Posts Tagged ‘Pennsy steam locomotives’

FMW To Help with PRR 1361 Restoration

June 25, 2021

An Altoona railroad museum has hired a consulting firm to help with the restoration of Pennsylvania Railroad K4 No. 1361.

The announcement on Thursday by the Railroaders Memorial Museum said FMW Solutions will lead the effort to restore the 4-6-2 steam locomotive to operating condition.

FMW, which is based in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, recently helped with the restoration of U.S. Sugar 4-6-2 No. 148 in Florida and is working on the restoration of Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis 4-8-4 No. 576.

The cost of restoring the 1361 has been put at $2.6 million and the Altoona museum said fundraising efforts are being led by board chairman and former Norfolk Southern CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman. 

The 1361 was built at the Altoona Works in 1918 and ran until 1956 when it was placed on static display at Horseshoe Curve.

It was restored to operating condition in the late 1980s before being sidelined with mechanical problems after two years of operation.

Since then the locomotive resided for a time at Steamtown National Historic Site but plans to restore it there collapsed and the engine was delivered to Altoona in pieces.

Although some restoration work has been performed since then in Altoona on the tender and other locomotive components, little progress has been made. 

The museum hired FMW in 2019 to conduct a detailed inspection of the locomotive. That assessment has been reviewed and approved by the Federal Railroad Administration. 

There was Much to Anticipate in April 1987

June 5, 2020

The restore Pennsylvania Railroad K4 steam locomotive chugs along at Milesburg, Pennsylvania, north of Bellfonte on the ex-PRR Bald Eagle branch in central Pennsylvania.

April of 1987 was looking to be a very exciting month. There would be inaugural steam locomotive trips featuring Pennsylvania Railroad 4-6-2 No. 1361 and Norfolk & Western 2-6-6-4 No. 1218.

Pennsy 1361 would make its debut at Altoona, Pennsylvania, and N&W 1218 would be ssteaming out of Roanoke, Virginia.

We chose to chase the 1361 because we knew the 1218 would be up in our area later that summer.

No. 1361 ran on Conrail (the former PRR mainline) from Altoona to Tyrone then up the Nittany & Bald Eagle, a former Pennsy branch, to Bellefonte on April 12, 1987.

The day was complete rain, fog and gloom; however, that did not hinder the first time seeing the K4 live since her days just recently on display at Horseshoe Curve.

I was with the Surdyks on this day along with hundreds if not thousands witnessing this historic restoration having come to fruition.

On April 26, 1987, there was a joint Akron Railroad Club/Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts photo special on the New York & Lake Erie out of Gowanda, New York.

This excursion on former Erie Railroad tracks was set up with the president of the NY&LE, Bob Dingman.

We were fortunate to have the locomotive and a coach used in the filming of the movie Planes Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy.

You may notice the railroad name Contrack is a takeoff of Conrail and Amtrak.

In the movie Candy plans Del Griffith, a shower curtain ring salesman who winds up traveling  with Martin , who plays marketing executive Neal Page, by train and automobile, after their flight from New York to Chicago is diverted to Wichita, Kansas, during a blizzard.

The NY&LE was also noted for the railroad scenes in The Natural with Robert Redford. Former Grant Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 was brought from Cleveland to the NY&LE for the early scenes in the movie.

Finally on May16, 1987, Louisville & Nashville 4-6-2 No. 152 was leased by Norfolk Southern for several trips as part of its steam program.

The trip I photographed was ran from L&N 152 from Lexington to Stearns, Kentucky. N&W 611 would then return the train to Lexington.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

No. 1361 passes a Conrail helper set on the Pittsburgh Line at Pinecroft, which is east of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Doyle McCormick sits in the engineer’s seat of No. 1361 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

ARRC and RRE members ride in a a gondola during their excursion on the New York & Lake Erie. That is the late J. Gary Dillon standing on the porch of the caboose while Marty Surdyk stands at far right wearing a red and white hat.

The excursionists pose at South Dayton, New York, on the Contrack locomotive used in the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Louisville & Nashville 152 at Danville, Kentucky.

L&N 152 is putting on a show at Moreland, Kentucky.

Norfolk & Western 611 pulls the excursion train over the Cumberland River at Burnside, Kentucky.

Levin Heading Effort to Restore PRR K4s

May 11, 2018

An effort to restore former Pennsylvania Railroad K4s 4-6-2 No. 1361 kicked off this week.

Bennett Levin, who owns a pair of PRR passenger diesels, is behind the effort to ramp up the restoration effort.

Speaking to the 50th anniversary convention of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Levin said the official state locomotive of Pennsylvania needs a new boiler and its axles must be converted to roller bearings.

Levin said new boiler would cost at least $1 million with the money coming from private sources.

Former Norfolk Southern CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman is reportedly helping to support the restoration.

“We believe there are financial partners out there to sustain the operation,” Levin said. “There is movement going forward.”

Levin said once the 1361 is restored that it will be used to pull a replica 1940s and 1950s Pennsy passengers train in Pennsylvania.

No. 1361 was displayed at Horseshoe Curve near Altoona between 1957 and 1985.

The locomotive was then restored to operating condition and pulled excursion trains before an axle problem sidelined it 1988.

Partial restoration was done at Steamtown and the East Broad Top shops in Orbisonia, Pennsylvania, but the locomotive has been in a state of disassembly for more than 20 years.

Some further work has been done on the boiler and other components in Altoona in recent years.

Levin acknowledged that the operating environment for historic equipment is “fragile.”

Amtrak canceled a special he had planned to operate to the PRRT&HS convention with his PRR E8A locomotives and passenger cars.

He said he will work for a legislative remedy to alleviate liability insurance issues that hinder excursion trains so that excursion operators no longer need Amtrak’s liability insurance to use freight railroad tracks.

T1 Trust Acquires Tender from New York Society

August 22, 2017

The Western New York Railway Historical Society has sold to the T1 Trust a tender that is being described as the last of its kind.

Former Pennsylvania Railroad long-haul tender No. 6659 was used behind an M1, a 4-8-2 Mountain-type locomotive.

The acquisition means that the T1 trust will not have to build a tender because the tender it purchased is essentially a T1 tender minus the streamlining.

Design, construction, and fabrication of a new tender was estimated to eat $3 million out of the T1 restoration project’s $10 million budget.

No. 6659 holds 31 tons of coal and 21,000 gallons of water. No other coast-to-coast tenders with 16-wheels are known to exist.

In a news release, the T1 Trust said that No. 6659 is in excellent condition with sealed hatches, minor surface rust and well-preserved trucks.

The WNYRHS had acquired No. 6659 with the intent of using it to replace the gutted-out short tender for its Pennsy 2-10-0 I1sa-type locomotive.

As part of the purchase agreement, the T1 Trust will fully restore the I1’s tender tank to its original specifications as part of a planned cosmetic restoration of the I1 locomotive. The tender restoration is estimated to cost $75,000.

T1 Restoration Group Reports Building Cab

July 18, 2017

A group restoring a Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotive recently announced that it has finished building the engine’s cab.

The rebuilding was done in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, in a former PRR shop how owned by Curry Rail Service.

The group, The T1 Trust, is seeking to restore PRR T1 4-4-4-4 No. 5550.

The group described finishing the cab as a major step forward. Earlier this year it said it had cast its first boxpok driver.

Curry Rail is a locomotive supplier and railcar maintenance company that is a corporate sponsor of the T1 Trust project.

The Pennsy had 52 Class T1 locomotives, including 25 built at its shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Another 27 were built by Baldwin Locomotive Works.

Most of them were built in 1945 and 1946 and used in high-speed passenger service.

Cosmetic Restoration Completed on PRR Steam Locomotive by Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

October 26, 2016

The completion of the cosmetic restoration of Pennsylvania Railroad E6s Atlantic steam locomotive No. 460 will be observed on Nov. 5 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

The restoration work took six years to complete. Plans are to display No. 460 in the museum’s rolling stock hall.

PRREventually, No. 460 is expected to become the centerpiece among five other Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives in a roundhouse that has yet to be built.

The restoration was funded, in part, by a donation of $370,000 that was raised by an allied group, the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, which contributed $370,000.

More than $120,000 came from the museum’s general fund while more than $250,000 came from individuals, groups and corporate donors.

No. 460 was built in 1914 at the PRR’s Juniata Shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and is the last survivor of the fleet of 83 Pennsylvania E6 Atlantic-type locomotives.

Those locomotives were lightweight, yet powerful, and pulled such passenger trains as the Chicago-New York Broadway Limited.

The last E6 was retired in 1955. No. 460 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Museum officials said restoration of the 460 required about 29,000 hours.

The engine has been restored to its 1950s appearance. This included the repair, or replacement of, pipe lagging, boiler jacket, back head jacket, drive rods, bearings and drive boxes.

Other work included the replacement of wood doors, windows, cab liner, cab flooring and cab seats.

The exterior front and rear headlights and marker lights were rewired. Workers applied primer and two coats of finish paint. The cab and tender were re-lettered.