Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

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Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania entrance.JPG
Entrance to the museum
Established 1975
Location Strasburg, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°58′57″N 76°9′37″W / 39.98250°N 76.16028°W / 39.98250; -76.16028
Type Railroad museum
Director Charles Fox
Website rrmuseumpa.org

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is a railroad museum in Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The museum is located on the east side of Strasburg along Pennsylvania Route 741. It is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission with the active support of the "Friends of the Railroad Museum."

The museum has more than 100 historic locomotives and railroad cars that chronicle American railroad history. An interactive display allows visitors to "take the throttle" on a simulated run in a real freight locomotive, climb aboard a caboose, inspect a 62-ton locomotive from underneath, view restoration activities via closed-circuit television, enjoy interactive educational programs, and more.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania was created to provide a historical account of railroading in Pennsylvania by preserving rolling stock, artifacts, and archives of railroads and trolley companies of the Commonwealth.

Building and grounds[edit]

The initial display building opened in 1975, featuring an operating turntable from the Reading Company. In June 1995, a trainshed-like addition opened, doubling the indoor display capacity. A newly designed entrance and gift shop were opened in June of 2007. Some larger or more modern engines and cars are displayed outdoors, but a $5 million roundhouse is planned.[1]

The National Toy Train Museum is located nearby.[2]

Rolling stock collection[edit]

PRR 520 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in 1993.
PRR engine #1223 in operation on the Strasburg Rail Road (1989)

The nucleus of the collection of more than a hundred locomotives and cars comes from the historical collection of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), steam locomotives in particular. The famous "Lindbergh Engine", #460, is on display, as is PRR's streamlined 1943 GG1 electric locomotive #4935. The museum is endeavoring to diversify its collection. More modern examples of motive power and equipment from a variety or railroads have been obtained, including rolling stock from the Reading Company, Lehigh Valley, Amtrak, and Conrail. This additional equipment has come through private and public donations, in addition to limited purchases.

Although PRR steam engines #1223, #7002, and the John Bull replica have operated since the establishment of the museum, there have been desires to see more engines returned to operating condition. However, the state has chosen to leave the engines as static displays citing the preservation of historical integrity. Given the limited trackage on site, the current mainline steam excursion climate, and being able to see operating steam across the street at the Strasburg Rail Road, this stance is not likely to change.

This collection of Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives is the most representative of any railroad in the East, if not the whole country. Key examples, however, have been lost, such as the PRR T1 and the PRR J1. This was due to the bias of the PRR management at the time, who believed that only successful locomotives be preserved. While only several out of hundreds of types of engines were saved, historians and patrons are fortunate that the Pennsylvania Railroad did indeed care enough to save these historic locomotives.

History[edit]

Over time, the PRR had saved examples of their main classes of steam motive power, either for display or posterity. Unfortunately, they only saved examples of engines considered to be successful, thus no examples of classes Q, S, and T steam locomotives were saved. Class J locomotives, although successful, were built to a Chesapeake and Ohio Railway design and were thus not considered representative of a PRR locomotive. Consequently, none of the 125 J1 or J1a locomotives were preserved either. Engines had been quietly stored in the engine facility at Northumberland, Pennsylvania. A few engines there were officially cosmetically restored, while thoughtful employees took it upon themselves to clean up and paint other engines (as documented in the book Pennsylvania Railroad Hudson to Horseshoe).

With the state looking to establish a railroad museum and PRR successor Penn Central Railroad looking to rid itself of the collection in the late 1960s (and also to be cleared of back taxes), the engines were moved piecemeal to the new museum in Strasburg. During the initial site selection period for the planned museum, there was much debate of various options, including Northumberland and Altoona. Ironically, a recreated roundhouse has been tentatively planned for the roundhouse area to provide much needed cover for rolling stock.

PRR K4 engine #3750 was once renumbered to represent class pioneer PRR #1737. The PRR wished to display #1737 but since the original engine was in deplorable condition, engine #3750 was renumbered #1737. It has since regained its original number. This was also done in the case of PRR #7002, which is actually engine #8063. Unlike #3750, it has not been restored to its original number.

Collection[edit]

Operator Number Type or Class Manufacturer Works No. Year Wheel arrangement Image
Pennsylvania Railroad 1187 H3 PRR, Altoona 1235 1888 2-8-0 0412 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Flickr - KlausNahr.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad 1223 D16sb PRR, Juniata 1399 1905 4-4-0 RRMOP 1223.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 460 E6s PRR, Juniata 2860 1914 4-4-2 RRMOP 460.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 3750 K4s PRR, Juniata 3703 1920 4-6-2 PRR 3750 4.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 7002 E7s PRR, Altoona 1902 4-4-2 RRMOP 7002.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 94 A5s PRR, Juniata 3191 1917 0-4-0 RRMOP 94.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 2846 H6sb Baldwin Locomotive Works 26744 1905 2-8-0 RRMOP 2846.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 5741 G5s PRR, Juniata 3966 1924 4-6-0 RRMOP 5741.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 520 L1s Baldwin Locomotive Works 44565 1916 2-8-2 RRMOP 520.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 7688 H10s PRR, Juniata 5063 1915 2-8-0 PRR 7688.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 1670 B6sb PRR, Juniata 3042 1916 0-6-0 RRMOP 1670.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 6755 M1b PRR, Altoona 4225 1930 4-8-2 RRMOP 6755.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 3 Baldwin Locomotive Works 1912
Pennsylvania Railroad 3936 & 3937 DD1 PRR, Altoona 1911 2-B+B-2 RRMOP 3936.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 4800 GG1 General Electric 11848 1934 2-C+C-2 Gg1 4800 2.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad 4935 GG1 PRR, Altoona 4434 1943 2-C+C-2 0370 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Flickr - KlausNahr.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad 4465 E44 General Electric 1963 C-C PRR 4465 Brick.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 5690 B1 PRR 1934 C 0380 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Flickr - KlausNahr.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad 5901 PRR EP20
(EMD E7)
Electro-Motive Division 1945 A1A-A1A 0356 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad 7006 EMD GP9 Electro-Motive Division 1955 B-B PRR 7006, at RMP.jpg
John Stevens
(replica)
PRR, Altoona 1939 2-1-2 John Stevens Carriage.JPG
Amtrak 603 E60MA General Electric 1976 C-C 0387 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Flickr - KlausNahr.jpg
Baldwin Locomotive Works 1200 S-12 Baldwin Locomotive Works 1951 B-B 0390 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.jpg
Bethlehem Steel 111 Fireless Heisler 1941 0-4-0F 0374 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Flickr - KlausNahr.jpg
Camden and Amboy Railroad John Bull
(replica)
PRR, Altoona 1940 4-2-0 0377 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Flickr - KlausNahr.jpg
Chicago Mill & Lumber Company 4 Heisler Heisler 1375 1918 B-B Heisler 4.JPG
Conrail 2233 EMD GP30 Electro-Motive Division 1963 B-B 0378 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Flickr - KlausNahr.jpg
Leetonia Railway 1 Class C Shay Lima Locomotive Works 1799 1906 B-B-B Shay 2.JPG
Lone Star Cement Company 5-ton Brookville 1951
Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad 81 EMD NW2 Electro-Motive Division 1946 B-B Ma n Pa 81.JPG
W. H. Mason Co. 4 Class B Climax Climax 1913 B-B Climax 4.JPG
Monongahela Connecting Railroad 701 Alco 1968 MCRR 701, at RMP.jpg
Nickel Plate Road 757 S-2 Lima Locomotive Works 8665 1944 2-8-4 0394 Strasburg - Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - Flickr - KlausNahr.jpg
Pennsylvania Power and Light D Fireless Heisler 1940 0-8-0F PP&L D fireless.JPG
Pennsylvania Power and Light 18-ton Plymouth 1949
Reading Company 1251 B4-a Reading Company Shops 2306 1918 0-6-0ST Reading 1251.JPG
Virginia and Truckee Railroad 20 Tahoe Baldwin Locomotive Works 3687 1875 2-6-0 RRM Strasburg PA Tahoe 1875.JPG
Vulcan Iron Works 1 Vulcan Iron Works 1930
Roster of railroad locomotives and cars as well as how to find each within the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg PA

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]