Posts Tagged ‘Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’

Bellevue Museum Gets Grant for Dome Car

December 21, 2017

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue has received a $10,000 grant from Trains magazine that will be used to restore the nation’s first dome car.

The money will be used to restore the dome section of the Silver Dome, a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy car that was modified from coach Silver Alchemy at the railroad’s shops in Aurora, Illinois, in 1945.

General Motors Vice President Cyrus Osborn is credited with coming up with the concept of a dome car while riding the head-end of a train through Colorado’s Glenwood Canyon in 1944.

The museum acquired Silver Dome from Amtrak in 1978. The Trains grant will be used to replace trim and Plexiglas that has become discolored. The museum also plans to restore the upholstery and carpets as well as do window sill work.

Trains received 40 applications for its 2017 Preservation Award. The grant program is now in its 18th year.

In another development, the Mad River museum said on its website recently that it has raised more than $70,000 toward its goal of $100,000 this year to use to acquire Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive 757.

The locomotive is currently at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.

The Mad River museum plans to place No. 757 on static display once it arrives in Bellevue.

No. 757 had been set aside by the Nickel Plate Road to donate to Bellevue, but the city lacked a museum at the time. It therefore wound up being sent to Pennsylvania.

Mad River has said its overall fundraising goal is $250,000 of which $150,000 will be used to move the 757 to Bellevue.

On its website, the museum said if it raises $150,000 by next spring it will be able to move the 757 to Bellevue as early as next summer.

In recent months, Mad River volunteers and contractors have traveled to Strasburg to prepare the locomotive for shipment.

More information, including how to donate to the cause, visit


NKP 757 to be Acquired by Bellevue Museum

August 2, 2017

Two museums have worked out an agreement that will result in a former Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive moving to Ohio.

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum said this week that the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania has agreed to send it NKP No. 757.

In Bellevue, the 757 will be placed on static display. NKP 757 is a 2-8-4 Berkshire-type that was built by Lima Locomotives Works in 1944.

“We are very excited to be able to bring the 757 back to Bellevue,” said Made River museum President Chris Beamer. “The absence of a mainline steam locomotive in our collection has been something we have wanted to correct for a long time.”

No. 757 last operated on June 15, 1958. The Nickel Plate had intended to donate it to the city of Bellevue, but it lacked a suitable place to display it.

The locomotive was stored in Bellevue for several years before being donated to the Pennsylvania museum in 1966.

Moving the 757 will cost $250,000 and the Mad River museum is raising funds to pay for that. It has launched a website to provide further information about the fundraising campaign.

The Mad River museum has more than 50 pieces of equipment displayed or stored on 10 acres of property and five buildings. It describes itself as having the most extensive collection of NKP equipment and artifacts of any museum.

Negotiations to bring NKP 757 to Bellevue began earlier this year. The Mad River museum will own the 757 once it has been removed from its current site in Pennsylvania.

Pa. Excursion Trip Set for May 18

February 17, 2017

Three organizations are teaming up to offer a rare mileage excursion over the Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Railroad’s Shamokin Valley Branch.

PennsylvaniaThe May 18 trip will cover a 27-mile branch that is the third oldest railroad in the United States, having been chartered as the Danville & Pottsville Railroad in 1826.

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

Trip sponsors are the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society, the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society, and the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Pa. Museum Qualifies for Matching Grant.

February 1, 2017

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.

pa-rr-museumThe museum has raised more than $60,000 in its “Ready for the Roundhouse” campaign, thus matching a 50-50 grant from the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society.

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.

Groups Raising Money to Restore PRR Steamers

January 11, 2017

Two Pennsylvania organizations are seeking to preserve five Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives so that they can be placed on display.

PRRThe locomotives will receive a cosmetic face lift and then be housed in a roundhouse being built by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

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.


Pa. RR Museum Affiliates with Smithsonian

October 27, 2016

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania has been named a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, the 11th in the state and the 215th nationwide.

pa-rr-museumThe affiliation will be celebrated in a Nov. 4 ceremony.

“Smithsonian Affiliates represent the diversity of America’s museum community,” said Harold A. Closter, director of Smithsonian affiliations. “As one of the foremost representatives of the rich heritage of railroading, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is a vital partner in the Smithsonian’s effort to serve the public through educational outreach, artifact loans, traveling exhibitions and collaborative research.”

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.

1 Ohio Museum in Top 10 of USA Today Poll

July 23, 2016

One Ohio museum made the top 10 of a USA Today survey of the best transportation museums in the United States. That was the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force located in Riverside near Dayton, which placed fourth.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania landed in fifth placed while the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum placed sixth.

OhioThe top museum in the survey was the Lake Superior Transportation Museum in Duluth, Minnesota.

Others placing in the top 10 included the Simeone Automotive Foundation Museum, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, Petersen Automotive Museum,  National Automobile Museum, Maritime Museum of San Diego and the Illinois Railway Museum.

The newspaper also rated the nation’s top train rides and two narrow gauge routes once owned by the Denver & Rio Grande Western placed first and second. They were the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, and Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The West Virginia-based Cass Scenic Railroad placed third.

Others placing in the top included the Napa Valley Wine Train, White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, Mount Washington Cog Railway, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Grand Canyon Railroad and Amtrak’s Empire Builder.

TTX Donates Flatcar to Pennsylvania Museum

July 9, 2015

TTX Company had donated an intermodal flatcar to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

The car, RTTX No. 150643, arrived at the museum in Strasburg on Tuesday.

Built by Bethlehem Steel’s Johnstown works in February 1965, the class F89F car was overhauled by TTX and re-painted before arriving at the museum.

Before being retired from service, it was part of the TTX fleet for nearly 50 years and accumulated 3.7 million miles of service.

NS 911 to Debut at Pa. Museum Festival

May 22, 2015

The Norfolk Southern first responders tribute locomotive will appear at “Norfolk Southern Days” June 13-14 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. The event will be the first public appearance for the SD60E

Police, firefighters and emergency responders will receive a 50 percent discount on admission to the museum during the event

No. 911 will be available for emergency vehicles to be position to pose for photographs with the locomotive.

Also on hand will be NS executive train F7 No. 4271, sleeper observation car No. 7 Pennsylvania and the NS exhibit car.

Providing music will be the Norfolk Southern Lawmen band.

The museum will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, go to