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; -76.16028Coordinates: 39°58′57″N 76°9′37″W / 39.98250°N 76.16028°W / 39.98250; -76.16028
Type Railroad museum
Director Jeffrey Bliemeister
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 railroad companies of the Commonwealth.

Building and grounds[edit]

The initial display building opened in 1975, featuring an operating turntable from the Reading Company. The original building was roughly 45,000 square feet in size and included an observation bridge leading across Rolling Stock Hall, allowing visitors to see the trains from a bird's eye point of view. In June 1995, a trainshed-like addition opened, doubling the indoor display capacity to 100,000 square feet.

Today, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania covers 18 acres. This includes a second floor changing-exhibit gallery, which leads onto the observation bridge, an education center, a large library and archives, an administrative building, a Restoration Shop, and an outdoor yard. Rolling Stock Hall and the second floor are both handicapped accessible. The yard is subject to weather closure.

A newly designed entrance and gift shop were opened in June 2007. Some larger or more modern engines and cars are displayed outdoors, but additional construction projects are expected in the future. In the near future, construction will start on a new roundhouse to store some of the larger locomotives. [1]

The National Toy Train Museum, & Choo Choo Barn are located nearby, and the Strasburg Railroad is across the street from the museum. .[2]

Rolling stock collection[edit]

PRR engine #1223 in operation on the Strasburg Rail Road (1989)
PRR 4800, the original GG1
PP&L Fireless No. 4094-D

The nucleus of the collection of more than a hundred locomotives and cars comes from the historical collection of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). Following the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair, the Pennsylvania Railroad placed many of their historic locomotives at a roundhouse in Northumberland, PA. In the 1960s, many of the locomotives were sent from Northumberland to Strasburg, PA.

Some of these engines had been used on the Strasburg Railroad for a number of years before making their permanent home in the Railroad Museum. PRR #1223, famous for its use in the 1969 film Hello,Dolly!, and PRR #7002 (originally #8063), a re-creation of the famous original PRR #7002, which set an unofficial land speed record in 1905 by traveling at 127.1 miles per hour, were both retired from the Strasburg Railroad in 1989.

Other historic locomotives are featured at the Museum, including the famous "Lindbergh Engine", PRR #460, which completed a 6 year cosmetic restoration November, 2016. The oldest PRR non-subsidiary locomotive is also kept at the Museum, PRR #1187, built in 1888. The 1187 is placed over a pit, so visitors may go underneath and see the locomotive's underside. The official steam locomotive of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania PRR #3750, famous for pulling President Warren Harding's funeral train, is on display outside of the museum. Two replicas are also included in the Pennsylvania Historic Collection, the John Bull (locomotive) (orig. built 1831) and the John Stevens (orig. built 1831).

Steel Passenger Coach No. 1650

The Railroad Museum also collected numerous other locomotives. This includes two PRR GG1 locomotives, the original PRR #4800 and the later PRR #4935. More recent additions include three GP series, an Amtrak E60, and a railbus. They also hold uncommon rolling stock, including two fireless steam locomotives (Bethlehem Steel #111 and Pennsylvania Power & Light #4094-D), a Shay locomotive (Leetonia Railway #1), a Heisler locomotive (Chicago Mill & Lumber Company #4), and a Climax locomotive (W. H. Mason Company #1).

In 2013, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania has acquired through donation from SEPTA former Reading Company Silverliner II #9001. The museum previously had two Budd Pioneer III railcars donated by SEPTA in the mid 1990s, but these cars had been stripped down for a planned conversion to normal passenger cars and were little more than stripped down shells. The #9001, while having some components removed, is more or less in the same state it was in when retired. As of March 2015, #9001 has not left SEPTA property due to difficulty in transporting it to the museum.

The museum's most recent acquisition is Amtrak AEM-7 number 915.

In all, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania holds around one hundred pieces of rolling stock in their collection, including passenger, freight, and non-revenue pieces, in addition to their locomotives.


For the 1939 New York World's Fair, the PRR had collected various locomotives. After the fair's completion, much of those pieces of rolling stock were transferred to a roundhouse in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, as time passed, a number of those pieces were lost. Other classes of locomotives were not saved; thus, no examples of classes Q, S, and T steam locomotives were saved. A few engines there were officially cosmetically restored, while thoughtful employees took it upon themselves to clean up and paint other engines.

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. In 1968, the first piece of equipment was placed on the museum's current grounds—a 1928 turntable from Cressona, Pennsylvania. A large number of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Historic Collection was sent to Strasburg, Pennsylvania coupled together, forming the "Train of Trains."

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania focuses on history of the entire commonwealth of Pennsylvania, however. Over the years, the Museum acquired pieces from other notable Pennsylvanian railroads, including the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, Conrail, and Amtrak. The Museum also holds a number of pieces created by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, which had operated just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since the mid-1800s.

In addition to full-size rolling stock pieces, the Museum offers a number of other commodities, which include several model railroad layouts, an educational center, a library and archives, and a smaller exhibit gallery on the second floor.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania was officially opened to the public April 1, 1975. Within a few years, the Railroad Museum quickly outgrew its grounds, and, in 1995, Rolling Stock Hall was doubled in size. Today, the museum covers 18 acres of land, including 100,000 square feet indoors. In the next few years, the addition of a roundhouse is expected to be built. In all, the museum holds roughly 100 pieces of rolling stock, some nearing 200 years old.

Locomotive collection[edit]

Operator Number Type or Class Manufacturer Builder's 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 RR79.40.13A No. 7002 Side.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 RR79.40.12A No. 6755 Side.JPG
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 RR2000.20 GG1 PRR 4800.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad 4935 GG1 PRR, Altoona 4434 1943 2-C+C-2 RR83.30 No. 4935 Front Side 2.JPG
Pennsylvania Railroad 4465 E44 General Electric 1963 C-C RR91.6 No. 4465 Front Side.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 RR76.37 No. 5901 Front Side.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad 7006 EMD GP9 Electro-Motive Division 1955 B-B PRR 7006, at RMP.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad John Stevens
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 RR92.2 No. 1200 Side.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
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 RR72.24.1 Leetonia Shay No. 1 Front Side.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 RR92.15 No. 4 Front Side.JPG
Monongahela Connecting Railroad 701 C415 Alco 1968 B-B 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 RR72.20.1A - PP&L Fireless No. 4094-D Side.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
Amtrak 915 EMD AEM-7 Electro-Motive Division 1980 B-B Amtrak 915 1.JPG
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]


External links[edit]