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    

Pfm United Scale Models Brass Ho Scale Trains Pennsylvania K-4 4-6-2 LocomotiveBowser Ho Prr G-5 4-6-0 Locomotive & Tender Kit, W/sds, Mellor Prr Short Cab +++Bowser Ho Scale Trains Prr I-1 Decapod No 527 2-10-0 Steam Locomotive Exc Cond.Vintage Bowser Ho Scale Trains No 100730 Usra 2-10-2 Prr N-2s Locomotive BuiltO Gauge Lionel Pre-war 4-4-2 Prr Torpedo Locomotive #238 Working Used Gb JaO Gauge Mth Rail King Prr 2-8-0 Steam Locomotive #9093 Working Used Gb JaHo Brass Prr Q2 4-4-6-4 By Broadway LimitedLionel 7 Car Pennsylvania Aluminum Passenger Car Set 6-9569 To 9575 Never OpenedLionel 6 Car Pennsylvania Aluminum Passenger Car Set 6-9570 To 9575 Never OpenedBrass Ho John English "yardbird" Prr A-5 0-4-0 Switcher W/slope Back Tender 182Lionel 6-28063 Pennsylvania T-1 4-4-4-4 Duplex Steam Locomotive & Tender Ln/boxBrass Poague Type "h" Water Column Prr Up Nyc Atsf Nkp C&nw B&o C&o Soo Sou Cr Bowser Ho Scale Trains Pennsylvania T-1 4-4-4-4 Steam Locomotive In Exc. Cond C8Ho Bachmann 65404 Diesel Loco Prr- Ns Heritage - Ge Es44ac - Dcc Sound ValueProto 2000 Heritage Steam Collection Ho Scale Prr 2-8-8-2 Steam Loco And TenderMth 30-1170-0 Pennsylvania 0-6-0 B 6 Switcher Steam Engine W/loco Sound Nib LqqkO Gauge Mth Rail King Prr Madison Passenger Set Lighted Excellent Gb JaBrass Imports Kohs Pennsylvania Railroad Gle Cement Hopper F/p No ReserveProto 1000 Ho Diesel F-m Erie-built Powered Prr A/b/a Set 257Lionel 2028 Pennsylvania Gp-7, Scarce Tan Frame Engine, OriginalN Scale Con-cor Pennsylvania Broadway Limited Engine+lot Of 8 Passenger CarsO Gauge Mth Rail King Prr Keystone 2-8-0 Freight Set 30-4023 Working Used Gb JaAtlas N Scale Alco S2 Pennsylvania S-2 Model Train Locomotive Engine Diesel AuKato N Scale No.1662 Pennsylvania 2-8-2 Heavy Mikado Steam Engine In The BoxLionel 2671w Pennsylvania Operating Whistle TenderWeaver Gold Edition Pennsylvania #9239 B60b Baggage CarPrewar Lionel O Gauge No.2954 Semi Scale Prr BoxcarHo Scale Brass Alco S-115 Prr E-5 4-4-2 Steam Locomotive Unpainted PennsylvaniaLionel Prewar O Gauge 238e Prr 4-4-2 Steam Engine With Box And InsertHo Penn Line (bowser) Prr 2-10-0 I-1 Decapod (a3-4)Kato N Scale Nw2 Switcher Locomotive Pennsylvania Prr #5912 W/tcs Dcc 1764362Kato N Scale No.11 Prr Yard Switcher Diesel EnginePrr / Pennsylvania Usra 2-8-8-2 Tender By Proto 2000Weaver Gold Edition Pennsylvania #5627 B60b Baggage CarWeaver Gold Edition Pennsylvania #5630 B60b Baggage CarWeaver Pennsylvania 4-6-0 G5 3 Rail Excellent Condition Lionel 6-52311 Pennsylvania Prr Tca Golden Express Set New And UnopenedMth 20-90003e Pennsylvania Tank Car Prr 1021 Lnib LqqkMth Electric Train Pennsylvania Centipede Aa Diesel Engine Set #20-2200-1 /nrfbUsa Trains G Scale Pennsylvania Alco Pa Unit Rd# 5753K-line K4680c Pennsylvania Prr Spirit Of St. Louis 18" Aluminum Passenger SetAmerican Flyer Prewar O Gauge Tender Only Marked Pennsylvania Limited No Coal LoHo Scale Life-like Proto 1000 Prr #9493 C-liner Diesel PennsylvaniaUsa Trains G Scale Alco Pa/pb 1 Locomotive Set Pennsylvania Rd#5752a&5752bLgb-g-#2018d-dsp &prr-mogul-2-6-0 Steam Locomotive W/tender-incomplete-runs!Fleischmann Ho Scale Set #1325/3 7321 0-6-0 Tank Loco-prr Box-nyc Flat Car W/osbAristocraft Art 46406t 2 Bulkhead Flat Cars Set # - G Scale Prr Pennsylvania - GHo Scale Pennsylvania Gg-1 Electric Locomotive By Ahm RivarossiBowser Pennsylvania Ho 4-4-2 Atlantic Bing Germany O Gauge 4 Wheel Prr Tender Very Clean And Attractive Pennsylvania N5b Cabin Car - 477017 Central Region (brass) [a]Sunset Models Inc. Brass Ho Pennsylvania Railroad N5b Steel Caboose 198Athearn Ho Prr F-7 Diesel A Unit With Hobbytown Flywheel Drive Power Chassis American Flyer S Gauge Franklin Fy&prr General Steam Passenger SetHo Scale Brass Alpha Models Prr #477925 Caboose N-6b Custom PennsylvaniaHo Scale Diesel Train - Athearn 4008 Prr Pennsylvania Sw-1500 #1478 - PoweredUsa Trains G Scale R31021 Pennsylvania Coach CarOriental Limited Ho Brass Emd E8a 2250hp Prr #5707 Powered Engine 516427Sunset Models Brass Ho Pennsylvania Railroad H-25 Hopper 164Mth Pennsylvania K-4 Pacific Steam Engine With Proto-sound 2.0. 30-1162-1