The Pennsylvania Railroad—or PRR, or Pennsy, as it was variously called—was one of two dominant eastern-United States rail franchises for most of the 20th century. The other was the New York Central, which merged with the Pennsy in 1968 to form Penn Central.

The PRR was founded back in 1846 to transport people and freight between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That line opened in 1854. The railroad quickly expanded, and by 1887, the Pennsy had introduced the first passenger cars with vestibules at either end. These fully enclosed trains ran between New York City and Chicago. Actually, the road’s eastern terminus ended at Jersey City, New Jersey, but the railroad extended its reach into Manhattan proper in 1910 when it completed Penn Station on 34th Street.

One of the many things model railroaders like about the Pennsy is its relationship in the 1930s with industrial designer Raymond Loewy. When Loewy signed on to design locomotives and cars for the railroad in 1934, the PRR was at its height, with 100,000 employees serving half the country’s population.

Lowey’s first task was to streamline an electric locomotive known as the GG-1. Loewy rounded the engine’s corners, replaced rivets with welds, and added dramatic pinstripes on either side that gave the machine the appearance of movement even when it was standing still. Next, in 1939, came the S-1, a sleek rocketship on rails that lent credence to the PRR’s advertising claim that it ran a “Fleet of Modernism.”

Model train manufacturers who made these locomotives as well as PRR rolling stock include Lionel, which produced tinplate versions of the S-1, as well as replicas of the GG-1. Initially, in 1947, Lionel’s GG-1 locomotives retained Loewy’s pinstripes—finding one whose pinstripes have not rubbed off to some extent is virtually impossible and the lettering was applied with rubber stamps, so collectors should be wary of vintage GG-1 engines in perfect condition. Alas, subsequent Lionel “upgrades” of the locomotive replaced the trademark pinstripes with a wide, solid band.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Airfix Model Railways

Airfix Model Railways

Dave McCarthy's Airfix Model Railway treasure trove is an in-depth archive of the company's plastic railway kits fr… [read review or visit site]

Gateway NMRA

Gateway NMRA

This great reference site for model railroaders, from the Gateway (St. Louis) division of the NMRA (National Model … [read review or visit site]

HOseeker.net

HOseeker.net

This site is a treasure trove of HO scale model railroad manufacturer catalogs and other reference information, inv… [read review or visit site]

Postwar Lionel Trains Library

Postwar Lionel Trains Library

Bernie Schulz’s Lionel Trains Library focuses exclusively on postwar Lionel trains and accessories. The site cont… [read review or visit site]

Eric's Trains

Eric's Trains

Eric Siegel's site displays his collection of O-gauge/O-scale trains, tracks, turntables, and other accessories. A … [read review or visit site]

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT

MIT's model railroad club, as one might expect, has one of the best websites for learning about how people play wit… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Mth Ho Pennsylvania K-4s 1737 "the Broadway Limited" Dcc/dcs/sound#67022-1 Precision Scale Pennsylvania Prr K4s Pacific 4-6-2 W/ 110 P75 TenderN Scale - Walthers Life-like - Pennsylvania Usra 2-8-8-2 Steam Locomotive As-isPostwar Lionel O Scale Train Prr 2-6-2 Steam Locomotive #675 Great Working CondBrass Pennsylvania Railroad Electric Locomotive. Alco Models Ho Scale O-1cLionel Trains Prewar Pennsylvania Diecast Dreyfuss Hudson Steam Engine 238e, NrBrass United Prr L-1 Steam Loco Excellent Box, Nib Clean Piece Ho ScaleHo Penn Line 4-4-4-4 Pennsylvania Prr T-1 Steam Loco & Tender KitPre-war Elektoy Railway-trains Prr Pennsylvania 2518 Passenger Coach CarN Scale Rowa / Mrc Articulated Mallet Steam 2-8-8-2 Engine Prr *afjs*Kato N-scale 106-068 Pennsylvania Broadway Limited 10 Passenger Car SetLgb Prr Passenger Starter Set 72323 No ReserveLionel 6-15340 Prr 6-car Aluminum Passenger Set Ln/boxJo Lionel Postwar 681 Pennsylvania S-2 6-8-6 Steam Locomotive With Prr Tender OO Scale Mth Prr 2-car Diner/baggage Ribbed 70' Scale Ln/nob -rp Ho Scale....steam Engine & Tender....prr ....pennsylvania Railroad #5425....usedPre-war Elektoy Railway-trains Brass Steam Engine Pennsylvania & Tender + TracksLionel 227 / 2227b Pennsylvania 0-6-0 Steam Switcher... NiceG Scale Aristo Craft Pennsylvania Heavyweight Item# Art-31301, Ln/nb -rp Lionel 2020 Pennsylvania Railroad S2 Steam Turbine & 6020w Tender, Ex Runs FineN Scale - Kato - Pennsylvania Gg1 Electric Locomotive Train 137-2001Mth Pennsylvania (#8841) Rs-3 Prr Diesel Engine W/proto-sound 2.0 Minitrix N Scale K4 Pacific Pennsylvania Railroad Steam EngineAmerican Flyer #314aw Pennsylvania 4-6-2 Pacific W/controllerO Scale Chooch Ultra Scale Ii #666 Pennsylvania X-31 Single Door Box CarMth 20-5105-0 Pennsylvania Gg-1 Electric Locomotive #4935 Ln/boxK-4680 Bi-level Pennsylvania Pass Cars 6 Different Excellent Boxed 30001 Thur 06N Scale - Kato Locomotive - Pennsylvania Gg1 Electric #4913Walthers 9630 Prr Broadway Limited Budd 21-roomette Sleeper "inn Series"Atlas Classic Ho Alco Rs-11 New York Central Nyc #8011 Pc Prr CrStewart Hobbies Ho Gauge Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines Baldwin S-8 DieselWalthers Proto 2000 E8/9 Pennsylvania Prr#5700 W/ Mars Light4 Mth Prr Passenger CarsKato 176-5001 N-scale Pennsylvania E8/9a Prr #58904-4-0 Ho Steam Engine Pennsylvania Prr Ihc New In BoxLarge Pennsylvania Rr Locomotive & Passenger Car Hoard Penn Line Ho [jy25xp5]Williams M105 Prr 60' Madison Passenger Car Set Of 6Key Imports Pennsylvania Prr N8 Caboose Cabin Factory PaintedWeaver Gg1 Locomotive Pennsylvania 4856 - O GaugeLionel Prewar Pennsylvania 2954 Semi-scale Boxcar With Postwar Coil CouplersLionel 630233 Pennsylvania Flyer O Gauge Train SetSolid Brass Box Car Scale Gauge I Pennsylvania Rr 1:32 For Aster Metal Wheel PrrVinage American Flyer S Scale Fy&prr Franklin Engine&tender #88+#30&40 CarsLionel 2046w-50: Pennsylvania Whistle TenderLionel Pennsylvania Limited Coach 437 Prr Passenger Car 6-30224 O Gauge 6-35275Antique Cast Iron Pennsylvania Limited Railroad Passenger Cars (3) Unknown MakerBroadway Limited Prr T1 #5528 With Sound H/o Scale DccPrr M1a, Passenger Version, Bli Custom, Full Stripes. Walthers 9690 Prr Broadway Limited Acf 4-4-2 Sleeper "imperial Series"Ho, Railyard Models Kit # 109.1a, Pennsylvania Rr X58 50' BoxcarKato 176-5310 N-scale Pennsylvania E8/9a Prr 5-stripe #5893Walthers Life Like Proto 2000 P2k Pennsylvania Railroad (prr) Gp9Aristo Craft G Scale Pennsylvania Stock Car Art-46109 / With Metal WheelsK-line #27801 Pennsylvania & Reading Interurbans 2 Pac Cab# 6781 & 6786 New Lgb G Scale, 2 Outdoor Pennsylvania Passenger Cars, Coach #3280, Combo #32812 Sets Of Mth 40-1035 8-piece Catenary System Milwaukee Road PennsylvaniaVintage Bowser Prr I-1 Decapod Complete Kit With Original InstructionsPrr 476925 Nda Short Caboose Sunset Samhongsa Brass Ho Cp [7045]Vintage Lionel 6-31913 Pennsylvania Flyer Train Set, CompleteG Scale Aristo Dsp & Prr C-16 Tender