Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

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Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania entrance.JPG
Entrance to the museum
Established1975
LocationStrasburg, Pennsylvania
Coordinates39°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
TypeRailroad museum
DirectorPatrick C. Morrison
Websiterrmuseumpa.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 of Pennsylvania (FRM).

The museum's collection has more than 100 historic locomotives and railroad cars that chronicle American railroad history. Visitors can climb aboard various locomotives and cars, 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. However, the museum has branched out over the years, acquiring some pieces that are not directly related to Pennsylvania, but are important to the history of railroading.

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

Building and grounds[edit]

The initial display building opened in 1975 as the first building constructed to be a railroad museum, and featured 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 above. In June 1995, Rolling Stock Hall was enlarged to 100,000 square feet.

Today, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania covers 18 acres. This includes Rolling Stock Hall, a second floor changing-exhibit gallery, an observation bridge, a hands on education center called Stewart Junction, an extensive library and archives, a restoration and paint shop, and an outdoor storage and display 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, and a new roundhouse to store some of the larger locomotives is to be built in the near future.[1]

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

History[edit]

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

For 1939-1940 New York World's Fair, the Pennsylvania Railroad had displayed a number of historic locomotives and cars they had collected over the years. After the fair had ended, the PRR, decided to preserve the equipment that was displayed, along with various other locomotives and rolling stock. The equipment was stored away in a roundhouse in Northumberland, PA, and looked after by employees.

With the state looking to establish a railroad museum and PRR successor Penn Central looking to rid itself of the collection in the late 1960s, it was decided the museum was to be built directly next to the Strasburg Rail Road in Strasburg, PA. The engines were moved to the Strasburg Rail Road, where they were stored while the museum was under construction. A large number of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Historic Collection was sent to Strasburg coupled together, forming the "Train of Trains."

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania was officially opened to the public April 1, 1975. As the museum acquired more equipment, they required more space, so in 1995, Rolling Stock Hall was expanded by 55,000 square feet. 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 to house some of the larger locomotives that are currently stored outside. In all, the museum holds roughly 100 pieces of rolling stock, some nearing 200 years old.[3]

Collection[edit]

Locomotives[edit]

The collection is made up of more than a hundred historic locomotives and cars, many of which are part of the historical collection of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Following the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair, the PRR placed many of their historic rolling stock aside for preservation. The collection was stored in a roundhouse in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. In 1969, the collection was relocated from Northumberland, PA to Strasburg, PA, where they were stored at the Strasburg Rail Road until the museum's completion in 1975.[4]

Some of these engines had operated on the Strasburg Railroad for a number of years before being put back on display. 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. Both were leased to the Strasburg Rail Road, and retired permanently in 1989.[4]

Other historic locomotives are featured at the Museum, including the famous "Lindbergh Engine", PRR #460, which completed a 6-year cosmetic restoration November, 2016, and the oldest PRR locomotive #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 1825).[4]

Steel Passenger Coach No. 1650

Other locomotives in the collection include two PRR GG1 locomotives, the original prototype PRR #4800 and the PRR #4935, Amtrak E60 #603, and the Tahoe, a 2-6-0 built in 1875 for use on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. They also have two fireless steam locomotives (Bethlehem Steel #111 and Pennsylvania Power & Light #4094-D), and examples of the three most common geared locomotives: a Shay locomotive (Leetonia Railway #1), a Heisler locomotive (Chicago Mill & Lumber Company #4), and a Climax locomotive (W. H. Mason Company #1).[4]

The museum's most recent acquisition is Amtrak AEM-7 number 915, donated by Amtrak in 2015.[4]

Solari Board from 30th Street Station awaiting installation.

Cars[edit]

The museum also has a large collection of rail cars. Many of these are examples of cars seen on the Pennsylvania Railroad, including a P70 passenger car, a B60 Baggage car, and an N5c caboose. There are also several wood bodied freight and passenger cars. Also on display is PRR 1651, one of the first all-steel passenger cars.[4]

Other[edit]

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania has a Solari board listing train departure times that was formerly used at Amtrak's 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on static display. The Solari board, which was the last such one at an Amtrak station, was used until January 26, 2019 when it was removed and replaced with a digital board. The Solari board from 30th Street Station has been on static display at the museum since July 2019.[5]

List of locomotives[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 860 Budd Metroliner Budd Company 1968 B-B Amtrak 860 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, September 2006.jpg
Pennsylvania Railroad 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 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
(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 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
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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RR Museum of PA :: 2010 Funding Breakthroughs". Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  2. ^ "Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania | About Us". rrmuseumpa.org. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  3. ^ "Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania | About Us". rrmuseumpa.org. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania | Roster". rrmuseumpa.org. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  5. ^ Rush, Mariah (July 30, 2019). "30th Street Station's old Amtrak Solari board now on display at Railroad Museum". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 11, 2019.

External links[edit]