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A priceless collection of historically significant locomotives and rail cars, from many railroads associated with Pennsylvania.

Includes well over 100 vehicular and non-vehicular railroad artifacts from c.1836-1976.

Rosters of Equipment:

Motive Power
Passenger
Freight
Maint. of Way and Non-Revenue

The rosters are derived from Museum spreadsheets.

 

 

Featured locomotive. Click to see them

Many of our locomotives are the last-of-their-kind and have interesting histories. Read about these featured locomotives!

 

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a world class museum of railroad history in Strasburg, PA.

Rolling Stock Collection and Roster

Rolling Stock.
Motive Power     Passenger     Freight     Maint. of Way and Non-Revenue

The original core of our collection, since greatly expanded, is a fantastic assortment of vintage locomotives and rolling stock that the Pennsylvania Railroad assembled for the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair. The "Pennsy" had been preparing for the fair for a number of years by gathering together and refurbishing historic equipment and relics from the earlier decades of railroading.

In contrast to the contemporary PRR locomotives and cars were several examples of historic equipment, including a wooden Cumberland Valley Railroad Combination Coach originally built in 1855, six late 19th Century wooden passenger cars,  and a class H3 freight steam locomotive built in 1887. Also,  two full-sized replicas, one of the "John Stevens," originally built in 1825, and a replica of the "John Bull," a Camden and Amboy locomotive, originally built in 1831.  Both replicas were built in Altoona in 1939/1940 to be used in the "Parade of Locomotives," a daily attraction at the fair.

After the fair ended, the Pennsylvania Railroad continued to add to the collection and stored it at an unused roundhouse in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. By 1957, the collection had grown to include a D16SB "American" type locomotive (4-4-0) built in 1905 at Juniata and an A5 (0-4-0) switcher also built at Juniata in 1917, a B6 switcher, three passenger locomotives (Classes E6, G5 and K4), an M1 dual-service locomotive, and four freight engines (Classes H6, H10, I1 and L1).

The 1950's marked a period of wholesale scrapping of much of what was left on the roster of PRR steam power. At least one example of each of the major classes were spared the scrapper's torch. The regrettable exceptions of this period were the newer classes of steam locomotives such as Classes T1, Q1, Q2 and the experimental Classes S1 and S2.

In the early 1960's, the Pennsylvania Railroad realized that decreasing revenue prevented the continuing preservation efforts expended in maintaining the collection, began searching for a way to guarantee the permanency of their historic collection.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania resolved in 1963 to build a State Railroad Museum and in 1965 selected a site adjacent to the Strasburg Railroad (the oldest continuously operated short-line railroad in the United States), and broke ground for the Museum facility in 1972.

Meanwhile, in 1968, the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central merged to form the Penn Central Corporation in a joint effort to stay in business.

Penn Central had other plans for the bulk of the artifacts and by September of 1969 it appeared that a significant part of the PRR collection was earmarked for inclusion into the collection of the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri. Organizations and individuals opposed the breakup of the unique collection and lobbied successfully against the move.

The PRR collection was moved piecemeal with the first locomotives arriving in October of 1969 and the other pieces arriving in various stages through 1975 when the first section of the museum exhibit hall was completed.

The historic locomotives and rolling-stock from the Penn Central were, at first, leased to the Railroad Museum but the continuing financial struggles of the huge railroad corporation prompted the Commonwealth to purchase the collection because of the uncertain future of the locomotives and cars. This was accomplished in December of 1979 in a last-minute frantic deal between the Commonwealth and Penn Central Corporation.

No. 1223, Speedy American class locomotive.In the years preceding the acquisition of this historic collection by the Railroad Museum, a few pieces of the collection were, sadly, lost in the shuffle. The I1 decapod (2-10-0) was eventually acquired by a New York railfan group and two other early Pennsylvania Railroad Company subsidiaries' locomotives were sent to other museums.

The original Museum exhibit hall's interior resembled an early train shed of circa 1860 and measured some 320 by 150 feet. In June of 1995, as one of the event highlights commemorating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the museum opened a new addition which doubled the length of the exhibit hall to 640 feet. The new award-winning addition is modeled after a glass-roofed train shed of the early 20th century. It features some 46 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock on 5 different tracks.

Exhibits celebrating the early history of railroading in Pennsylvania fill the side aisles and platforms, with displays featuring railroad employees in other areas of the main exhibit hall.

Turntable.Outside, a number of additional locomotives and rolling stock occupy a five and a half acre yard, centered around an operational 1928 Reading Railroad turntable.

While the Museum is known as the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, it is not the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. It celebrates all railroads and railroad-related industries that contributed to the history of the Commonwealth. The collection has grown impressively and includes locomotives and rolling stock from at least 18 different Pennsylvania railroads and 22 different builders overall.

Shay Logging Locomotive In addition to the locomotives and rolling stock, the Museum displays an extensive collection of railroad objects including lanterns, china, tools and accessories, clocks, watches and minutia that accumulates around railroads and rail yards.

The Railroad Museum is always seeking to acquire more historic material and welcomes donations. All acquisitions must be consistent with Museum needs and requirements.

Questions about our holdings, or comments on their description?  We are constantly researching the details of our equipment's past.  Email us here with these questions only. For other contact information, go here.

Motive Power     Passenger     Freight     Maint. of Way and Non-Revenue

Restoration Programs
  The museum pursues an active program to maintain and restore these priceless pieces. Read about how we do it here.  
Library and Archives
  Thousands of historic books, timetables, records, photos and other railroad materials are also carefully managed. See our Library and Archives information here.  
Access to Rolling Stock
  Most rolling stock is available for viewing, although access to interiors may be limited for safety and other reasons. Some pieces are outside in the restoration yard, or undergoing maintenance, and may not be available. For frequently asked questions, go here.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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