The PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD (reporting mark PRR) (or PENNSYLVANIA
RAILROAD COMPANY and also known as the "PENNSY") was an American Class
I railroad that was established in 1846 and was headquartered in
Pennsylvania . It was called the
because it was established in the state of Pennsylvania.
The PRR was the largest railroad by traffic and revenue in the U.S.
for the first half of the 20th century. Over the years, it acquired,
merged with or owned part of at least 800 other rail lines and
companies. At the end of 1925, it operated 10,515 miles of rail line;
in the 1920s, it carried nearly three times the traffic as other
railroads of comparable length, such as the Union Pacific or Atchison,
Topeka "> Amtrak's "Pennsylvanian" operates daily runs between New
Pittsburgh over the former PRR Main Line.
With the opening of the
Erie Canal (1825) and the beginnings of the
Ohio Canal (1828),
Philadelphia business interests
became concerned that the port of
Philadelphia would lose traffic. The
state legislature was pressed to build a canal across
Main Line of Public Works was commissioned in 1826. It soon
became evident that a single canal would not be practical and a series
of railroads, inclined planes, and canals was proposed. The route
consisting of the
Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, canals up the
Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, an inclined plane railroad and tunnel
across the Allegheny Mountains, and canals down the Conemaugh and
Allegheny rivers to
Pittsburgh on the
Ohio River was completed in
1834. Because freight and passengers had to change cars several times
along the route and canals froze in winter, it soon became apparent
that the system was cumbersome and a better way was needed.
The Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania granted a charter to the
Railroad in 1846 to build a private rail line that would
Pittsburgh . The Directors chose John Edgar
Thomson , an engineer from the Georgia
Railroad , to survey and
construct the line. He chose a route that followed the west bank of
Susquehanna River northward to the confluence with the Juniata
River, following its banks until the foothills of the Allegheny
Mountains were reached at a point that would become Altoona,
Pennsylvania . In order to traverse the mountains, the line climbed a
moderate grade for 10 miles until it reached a split of two mountain
ravines which were cleverly crossed by building a fill and having the
tracks ascend a 220-degree curve known as Horseshoe Curve that limited
the grade to less than 2 percent. The crest of the mountain was
penetrated by the 3,612-foot Gallitzin Tunnels and then descended by a
more moderate grade to Johnstown .
The western end of the line was simultaneously built from Pittsburgh
east along the banks of the Allegheny and Conemaugh rivers to
Johnstown. PRR was granted trackage rights over the
Columbia and gained control of the three short lines connecting
Lancaster and Harrisburg, instituting an all-rail link between
Pittsburgh by 1854. In 1857, the PRR purchased the
Main Line of Public Works from the state of Pennsylvania, and
abandoned most of its canals and inclined planes . The line was double
track from its inception, and by the end of the century a third and
fourth track were added. Over the next 50 years, PRR expanded by
gaining control of other railroads by stock purchases and 999-year
John Edgar Thomson
John Edgar Thomson
Thomson (1808–1874) was the entrepreneur who led the PRR from 1852
until his death in 1874, making it the largest business enterprise in
the world and a world-class model for technological and managerial
innovation. He served as PRR's first Chief Engineer and third
President. Thomson's sober, technical, methodical, and
non-ideological personality had an important influence on the
Pennsylvania Railroad, which in the mid-19th century was on the
technical cutting edge of rail development, while nonetheless
reflecting Thomson's personality in its conservatism and its steady
growth while avoiding financial risks. His
in his day the largest railroad in the world, with 6,000 miles of
track, and was famous for steady financial dividends, high quality
construction, constantly improving equipment, technological advances
(such as replacing wood fuel with coal), and innovation in management
techniques for a large complex organization.
NEW YORK, PHILADELPHIA, BALTIMORE, AND WASHINGTON LINES
November 3, 1857 1893 PRR territory map 1899 map of
"Lines East" territory PRR Phila/NY coach ticket (c.1955)
In 1861 the PRR gained control of the
Northern Central Railway ,
giving it access to Baltimore,
Maryland , as well as points along the
Susquehanna River via connections at Columbia,
On December 1, 1871, the PRR leased the United
New Jersey Railroad
and Canal Company , which included the original Camden and Amboy
Railroad from Camden,
New Jersey (across the
Delaware River from
Philadelphia) to South Amboy,
New Jersey (across
Raritan Bay from New
York City ), as well as a newer line from
Philadelphia to Jersey City,
New Jersey , much closer to New York, via Trenton,
New Jersey . Track
Philadelphia was made via the PRR's Connecting Railway
and the jointly owned Junction
Railroad (Philadelphia) .
Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road opened on July 2, 1872,
between Baltimore and
Washington, D.C. This route required transfer
via horse car in Baltimore to the other lines heading north from the
city. On June 29, 1873, the
Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel
Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel through
Baltimore was completed. The PRR started the misleadingly named
Pennsylvania Air Line service via the
Northern Central Railway and
Columbia, Pennsylvania. This service was 54.5 miles (87.5 km) longer
than the old route but avoided the transfer in Baltimore. The Union
Railroad line opened on July 24, 1873. This route eliminated the
transfer in Baltimore. PRR officials contracted with both the Union
Railroad and the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad
Railroad for access to this line. The PRR's New
York–Washington trains began using the route the next day, ending
Pennsylvania Air Line service. In the early 1880s, the PRR acquired a
majority of PW&B Railroad's stock. This action forced the Baltimore
Railroad (B"> A GG1 electric locomotive pulls The
Congressional out of the
North River Tunnels
North River Tunnels , 1965
Early in the 20th century the PRR tried electric power for its
trains. First was the New York terminal area, where tunnels and a city
law restricting the burning of coal precluded steam locomotives. There
a direct current (DC) 650-volt third rail powered PRR locomotives (and
LIRR passenger cars). The system was put into service in 1910.
The next area to be electrified was the
Philadelphia terminal area,
where PRR officials decided to use overhead lines to supply power to
the suburban trains running out of Broad Street Station . Unlike the
New York terminal system, overhead wires would carry 11,000-volt
25-Hertz alternating current (AC) power: the system used for all
future installations. In 1915, electrification of the line from
Philadelphia to Paoli,
Pennsylvania was completed. Other Philadelphia
lines electrified were the Chestnut Hill Branch (1918), White Marsh
(1924), West Chester (1928), the main line to Wilmington,
and in 1930 the
Schuylkill Branch to Norristown , along with the rest
of the main line to Trenton. The former PRR electrified Main Line
Philadelphia is now owned and operated by
Amtrak and shared
SEPTA as far as Paoli and Thorndale.
William Wallace Atterbury announced in 1928 plans to
electrify the lines between New York, Philadelphia, Washington and
Harrisburg. In January 1933, through main-line service between New
York and Philadelphia/Wilmington/Paoli was placed in operation. The
first test run of an electric train between
Washington occurred on January 28, 1935. On February 1 the
Congressional Limiteds in both directions were the first trains in
regular electric operation between New York and Washington, drawn by
the first of the GG1 -type locomotives . All regular passenger trains
between these cities were electrified by March 15.
In 1934 the PRR received a $77 million loan from the
New Deal 's
Public Works Administration To complete the electrification project
initiated in 1928, work was started January 27, 1937, on the main line
from Paoli to Harrisburg; the low-grade freight line from Morrisville
through Columbia to
Enola Yard in Pennsylvania; the Port Road Branch
Maryland to Columbia; the Jamesburg Branch and Amboy
Secondary freight line from Monmouth Junction to South Amboy; and the
Landover-South End freight line from Landover,
Potomac Yard in Alexandria,
Virginia (now called the
Landover Subdivision and RF">
PENN CENTRAL MERGER AND CONRAIL
Penn Central Transportation Revenue freight traffic,
in millions of net ton-miles
Source: ICC annual reports Revenue passenger traffic, in millions of
Source: ICC annual reports
On February 1, 1968, the PRR merged with its arch-rival, the New York
Central railroad, to form the Penn Central . The Interstate Commerce
Commission (ICC) required that the ailing New York, New Haven &
Railroad be added in 1969. A series of events including
inflation, poor management, abnormally harsh weather conditions and
the withdrawal of a government-guaranteed $200 million operating loan
forced the Penn Central to file for bankruptcy protection on June 21,
1970. The Penn Central rail lines were split between Amtrak
Northeast Corridor and
Keystone Corridor ) and
Conrail in the 1970s.
After the breakup of
Conrail in 1999, the portion which had been PRR
territory largely became part of the
Norfolk Southern Railway . The
few parts of the PRR that went to
CSX after the
Conrail split are (1)
the western end of the Fort Wayne Line across western
northern Indiana, (2) the Pope\'s Creek Secondary in Maryland, just to
the east of Washington, (3) the Landover Subdivision, a former Pennsy
freight line in DC which connects to Amtrak's ex-Pennsy Northeast
Corridor and CSX's ex-B&O Alexandria Extension on the north end and
RF&P Subdivision on the south end via the ex-Pennsy "Long Bridge
" across the Potomac River, and (4) the Terre Haute, Ind. -to-East St.
Louis, Ill. segment of the St. Louis main line (the segment east of
Terre Haute is former-New York Central).
* 1846: PRR is chartered to construct a rail line from
* 1850: Construction begins on
Altoona Works repair shop at Altoona,
* 1860–1890: PRR expands throughout the eastern U.S.
* 1869: PRR leases the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne first vestibuled train
* 1894: The
Pennsylvania Pacific Corporation is formed by the PRR.
Special service begins between New York and
Chicago replacing the
* 1906: An accident in
Atlantic City kills 53 people
* 1910: Completion of the
North River Tunnels
North River Tunnels under the Hudson River
, providing direct service from
New Jersey to Manhattan on electrified
lines, terminating at the massive new Penn Station
* 1912: The Second Vice-President of the PRR,
John Borland Thayer ,
is lost in the sinking of
RMS Titanic at age of 49.
Broadway Limited was inaugurated, replacing the Pennsylvania
* 1915: PRR electrifies its suburban
Philadelphia lines to Paoli,
* 1916: PRR adopts new motto, Standard
Railroad of the World. The
first I1s Decapod locomotive is completed, and switching locomotives
of the A5s and B6sb class are introduced.
* 1917: Completion of the New York Connecting
Railroad and the Hell
* 1918: PRR stock bottoms at $40¼ (equal to $654.86 today), the
lowest since 1877, due largely to Federal railroad control . Emergency
freight is routed through New York Penn Station and the Hudson River
tunnels by the USRA to relieve congestion. Locomotive class N1s is
introduced for PRR's western lines; PRR electrifies suburban commuter
line to Chestnut Hill .
* 1928–1938: PRR electrifies its New York–
Washington, D.C. and
Philadelphia line between
Harrisburg and Paoli, several
Philadelphia and New York area commuter lines, and major through
* 1943: An accident at Frankford Junction,
Pennsylvania kills 79.
* 1946: PRR reported a net loss for the first time in its history.
* 1951: An accident in Woodbridge,
New Jersey kills 85 people.
* 1957: Steam locomotives are removed from active service in the PRR
* 1968: PRR merges with NYC to form the Penn Central Transportation
The PRR's corporate symbol was the keystone , the commonwealth of
Pennsylvania 's state symbol, with the letters "PRR" intertwined
inside. When colored, it was bright red with a silver-grey inline and
As noted, PRR colors and paint schemes were standardized. Locomotives
were painted in a shade of green so dark it seemed almost black. The
official name for this color was DGLE (Dark Green Locomotive Enamel),
though often referred to as "Brunswick Green." The undercarriage of
the locomotives were painted in black, referred to as "True Black."
The passenger cars of the PRR were painted
Tuscan Red , a
brick-colored shade of red. Some electric locomotives and most
passenger-hauling diesel locomotives were also painted in Tuscan Red.
Freight cars of the PRR had their own color, known as "Freight Car
Color," an iron-oxide shade of red. On passenger locomotives and cars
the lettering and outlining was originally done in real gold leaf .
World War II
World War II the lettering was done in a light shade of yellow
called Buff Yellow.
Railway signal Position light signals
PRR was one of the first railroads to replace semaphore signals with
position-light signals . Such signals, which featured a large round
target with up to eight amber-colored lights in a circle and one in
the center, could be lit in various patterns to convey different
meanings, were more visible in fog, and remained effective even when
one light in a row was inoperative.
Signal aspects , or meanings, were displayed as rows of three lit
lights. The aspects corresponded with upper-quadrant semaphore signal
positions: vertical for "proceed", a 45° angle rising to the right
for "approach", horizontal for "stop", a 45° angle rising to the left
for "restriction", a "X" shape for "take siding", and a full circle
(used in electrified territory) for "lower pantograph". Additional
aspects were conveyed with a second target head below the first,
either a single light, a partial target, or a full target. Separate
Manual Block signal aspects existed as well.
In later years, interlocking home signals north and west of Rockville
(near Harrisburg) were modified so that the two outside lights in the
horizontal "stop" row had red lenses; the center lamp would be
extinguished when the signal displayed "stop". Such "red-eye" lenses
were also temporarily installed at Overbrook Interlocking near
Starting in the late 1920s, the PRR installed Pulse code cab
signaling along certain tracks used by high-speed passenger trains.
Information traveled through the rails using track circuits , was
picked up by a sensor on the locomotive, and displayed in the
engineer's cab. PRR ultimately installed cab signals on its New
York-Washington, Philadelphia-Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh-Indianapolis
lines (the latter which was later downgraded by PC and ultimately
abandoned by Conrail). PRR also experimented with cab signals without
wayside signals, an approach later expanded by
Conrail (Conemaugh line
Norfolk Southern Railway (Cleveland line). Cab signals were
subsequently adopted by several other U.S. railroads, especially on
passenger lines. This technology, advanced for its time, is still used
Steam locomotive PRR I1sa #4483 on display at
Hamburg, New York .
K4s at Aberdeen, Maryland, April 26, 1944.
PRR engine #1223 in operation on the
Strasburg Rail Road (1989)
For most of its existence, PRR was conservative in its locomotive
choices and pursued standardization, both in locomotive types and
their component parts. Almost alone among U.S. railroads, the PRR
designed most of its steam locomotive classes itself. It built most of
them in Altoona , outsourcing only when PRR facilities could not keep
up with the railroad's needs. In such cases, subcontractors were hired
to build to PRR designs, unlike most railroads that ordered to broad
specifications and left most design choices to the builder.
The PRR's favorite outsourcer was
Baldwin Locomotive Works
Baldwin Locomotive Works , which
received its raw materials and shipped out its finished products on
PRR lines. The two companies were headquartered in the same city; PRR
and Baldwin management and engineers knew each other well. When the
PRR and Baldwin shops were at capacity, orders went to the Lima
Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio. Only as a last resort would the PRR
American Locomotive Company
American Locomotive Company (
Alco ), based in Schenectady, New
York, which also built for PRR's rival, NYC.
The PRR had a design style that it favored in its locomotives. One
example was the square-shouldered
Belpaire firebox . This
British-style firebox was a PRR trademark that was rarely used by
other locomotive builders in the U. S. PRR also used track pans
extensively to retrieve water for the locomotive while in motion.
Using this system meant that the tenders of their locomotives had a
comparatively large proportion of coal (which could not be taken on
board while running) compared to water capacity. Locomotives of the
PRR had a clean look to them. Only necessary devices were used and
they were mounted neatly on the locomotive. Smoke box fronts bore a
round locomotive number board denoting a freight locomotive or a
keystone number board denoting a passenger locomotive. Otherwise the
smoke box was uncluttered except for a headlamp at the top and a
steam-driven turbo-generator behind it. In later years the positions
of the two were reversed, since the generator needs more maintenance
than the lamp.
Each class of steam locomotive was assigned a class designation.
Early on this was simply a letter, but when these ran short the scheme
was changed so that each wheel arrangement had its own letter, and
different types in the same arrangement had different numbers added to
the letter. Subtypes were indicated by a lower-case letter;
superheating was designated by an "s" until the mid-1920s, by which
time all new locomotives were superheated. A K4sa class was a 4-6-2
"Pacific" type (K) of the fourth class of Pacifics designed by PRR. It
was superheated (s) and was of the first variant type (a) after the
original (unlettered). Steam locomotives remained part of the PRR
fleet until 1957. Main article:
PRR locomotive classification
PRR's reliance on steam locomotives in the mid-20th century
contributed to its decline. Steam locomotives require more maintenance
than diesel locomotives, are less cost efficient, and require more
personnel to operate. PRR was unable to update its roster during the
World War II
World War II years; by the end of the war their roster was in rough
shape. In addition, PRR was saddled with unsuccessful experimental
steam locomotives such as the Q1 , S1 , and T1 "Duplex Drive "
locomotives, and the S2 turbine locomotive . Unlike most of their
competition, PRR did not acquire any
PRR's competitors managed this period better with their diesel
locomotive rosters. PRR voluntarily preserved a roundhouse full of
representative steam locomotives at Northumberland,
1957 and kept them there for several decades. These locomotives, with
the exception of I1sa #4483 which is on display at
Hamburg, New York ,
are now at the
Railroad Museum of
Pennsylvania in Strasburg,
Pennsylvania . In sharp contrast, NYC's
Alfred E. Perlman deliberately
scrapped all but two large steam locomotives, and these survived only
On December 18, 1987, the Commonwealth of
K4s as the official State Steam Locomotive. The two surviving
locomotives are housed at Strasburg and Altoona.
As of 2016 the only operable PRR Steam Locomotive is class B4a
engine # 643, built in July 1901 in Altoona. Engine 643 is maintained
by volunteers of the Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine
Association outside of Harrisburg, and is operated several weekends
each summer. As of 2017 however, a major construction project has
been underway since 2014, building a new operational example of a
class T1 engine numbered 5550 , as all original class T1 locomotives
have been scrapped. The project is being undertaken by the
Railroad T1 Steam Locomotive Trust and is projected to be
finished by 2030.
PRR FF1 experimental engine
PRR GG1 #4890 at the National
Railroad Museum Green Bay,
When work on the
Hudson River tunnels and New York's Penn Station was
in progress, the type of electric locomotives to be used was an
important consideration. At that time only a few electric locomotives
existed. Several experimental locomotives were designed by railroad
and Westinghouse engineers and tried on the West Jersey ">
Steel suburban passenger cars capable of being electrified for MU
operation were designed due to the need for such cars in service to
Penn Station through its associated tunnels and were designated MP54 .
Designs for corresponding cars accommodating baggage and mail were
produced also. Eight of these cars were electrified with DC equipment
to provide shuttle service from Penn Station to Manhattan Transfer
between 1910 and 1922. More extensive electrification plans required
AC electrification, starting with 93 cars for the Paoli Line in 1915.
With the expansion of the AC electrification, additional MP54 cars
were electrified or purchased new until a total of 481 cars was
reached in 1951. Replacement with newer types of cars began in 1958
and the last MP54 cars were retired in 1980.
The single FF1 appeared in 1917 and ran experimentally for a number
of years in preparation for electrification over the Allegheny
Mountains that never came to fruition. Its AC induction motors and
side-rod drive powered six axles. It developed a starting tractive
force of 140,000 pounds, which was capable of ripping couplers out of
the fragile wooden freight cars in use at the time. :123
In 1924 another side-rod locomotive was designed: (the L5 class).
Two DC locomotives were built for the New York electrified zone and a
third, road number 3930, was AC-equipped and put in service at
Philadelphia. Later 21 more L-5 locomotives were built for the New
York service. A six-wheeled switching engine was the next electric
motive power designed, being classified as B1 . Of the first 16 AC
engines, two were used at
Philadelphia and 14 on the Bay Ridge line,
while 12 DC-equipped engines were assigned to
Sunnyside Yard in
Queens, New York.
The O1 class was a light passenger type. Eight of these engines were
built from June 1930 to December 1931. The P5 class was also
introduced, with two of this class being placed in service during July
and August 1931. Following these came the P5A, a slightly heavier
design capable of traveling 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) and with a
tractive force of 56,250 pounds. In all, 89 of these locomotives were
built. The first had a box cab design and were placed in service in
1932. The following year, the last 28 under construction were
redesigned to have a streamlined type of cab. Some engines underwent
regearing for freight service.
In 1933 two entirely new locomotives were being planned: the R1 and
the GG1 class. The R-1 had a rigid frame for its four driving axles,
while the GG-1 had two frames which were articulated. Both of these
prototypes, along with an O-1, a P5A and a
K4s steam locomotive
underwent exhaustive testing. Testing was conducted over a special
section of test track near Claymont,
Delaware and lasted for nearly
two years. As a result of these experiments, the GG1 type was chosen
and the construction of 57 locomotives was authorized. The first GG1
was finished in April and by August 1935 all 57 were completed. These
first GG1 engines were designated for passenger service, while most of
the P5A type were made available for freight service. Some of the
later-built GG1s were assigned to freight service as well. The total
number of GG1s built was 139. They are rated at 4,620 horsepower
(3,450 kW) at speeds of 100 mph (160 km/h).
On August 26, 1999, the
U.S. Postal Service issued commemorative
All Aboard! 20th Century American Trains stamps. These
commemorative stamps featured five celebrated American passenger
trains from the 1930s and 1940s. One of the five stamps features an
image of a GG-1 locomotive pulling the "Congressional Limited
Express." The official
Pennsylvania State Electric Locomotive is the
GG-1 #4859. It received this designation on December 18, 1987, and is
currently on display in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Diesel locomotives PRR
EMD E8 #5809
In the mid-1940s, the PRR began to add diesel locomotives to their
fleet. From 1945 through 1949 it purchased 60 E7 class locomotives
from General Motors EMD (Electro-Motive Diesel). These units were
given the classification EP20 by the PRR. Sixty of this number were
designated "A" units, meaning that they had a cab for the train crew.
The remaining 14 were designated "B" units; these were cabless booster
units that were controlled by an "A" unit.
Another addition to the PRR diesel locomotive fleet was the Baldwin
DR-12-8-1500/2 , referred to as the "Centipede." Twenty-four of these
units were purchased, and PRR classified them as BP60. These units had
reliability problems and were soon obsolete. They were relegated to
In 1948 the PRR purchased twenty-seven DR-6 locomotives from Baldwin
Locomotive Works. These units were given the PRR classification
Originally for the passenger service fleet, these locomotive proved
troublesome, and some were reclassified as BF16z freight locomotives.
From 1950–1952, the PRR purchased another group of 74 locomotives
from EMD. These were EMD's E8 locomotives (successor to the E7). All
of this group were "A" units. The PRR gave these units the
classification EP22s. In 1956, the Pennsy opened bidding for a large
order of diesel replacement locomotives. GM/EMD gave the PRR an
exceptional deal on new, reliable GP9s , so the entire bid went to
EMD. When this large diesel order arrived, the PRR was able to retire
its entire remaining steam fleet, in 1957. Baldwin Locomotive Works
(BLW) was counting on PRR (BLW's lifelong loyal customer) to keep the
struggling company in business by purchasing at least some Baldwin
diesels. When that did not happen, the 126-year-old company went
From 1964-1965, they purchased 31
Alco C425 's, numbered 2416-2446.
In 1849, PRR officials developed plans to construct a repair facility
at Altoona. Construction was started in 1850, and soon a long building
was completed that housed a machine shop , woodworking shop,
blacksmith shop, locomotive repair shop and foundry . This facility
was later demolished to make room for continuing expansion. Additional
PRR repair facilities were located in Harrisburg,
Mifflin, and the
Altoona Works expanded in adjacent Juniata,
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell sent two assistants to
the Altoona shops in 1875 to study the feasibility of installing
telephone lines. In May 1877, telephone lines were installed for
various departments to communicate with one another. Fort Wayne,
Indiana , also held a key position for the railroad. By the turn of
the 20th century, its repair shops and locomotive manufacturing
facilities became known as the "Altoona of the West."
By 1945 the
Altoona Works had become one of the largest repair and
construction facilities for locomotives and cars in the world. During
World War II, PRR facilities (including the Altoona Shops) were on
target lists of German saboteurs . They were caught before they could
complete their missions.
In 1875, the
Altoona Works started a testing department for PRR
equipment. In following years, the
Railroad led the
nation in the development of research and testing procedures of
practical value for the railroad industry. Use of the testing
facilities was discontinued in 1968 and many of the structures were
demolished. Map of the Altoona Works, circa 1931
MAJOR PASSENGER STATIONS
The PRR built several grand passenger stations, alone or with other
railroads. These architectural marvels, whose city name was usually
preceded by "Penn Station ", were the hubs for the PRR's passenger
service. Many are still in use today, served by
Amtrak and regional
Broad Street Station – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Broad Street Station (Philadelphia) Broad Street
Broad Street Station was the first of the great passenger stations
built by the PRR. Opened in 1881, the station was expanded in the
early 1890s by famed
Frank Furness . For most
of its existence it was with City Hall one of the crown jewels of
Philadelphia's architecture, and until a 1923 fire had the largest
train shed in the world (a 91 m span). It was the terminal for the PRR
in Philadelphia, bringing trains into the center of the city. It was
demolished in 1953 after the PRR moved to
30th Street Station .
30th Street Station – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
30th Street Station Main article: 30th Street
30th Street Station displays its majestic—and
traditional—architectural style with its enormous waiting room and
its vestibules. The station, in spite of its architectural classicism,
opened in 1933, when modern and
Art Deco styles were more popular. Its
construction was needed to accommodate increased intercity and
suburban traffic. It replaced the 32nd Street Station (West
Philadelphia). It is now the primary rail station in Philadelphia,
serving long-distance and commuter trains.
Penn Station – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh's Penn Station Main article: Union Station
Built 1898-1903, renovated in 1954 and partially repurposed in 1988,
it was originally called "Union Station" as the terminal for some
Penn Station – Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore Penn Station Main article:
The main station of Baltimore, this Beaux-Arts building was built in
1911 from a design by architect
Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison . It is
currently served by
Amtrak and MARC commuter service. Both approaches
to the station are via tunnels, the B"> Chicago's Union Station
Union Station (Chicago)
The PRR, along with the Milwaukee Road and the Burlington Route ,
built Chicago's Union Station, the only one of Chicago's old stations
still used as an intercity train station. It was designed by Graham,
Anderson, Probst "> Penn Station, Newark,
New Jersey Main
Pennsylvania Station (Newark)
Pennsylvania Station was designed by
McKim, Mead and White .
It opened in 1935, was completed in 1937 and was refurbished in 2007.
Its style is a mixture of
Art Deco and Neo-Classical . All Amtrak
trains stop here, and the station serves three commuter lines, PATH
rapid transit to Jersey City and Manhattan, and the Newark Light Rail
Penn Station – New York City, New York
New York Penn Station in 1962, shortly before its demolition
Pennsylvania Station (New York City)
Pennsylvania Station was designed by the noted
architectural firm of
McKim, Mead and White and was modeled on the
Baths of Caracalla ; it was notable for its high vaulted
ceilings. The station opened in 1910 to provide access to Manhattan
New Jersey without having to use a ferry, and was served by PRR's
own trains as well as those of its subsidiary, the Long Island Rail
Road . Infamously, the station was demolished for redevelopment in
1963. The only pieces to survive the demolition were the platforms,
the tracks, and even some of the staircases. The station continues as
an underground operation (serving Amtrak,
New Jersey Transit and the
LIRR) and is the busiest intercity railroad station in the United
Union Station – Washington, D.C.
Union Station, Washington D.C. Main article: Union Station
Union Station, built jointly with the B&O, served as a hub for PRR
passenger services in the nation's capital, with connections to the
B&O, and Southern Railway . The station was designed by architect
Daniel Burnham and opened in 1908. The Richmond, Fredericksburg &
Railroad provided a link to Richmond,
Virginia , about 100
miles (160 km) to the south, where major north–south lines of the
Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line railroads provided service
to the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. Today Union Station is the
Amtrak headquarters and serves
Amtrak and regional
commuter railroads (MARC and VRE ).
* Samuel V. Merrick (1847–1849)
* William C. Patterson (1849–1852)
J. Edgar Thomson (1852–1874)
Thomas A. Scott (1874–1880)
George Brooke Roberts (1880–1896)
Frank Thomson (1897–1899)
Alexander J. Cassatt
Alexander J. Cassatt (1899–1906)
James McCrea (1907–1912)
Samuel Rea (1913–1925)
William W. Atterbury (1925–1935)
Martin W. Clement (1935–1948)
* Walter S. Franklin (1948–1954)
James M. Symes (1954–1959)
Allen J. Greenough (1959–1968)
Stuart T. Saunders (1968–1970) Penn Central, CEO
The controlling non-institutional shareholders of PRR were, during
the early 1960s,
Henry Stryker Taylor , who was a part of the Jacob
Bunn business dynasty of
Illinois , and Howard Butcher III , a
principal in the
Philadelphia brokerage house of Butcher & Sherrerd
(later Butcher ">
PRR system map, November 1857
PRR system map, 1893
PRR eastern system map, 1899
Share of the
Railroad Company, issued 29. February 1912
PRR M1a at 1939 New York World\'s Fair
PRR S1 at
1939 New York World's Fair
Newark Penn Station
PRR Exchange Place Station , Jersey City, 1893
Penn Station New York, 1911
Early electric locomotive approaching New York Penn Station, 1910
SEPTA commuter trains on electrified Main Line, Rosemont,
Amtrak's Pennsylvanian on the electrified Main Line, Bryn Mawr,
As a part of Norfolk Southern's 30th anniversary, they painted 20 new
locomotives into predecessor schemes. NS #8102, a
GE ES44AC , was
painted into the
Pennsylvania RR scheme.
* Railways portal
Conrail — successor to Penn Central from 1976
Horseshoe Curve (Altoona, Pennsylvania)
* List of
Railroad lines east of
* List of
Railroad lines west of
* List of
Railroad passenger trains
* List of
Railroad predecessor railroads
PRR locomotive classification
New York Central
Railroad — longtime adversary, eventual merger
* New York, New Haven and Hartford
Railroad — longtime partner in
run-through trains, also became part of Penn Central
Norfolk Southern Railway — successor to
Conrail in former PRR
Penn Central Transportation Company — successor to the PRR and
NYC in 1968
Pennsylvania Company — holding company incorporated in 1870 to
own/operate lines west of Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania Lines LLC —
Conrail subsidiary that owned ex-PRR
trackage and PRR reporting mark
Pennsylvania Station , the name for several major stations
* Monopoly — One of the railroads in the
Atlantic City themed
version of the game is the PRR.
Railroad Freight Building
Railroad Office Building
* Unification to standard gauge on May 31, 1886
* ^ "
Railroad Company Inspection of Physical Property
Board of Directors and Arbiters". November 10, 1948. Retrieved
* ^ Not including LIRR, WJ at the end of 1967, mileages were 9,481
* ^ A B C "Railfan\'s Guide to the Altoona Area". www.trainweb.org.
Archived from the original on 2013-12-21. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
* ^ "The Erie Lackawanna Limited — The
* ^ A B "Chapter 1: History of the Altoona
Railroad Shops Heading
14. The Elimination Of the Older
Railroad Shop Buildings In The 1960s
And After paragraph 6". National Park Service
Special History Study.
United States National Park Service. 2004-10-22. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
* ^ Messer (1999) .
* ^ A B C Schafer & Solomon (1997) .
* ^ A B C D Staufer (1993) .
* ^ "History of the Altoona
Railroad Shops: The Creation And Coming
Pennsylvania Railroad". National Park Service
Study. United States National Park Service. 2004-10-22. Retrieved
* ^ Chandler, Jr. (1965) .
* ^ Ward (1975) .
* ^ Harwood, Jr. (1990) , p. 22.
* ^ "PRR Chronology 1871" (PDF). PRR Research.
Railroad Technical & Historical Society. January 2005.
* ^ "The Congressional Service". American-Rails.com. Retrieved
* ^ "The Congressionals and the Senator". www.steamlocomotive.com.
* ^ Dubin 1964 , pp. 76–95
* ^ Doubleday (1902) .
* ^ Walsh (1999) .
* ^ A B C D E F "
Pennsylvania RR Electrification". Northeast
Railfan.net. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
* ^ "The Electrification of the
Railroad from Broad
Philadelphia to Paoli". The Electric Journal.
Pittsburgh, PA. December 1915. pp. 536–541.
* ^ "P.R.R. WILL SPEND $77,000,000 AT ONCE; Atterbury Outlines
Projects Under PWA Loan Giving Year\'s Work to 25,000. TO EXTEND
ELECTRIC LINE Sees Buying Power Restored and Industry Stimulated by
Wide Building Program", The New York Times, January 31, 1934
* ^ "Electrification History to 1948".
Electrification. www.railsandtrails.com. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
* ^ Totals for
Pennsylvania Lines; LIRR and WJ&S/PRSL not included.
Also not included P&A-BC&A-B&E-OR&W-P&BH-RC-W LIRR and WJ&S/PRSL not
* ^ Dubin 1964 , pp. 76–77
* ^ Dubin 1964 , p. 82
* ^ "John B. Thayer (Obituary)". Railway Age Gazette. Chicago:
Simmons-Boardman Publishing Co. 52 (17): 979. April 26, 1912.
* ^ "The
Railroad System Information for Employees and
the Public" Philadelphia: The
Railroad Company. Vol. III,
No. 24, June 5, 1915. pp. 1-6
* ^ "The Electrification of the
Railroad from Broad
Street Terminal, Philadelphia, to Paoli". The Electric Journal.
Pittsburgh, PA: The Electric Journal Co., Vol. XII, No. 12, December,
1915 pp. 536-541
* ^ The
Railroad 100th Annual Report, 12 Feb 1947, pg.
* ^ Fischer (2002) .
* ^ A B "Roy\'s Super Toy Shop presents PRR Steam". Roy's Super Toy
Shop. Retrieved 2007-08-26.
* ^ A B C D E "PRR Signals".
Philadelphia Chapter Pennsylvania
Railroad Technical & Historical Society. Archived from the original on
2007-03-09. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
* ^ A B C D "February 2006 Meeting". Rivanna Chapter National
Railway Historical Society Charlottesville, Virginia. January 15,
2006. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
* ^ A B "
Railroad Mikados". Steam Locomotive.com.
February 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
* ^ A B "Hello
Pennsylvania — State Symbols". Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
* ^ "Williams Grove Railroad". Retrieved 2016-08-25.
* ^ "FAQ Section - The T1 Trust". The
Steam Locomotive Trust. 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
* ^ James (2010) .
* ^ Schafer, Mike ; Brian Solomon (2009) .
Voyageur Press . ISBN 978-0-7603-2930-6 . OCLC
* ^ A B "Ztrains The PRR Class GG1". www.ztrains.com. Retrieved
* ^ "Article "
Pennsylvania Railroad\'s E8 History"". The Gauge
Magazine. April 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-05-18.
* ^ "The
* ^ "C425 Roster". www.trainweb.org.
* ^ "History of the Altoona
Railroad Shops Chapter 1 Heading 7 The
Railroad Shops After The Civil War Paragraph 10". National
Special History Study. United States National Park
Service. 2004-10-22. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
* ^ "Chapter 4: Significance and Recommendations for Future
Research 1. Significance of Altoona Works". National Park Service
Special History Study. United States National Park Service.
2004-10-22. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
* ^ "History of the Altoona
Railroad Shops National Park Service
Special History Study Chapter 1: History of the Altoona railroad shops
(continued)13. Changes after World War II". National Park Service
Special History Study. United States National Park Service.
2004-10-22. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
* ^ Hall Construction Co., Howell, NJ. "NJ Transit – Newark Penn
Station Improvement Program." Accessed 2011-11-15.
* ^ Grynbaum (2010) .
* Chandler, Jr., Alfred D. (1965). "The Railroads: Pioneers in
Modern Corporate Management". Business History Review. 39 (1):
JSTOR 3112463 .
* Doubleday, Russell (August 1902). "New York to
Chicago (In) 20
Hours: A Description Of A Trip On The New Trains That Make The Fastest
Long Run In The World". The World\'s Work: A History of Our Time . II:
2455–2462. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
* Dubin, Arthur D. (1964). Some Classic Trains. Kalmbach Publishing
. pp. 76–95. ISBN 978-0890240113 .
* Fischer, Ian S. (2002). PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger
Equipment (Volume 3). Morning Sun Books. ISBN 1-58248-073-7 .
* Grynbaum, Michael M. (2010-10-18). "The Joys and Woes of Penn
Station at 100". New York Times.
* Harwood, Jr., Herbert H. (1990). Royal Blue Line. Sykesville, MD:
Greenberg Publishing. ISBN 0-89778-155-4 .
* James, William (Winter 2010).
Railroad MP54 Multiple
Unit Cars. The Keystone: The Official Publication of the Pennsylvania
Railroad Technical and Historical Society . 43. Kutztown, Pennsylvania
: Kutztown Publishing.
* Kratville, William W. (1962). Steam Steel and Limiteds. A Saga of
the Great Varnish Era. Omaha, NE: Barnhart Press.
OCLC 1301983 .
* Messer, David W. (1999). Triumph II. Baltimore: Barnard, Roberts &
Co. ISBN 0-934118-24-8 .
* Schafer, Mike ; Solomon, Brian (1997).
MotorBooks International . ISBN 978-0-7603-0379-5 . OCLC
* Staufer, Alvin F. (1993). Pennsy Power III (1847 - 1968). Medina,
OH: Alvin F. Staufer. ISBN 978-0944513101 .
OCLC 31825736 .
* Walsh, Joe (1999). Pennsy Streamliners: the Blue Ribbon Fleet.
Kalmbach Publishing Co. ISBN 0-89024-293-3 .
* Ward, James A. (Spring 1975). "Power and Accountability on the
Pennsylvania Railroad, 1846-1878". Business History Review. 49 (1):
JSTOR 3112961 .
* Alexander, Edwin P. (1967). The
Railroad - A
Pictorial History. New York: Bonanza Books.
* Cresson, Jr, B.F. "The New York tunnel extension of the
Pennsylvania Railroad," Transactions of the American Society of Civil
Engineers, vol. LXVIII, Sept. 1910, online
* Churella, Albert J. (2013). The
Pennsylvania Railroad: Volume I,
Building an Empire, 1846-1917. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press . ISBN 978-0-8122-4348-2 .
OCLC 759594295 .
* Orr, John W. (2001). Set Up Running: The Life of a Pennsylvania
Railroad Engineman, 1904–1949. Penn State University Press. ISBN
* Thomas III, William G.; Barnes, Brooks Miles; Szuba, Tom (July 31,
2007). "The Countryside Transformed: The Eastern Shore of Virginia,
Railroad and the Creation of the Modern Landscape".
Southern Spaces. Archived from the original on January 10, 2011.
* Ward, James A. "
J. Edgar Thomson And Thomas A. Scott: A Symbiotic
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, January
1976, Vol. 100 Issue 1, pp 37–65
* White, John H., Jr. "America's most noteworthy railroaders."
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* President and Fellows of Harvard College (2004), 20th century
great American business