For those people that like to take day trips by train, here are some great outings from Philadelphia that were operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1923. I wish those wonderful prices were still around today. Philadelphia to New York by New Jersey Transit and SEPTA today is about $50 round trip. The cheapest Amtrak fare is $56 one way.
Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania Railroad’
Three organizations are teaming up to offer a rare mileage excursion over the Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Railroad’s Shamokin Valley Branch.
The train will include a Pullman car, baggage car, three restored coaches and a PRR N8 cabin car.
The tracks are now used by the North Shore Railroad, which is operated by the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority.
The train will depart from Sunbury, Pennsylvania, with bus transportation provided to the boarding site from Camp Hill, Wyomissing and Lancaster.
Tickets are $89 per person for those departing from one of the bus locations and $45 for those driving to Sunbury on their own.
The fare includes a bag lunch. Other sandwiches and drinks will be available for purchase on the train.
This trip is subject to cancellation due to insufficient and/or late registration.
Tickets can be purchased by sending a check made payable to the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society.
Send payments to Iron Ore Special, 1624 Suzanne Drive, West Chester, PA 19380-1573. Registration and payment are due by April 10,
For further information send a email query to email@example.com.
Trip sponsors are the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society, the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society, and the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Fundraising by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania for a steam locomotive restoration project has reached the level where it qualifies for a matching grant of $50,000.
The museum plans to use the money to restore five former PRR steam locomotives. The project needs to raise a total of $250,000.
The five locomotives include Pennsy M1b 4-8-2 No. 6755, K4s 4-6-2 No. 3750, L1s 2-8-2 No. 520, H10s 2-8-0 No. 7688 and B6sb 0-6-0 No. 1670.
All of them will be cosmetically restored and placed on display in a roundhouse that the museum plans to build. Groundbreaking for the roundhouse is expected to done this year.
When Penn Central filed for bankruptcy protection in June 1970 it was not only the largest business failure in America to date, but it rendered stock in the beleaguered company all but worthless.
One footnote to the Penn Central story is that when the New York Central and Pennsylvania railroads merged on Feb. 1, 1968, the company was officially known as the Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company, a name that didn’t last long and was shortened to Penn Central Transportation Company.
As seen above the stock certificates came in two colors, blue and brown. Shareholders also had the option of mixing the two shades.
Not unlike many stock certificates, Penn Central stock had an elaborate appearance, featuring a profile of the Roman god Mercury. He was the god of financial gain, commerce, messages/communication, travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves.
Given some of the financial shenanigans that PC management practiced during their trouble company’s life, perhaps the choice of Mercury was appropriate given their embrace of the latter two of Mercury’s traits.
Mercury appears amid scenes of a city skyline and various forms of transportation.
Because the PRR was the nominal survivor of the merger, it’s date of origin is listed toward the top on the right hand side.
From a legal perspective, the PRR had changed its name to Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company.
That didn’t last long. On May 8, 1968, the company name changed to Penn Central Transportation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penn Central Company.
For awhile, PC paid dividends to stock holders in an effort to create the illusion of success.
In reality, the railroad ran up a deficit of $2.8 million in its first year and it only grew from there, reaching $83 million in 1969. On June 21, 1970, PC entered bankruptcy proceedings.
At the time, Penn Central was the nation’s sixth largest company.
We all know that many of the railroad operations of PC were turned over to Consolidated Rail Corporation on April 1, 1976. Some PC lines not picked up by Conrail were saved, but others simply never saw rail service again and were eventually abandoned.
Penn Central Company survived the bankruptcy. It had considerable real estate holdings and eventually evolved into a financial services and insurance company later known as American Financial Group.
Today, Penn Central stock is a collectors item. One website that deals in old stocks and bonds is offering PC stock certificates online for $6.95, marked down from $10.95. On eBay, PC stock certificates on Thursday ranged in asking price from $2.19 to $8.19.
The stock certificates shown above are from the collection of Jack Norris.
Penn Central disappeared as a railroad on April 1, 1976, when many of its railroad assets were absorbed by the newly-formed Consolidated Rail Corporation.
But Penn Central as a corporate entity continued to exist because it had extensive real estate holdings.
The railroad of the name Penn Central is far better known than the Penn Central Corporation, which continue to hold and manage the non-rail assets owned by the railroad that Conrail didn’t want.
A decade after Penn Central, the railroad, ceased to operate, Penn Central, the corporation, continued to sell and manage those assets. It even reorganized itself on Oct. 24, 1978, when it adopted the Penn Central Corporation moniker, and on March 28, 1994, when it was renamed American Premium Underwriters.
That suggests an insurance company, which is exactly what it was. It had its headquarters in Cincinnati and later was acquired by American Financial Group.
But enough history of Penn Central the financial company. Penn Central the railroad best known for seeking bankruptcy protection in June 1970 still lives if you look for it.
You can find vestiges of PC in the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum as well as on the sides of covered hopper cars.
I present here a gallery of Penn Central memories that were still living that I found in the past year and a half at various locations in Ohio.
Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders
Two Pennsylvania organizations are seeking to preserve five Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives so that they can be placed on display.
All of the engines are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are:
- M1b 4-8-2 No. 6755, built at Juniata Shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1930,
- K4s 4-6-2 No. 3750, built at Juniata in 1920.
- L1s 2-8-2 No. 520, built by Baldwin in 1916.
- H10s 2-8-0 No. 7688 built by Lima in 1915.
- B6sb 0-6-0 No. 1670 built at Juniata in 1916.
The campaign is being spearheaded by the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society.
The PRR historical society will match all donations up to $50,000.
If this utility line structure looks a little odd, there is a reason for that.
It was designed to straddle a railroad track holding hopper cars of coal that had been delivered to a nearby power plant. The spur came off the Pennsylvania Railroad, crossed Front Street in Akron and then went for a short distance along the Cuyahoga River.
Today that railroad spur and the power plant are gone, but the utility line still stands in the Gorge Metropark straddling the border of Akron and Cuyahoga Falls. The former railroad right of way is a trail in the park.
Many, if not most, people who walk this trail probably don’t know why this support structure is shaped as it is. I might not have known either if Roger Durfee had not explained it to me.
Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders
The annual Toys For Tots Train, sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, travels through northern New Jersey and lower New York State on various short lines, making stops to pick up toys.
This year’s train featured a Conrail caboose, a U.S. Marines boxcar, a restored Pennsylvania Railroad express-baggage car, restored New York Central lounge car No. 43, and former 20th Century Limited tail car Hickory Creek.
The host short line provided the motive power. Shown is the train operating on the New York, Susquehanna & Western with SD33ECO No. 3012.
It was a cold, but beautiful day for a chase. I chased the train for about 20 miles and I caught it in several spots along the Susquehanna, including the train leaving the yard at Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, and passing the Marcal Paper Plant in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.
I waited for the train at its scheduled stop in Wortendyke, New Jersey, and visited with Santa and the crew, many of whom I have known for years from my 30 years of volunteering.
A car from one of the world’s greatest trains carrying Santa Claus on a short line that has outlived the mighty New York Central might seem like an unlikely, but unforgettable, combination on a beautiful fall day.
Article and Photographs by Jack Norris
Last Saturday my friend Adam Barr and I headed for Pittsburgh for a morning of railfanning Norfolk Southern in the steel city.
We had been in town about a half-hour when an an online report popped up that the Pennsylvania Railroad heritage unit was headed west past Manor, Pennsylvania, with a load of sea cans. That turned out to be stack train 21Q.
Manor is east of the Pittsburgh where the Pennsylvania Turnpike crosses over the NS Pittsburgh line between Pittsburgh and Altoona, Pennsylvania.
We headed for California Avenue with the idea of getting an image of the locomotive paying tribute to the PRR on a structure that was built by the PRR, the Ohio Connecting Bridge that today carries the NS Mon Line.
When I think of railroads in Pittsburgh, structures such as this come to mind. I also think of the former Pennsylvania Railroad.
We were able to get ahead of the train and catch it at CP Leets in Leetsdale. Although I had my scanner on, we didn’t get any warning of the train approaching because I didn’t pick it up calling any signals.
Our “heads up” was another railfan bolting from his car and running toward the bridge over the tracks that carries a road leading into an industrial park. I was barely able to get the shot I wanted of the Pennsy heritage unit passing former Pennsy position light signals.
We weren’t sure if we could beat the 21Q to East Conway because it was moving along at a good clip. But it turned out the stacker would have a long wait there because of traffic working in Conway Yard that needed to come out to East Conway for head room as well as the need for the 21Q to change crews.
Our last photo op of the 21Q was planned for the bridge over the Beaver River in Beaver Falls. But things did not go according to plan because Adam, who was driving, could not find a parking spot in a timely manner.
He dropped me off at the east end of the sidewalk of the bridge and I walked as fast as I could toward the river. I wouldn’t make it.
The 21Q had already called the signal at the Brighton and I could see its headlight illuminating the sides of the containers of an eastbound stack train that was slowly making its way toward Conway.
I noticed the Fort Wayne Line bridge had an old, but faded Pennsylvania Railroad keystone and decided to make that the focal point of my last photograph of NS 8102, thus ending my chase of the 21Q with an image of a pair of Pennsy keystones.