal which is semi-automatic."
(Drew R. McGhee)

Q
On track (and model board) diagrams of dwarf signals, the line representing the "restricting" aspect of the dwarf signal sometimes has a cross-hatch, making it a "T", where none of the other lines do. This is seen only with dwarf signal Restricting aspects, and then only on some dwarf signals. Occasionally, the same model board would have some of each. Is this a historical thing without meaning, or did it actually mean something?
(Mark D. Bej)
A
Answer

According to the PRR Standard Symbols S-601-A of 1935, [this was called a] Non-Automatic Power Position Light.
(Drew R. McGhee)

Q
Did the PRR have standardized (what, am I kidding?), published rules governing what the signal in the rear will show given that the signal in advance is showing X, or was each installation customized? (I speak here primarily of installations east of Harrisburg, and a few out west, of "compound interlockings".
A

Q
Under what circumstances would a signal engineer install signals whose most restrictive aspect was Restricting, instead of Stop and Proceed with a "G" plate, in standard mainline practice? One example of where this was done is the entire grade including Horse Shoe Curve. Was there any formal or informal rule? What other grades were signalled in this fashion?
(Mark D. Bej)
A
My suspicions on this point had always been that, since the PRR's rule for the G plate allowed only "tonnage freights" (in their case, specifically, freights > 90 cars or with tonnage >= 80% of the engine rating) to pass a Stop-and-Proceed with G plate at Restricted Speed without stopping, using a Restricting signal allowed all trains to do so. This was confirmed by Robert H. Piligian rpsurv@nni.com: Rob spoke with a former Conrail road foreman who confirmed that the guys in operations did not want to have trains stop on the Hill.
(Robert H. Piligian)

Q
The Pennsy used a right triangle, yellow rimmed with black, attached to a signal, to indicate that that signal showed not Medium, but Limited Speed aspects. (The triangle was placed such that the right angle was identically oriented to the right angle in an "L".) Did the presence of such a plate imply that all medium speed facing point switches beyond that signal had been replaced? Were there ever occasions where limited speed switches existed, but mainline trains were forced to use medium speed over them?
A
Some unrelated information: I have a 1946 ETT that notes these triangles being added to signals. Also, Drew McGhee has some PRR documents that indicate in a footnote that the triangle was adopted in 1943. Still unknown is when the term "Limited Speed" was adopted.

Miscellany; Current Operations; Disposition of PRR Lines

Q

The Jefferson County Historical Society owns an 1895 PRR passenger railroad station in Madison, Indiana. We are restoring a typical 4-wheeled baggage cart (or express wagon, as the old catalogues called it), to be placed outside the station. My question is: What colors should the cart be painted? Did the Pennsylvania RR paint theirs the green and red of the Railway Express Agency, or did they use PRR colors?
(
Ronald Grimes)

A

As I recall (40+ years ago) the railroad-owned carts were painted some sort of iron oxide/tuscan red, with (less sure) small yellow "PENNSYLVANIA" on the edge of the bed. I think the end uprights, metal parts of the bed, whells and spokes were same color, wood planking of the bed unpainted.
(Robert Netzlof)

Q

What color was used on the Jordan spreaders?
(Mike Selligman)

A

See Sweetland and Yanosey, PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, p. 125: the Jordan spreader appears to be all black with white lettering and yellow hand rails and ladders. Except where wear has scraped off the paint, of course, which is rust-colored.
(thanks to Ron Dugas)

Q
What is going to happen to the Low Grade division, especially around Brookville? Now that B&P has bought out Shawmut who previously bought out the AVRR lines, what will happen to the AVRR? How about the status of the Falls Creek line from Falls Creek along 219? Is it scheduled to be ripped?
(Michael Sheliga)
A


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Mark D. Bej
bejm@eeg.ccf.org
+1 216-444-0119
1999.09.21

Q

Did 1945-50 N5 cabin cars use Adlake Marker lamps? What are the three lens colors (facing front of train, side, and rear of train)?
(John T. Quinn)


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Mark D. Bej
bejm@eeg.ccf.org
+1 216-444-0119
1998-06-10