The Pennsey

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NP2626

Well-Known Member
#1
Is the Pennsylvania Railroad really as popular as the manufacturers believe? It seem to me that every time a manufacturer produces a locomotive, one of the offerings will be the PRR's The Pennsey has been gone since 1986 when it merged with the New York Central. That means it has been gone from this earth for 50 years. Can it still be that popular?
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#5
tcywright973, Duh! This is always an answer to the question and an extremely obvious one at that! I'm more interested in why people are interested in the Pennsylvania, after it hasn't existed since 1968?
 
#6
I'm more interested in why people are interested in the Pennsylvania, after it hasn't existed since 1968?
Mark:
Possibly because the PRR served the most populous and industrialized part of the country. More people were affected by the PRR than any other railroad. And it was at one time the largest and richest railroad in the world. That resulted in the PRR developing a large following.

I model the PRR because I grew up living between the Philadelphia - Washington Main Line, and the Chester & Philadelphia Branch so I was immersed in things Pennsy. I also worked for the Pennsy, from January 31, 1967, through January 31, 1968. That's why I personally model the PRR.

The PRR is many things to many modelers and fans, Steam, Electric, Transition, and post 1966 (which I model). Mainline Passenger, and Freight, Commuter and Branchline, Yards and Terminals etc., all of which were well documented, photographed and easy to replicate.

The fanbase, is sometimes rabid, but also diverse, and obviously affluent, which is why so many PRR toys are manufactured and imported.

Boris
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
#7
It's history. In 1915 or so, the PRR was the largest corporation on the surface of the planet. It had more 4-6-2 locomotives than many roads had steamers AND diesels in the immediate post-war era. They ran across many railroads at crossings, so their rolling stock had high visibility. They were in all the major eastern and mid-western cities with cars parked at a wide variety of industries visible from streets and highways in the period after the war where people could afford to own cars and get to these places. They ran most of the subscribed passenger trains between the large centers. Also, they dared to call themselves the Standard Railroad of the World. Then, when they went belly up, they had to merge with their great rival, the New York Central. There was regret, fear, nostalgia, hope...everything went into the merger, and then it failed again just a couple of years later. The heady days after the war begot a lot of memories and emotion. The kids who grew up knowing Pennsy steam and diesels had them firmly etched in their memories, and they want to replicate those 'safe' times after the war victory, and after which there was always plenty.
 
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#8
I'm more interested in why people are interested in the Pennsylvania, after it hasn't existed since 1968?
Well the same reason some people are still interested in the Great Northern or Central Pacific or any railroad that hasn't existed for a long time.

Let's take the Pennsy specifically. As a historian or a modeler what is there NOT to like? It was instrumental in establishing the Standard Time Zones. It was foremost in the developed the "Betterment" accounting system and the interchange rate sharing principles. It is a urban and mountain road with lots of cool scenery along rivers with fantastic bridges and tunnels and mountains. It had electrification. It had 4 track main lines. What do people often visualize when they think of big eastern roads - Horseshoe Curve. It served coal country. It served the steel industries. It served the eastern and Ohio River ports. It interchanged with other big eastern roads as well as western roads. It had some of the most interesting locomotives ever built. Even its "normal" locomotives were interesting, unique, AND good looking. It had one of the most famous 1st class passenger trains in the country. Who doesn't put the Broadway Limited right up in the top with the Super Chief and 20th Century Limited?

It was an eastern road that ran to some of the most populated parts of the country. Many people had family that were generations of Pennsy employees. Many of the manufacturers are east coast based companies who's employees have probably influenced by their ancestors. The Pennsy was known as "The Railroad Standard of the World". I think books will continue to be written about the Pennsy for a long time. To me the biggest heart break of the Pennsy railroad was the loss of Penn Station in NYC.

As I started with.... what is there not to be interesting in all that.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#9
I understand the history and thanks for your opinions on why the interest. Can't disagree, when I was 10-12 years old I had a Tyco HO train set that included a Pennsylvania loco and caboose, so I guess in a way, I have been a Pennsey modeler also.
 
#10
The Pennsy had so many superlatives that is popular to model. It owned most of the types of diesel engines produced while it existed. It had the largest engine fleet. It had so many cars that if you model the era's when it operated, you model the PRR. It had more P70 coaches than the ATSF owned all types of passenger cars. It owned more H21 hoppers than many railroads owned all types of cars.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#12
I forgot that when I was 6-8 years old my brother and I got an American Flyer set for Christmas. The locomotive for this train-set was a Pennsylvania K-4 Pacific, one of my favorite locomotives and a Pennsylvania N type Caboose.
 
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Bruette

Well-Known Member
#14
Personally I am a big fan of the B&O and Chessie, even CSX, but I buy lots of PRR stuff.

The PRR is the reason I was born in Baltimore! My grandfather worked for the PRR. After WWII he moved from Punxsutawney to Baltimore bringing his children with him, including my mother. As others have said, the PRR touched many lives, in many ways.

Not to mention the PRR was "The Standard of the World".

I can't forget the greatest locomotive ever, the eight wonder of the world the GG1! ;) that ought to "ruffle" some feathers.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#17
Bruette, sounds like your Grandpa was about the age of my Dad. He would have been ripe for the pickings for WW2; but, was deferred because he was a Tool & Die maker, necessary for the war production.
 



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