Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania Railroad’

EBT Acquires ex-PRR Steel Boxcar

August 21, 2021

Pennsylvania-based East Broad Top Railroad has acquired a standard-gauge 40-foot steel boxcar that it will use to show how such cars were once handled on the narrow-gauge railroad.

The car is a former Pennsylvania Railroad X29-class car that EBT got from the now defunct Kiski Junction Railroad in Schenley, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh.

EBT staff will show visitors how the railroad avoided a costly and time-consuming transfer of freight between standard and three-foot narrow gauge cars.

The car the EBT received will need to be restored before it can be used for that purpose.

Back when it was still a common carrier freight hauler, the EBT used its Timber Transfer crane at Mount Union, Pennsylvania, to transform the car to narrow-gauge operation.

The car was built for the Pennsy in 1934.

EBT officials hope to eventually acquire two more standard-gauge cars, perhaps a covered hopper, gondola, or tank car to use as examples of cars that traveled on the EBT.

Moving Day in Union City

July 28, 2021

Years of planning and fundraising paid off in Union City, Indiana, on Tuesday when a moving company moved the town’s railroad interlocking tower about a block west to a park.

The brick tower, which closed in 1968, once controlled the crossing of the New York Central”s (Big Four) Cleveland-Indianapolis line with the Pennsylvania Railroad’s (Panhandle) Columbus-Logansport, Indiana, line.

Local interests raised more than $56,000 which was matched by a $50,000 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Agency.

Union City, located on the Indiana-Ohio border, had faced a late March deadline to commit to moving the tower or else it would be razed by CSX.

The former Pennsy line through Union City is gone, but the former NYC line is today the Indianapolis Line of CSX.

Three city streets were closed so the tower could be move on dollies by Wolfe House & Building Movers.

The tower is slated to be restored with the lower level being used as a visitor center with restrooms, and the upper level returned to its appearance when the tower was still open.

It is located in the southwest corner of Artisan Crossing park and faces the CSX tracks in the same manner that it did before it was moved. The park is adjacent to the CSX Indianapolis Line and across the street from the restored former PRR passenger station.

In the top image, the tower is being wheeled west on Pearl Street. The bottom image shows the tower in its final resting place.

Historic Pennsylvania Tunnel Reopened

June 30, 2021

A Pennsylvania tourist railroad has reopened a stretch of track that includes the Howard Tunnel near York.

The Northern Central Railway on June 26 ran its replica 4-4-0 steam locomotive to celebrate the occasion.

It was the first revenue service train to pass through the tunnel in more than two decades. The track is a former Pennsylvania Railroad line that once linked York with Baltimore.

Much of the route was abandoned by Penn Central after suffering severe damage by Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

Howard Tunnel is the third oldest railroad tunnel in the nation. Completed in 1838, the 370-foot bricked-lined tunnel is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The rail line itself was built in the 1830s. The segment between New Freedom and York was acquired by the state in order to preserve it.

There is a connection at New Freedom with the Stewartstown Railroad.

The 4-4-0 that ran last weekend was built by Kloke Locomotive Works.

Two for Tuesday: Then and Now at Warwick

June 29, 2021

Here are two photos from nearly the same location in Clinton (Warwick). This is the now-removed east leg of the wye that was in Warwick. As I recall the east leg was ripped out in the early 1990s.

In the top image, it’s 1968 or 1969, and a trio of Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives are heading toward Massillon.

In the bottom image, it’s May 20, 2021, and very little is left to suggest a railroad once ran through here.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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. 

Day on the East Slope

June 23, 2021

About three weeks ago I took a trip to Altoona, Pennsylvania, and railfanned the east slope of the former Pennsylvania Railroad Alleghany Mountain grade.

Here is a selection of some of my photographs, all of which were taken at Bennington Curve.

In order they include a downhill stack train, Amtrak’s westbound Pennsylvanian, and an eastbound coal train that had the PRR heritage leading and the Lehigh Valley heritage as a DPU

Photographs by Todd Dillon

52-Year Old Memory from Harrisburg

June 23, 2021

It was 52 years ago that the photographer and a group of friends found Pennsylvania Railroad E7A No. 4223 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on May 30, 1969. The unit already has its new Penn Central roster number.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

What’s Pulling CVSR Trains These Days?

June 9, 2021

Here is a view of HZRX GP35M No. 2348 as it crosses the Ohio and Erie Canal remnants in Akron on June 5, 2021, with a Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train. It is only on the longest days of the year that this can be photographed in the sun on the northern side of the bridge.

No. 2348 has quite a history. It was built in February 1965 for the Pennsylvania Railroad and later served Penn Central and Conrail. More recently it was seen in Fairport Harbor in freight service.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Through a Signal Bridge

June 5, 2021

Conrail SD 60 No. 6754 SD 50 No. 6711 are on the point of an eastbound train in the Canton yard on Jan. 17, 1987. This is former Pennsylvania Railroad territory as evidenced by the position light signals on the Fort Wayne Line.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

The Way It Used to be in Dennison

May 2, 2021

Dennison, Ohio, was a key point on the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Pittsburgh-Columbus line. In this series of images. most of which were made in summer 1967, we visit the Dennison yard during the final hours of Pennsy operation.

The top image shows the roundhouse in an image made with a Mamiya C# twin lens reflex camera. That is the late Mike Ondecker standing in front.

Next up are some facilities that were still in place that once serve steam locomotives. What you see might be double sanding towers as I have never seen concrete water towers.

The next image is looking west toward Columbus. Dennison saw all of the PRR’s elite New York-St. Louis passenger trains, including the Spirit of St. Louis.

Continuing on we get another view of the roundhouse, which looks to be in rather rough condition.

Let’s step back a year. “I made the next image from the side window of my parents’ 1965 Ford as we passed the yard in 1966. I was using my Minoltina 35mm rangefinder.”

Moving back to 1967, we know you want to see some Pennsy trains so here are a couple. In the first image we see an eastbound passing the yard.

You have to wonder if any of those locomotives and boxcars visible on this train are still around. They sure don’t look like anything you’d see today.

Finally, we view PRR U25B No. 2608 switching the yard.

Photographs by Robert Farkas