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    

Lionel 2340 Pennsylvania Gg-1 Tuscan 5-stripe Electric Locomotive/boxHo Scale Pennsylvania Passenger Cars (7)Ho 1:87 Old Athearn S-12 Diesel Locomotive Switcher Pennsylvania Prr #8774Ho Prr 200 Ton Bucyrus Crane #490900 Mow Maintenance Of Way - Parts - RestoreAmerican Flyer S Gauge Fy&prr 24720 CoachAmerican Flyer S Gauge Fy&prr 24730 Overland Express #2Vtg.2001 Lionel Train Set Pennsylvania Flyer O Gauge Engine 8602 Tested & WorksLionel 6-19275 Pennsylvania Box Car 6464 O Scale Model Trains Freight Cars NipWestern Maryland Hopper And Pennsylvania Flat Car Lot Of 2 Wm PrrVintage Ho Scale Lionel 0860-200 Pennsylvania Crane CarGenerator Prr Type Brass Ho Scale Detail Part Accessory Track Vintage TrainsLionel 6417 Pennsylvania Caboose Caboose W/obRoundhouse Ho Scale Pennsylvania Railroad Ore Car Number Prr 8269 With Ore Load@ N-gauge Trains ... Lima "pennsylvania Baywindow Caboose #496207"Accucraft One Gauge Pennsylvania T1 4-4-4-4 Live Steam Engine New Al97-101Brass Sunset Models Prr 4-4-4-4 T1 Locomotive & Tender New Old Stock No ReserveNj Custom Brass Ho Prr 4-6-4-4 Q-1 Duplex Loco New Old Stock No ReserveLionel Prr Pennsylvania S1 6-4-4-6 Steam Loco 6-38024 Great Runner C7 W/boxLionel 2360 Pennsylvania Gg-1O Scale Brass Overland Pennsylvania Rr Emd E8 Passenger Diesel Custom Prr PaintHo Brass Alco X-106 Prr Pennsylvania Depressed Center Flat Car Conrail KoreaSunset Models 4-4-2 Prr E-6 Brass Steam Loco. & Tender (2-rail) Ex/boxLionel 2360 Pennsylvania Gg-1 Powered Electric Locomotive - Solid Stripe Type VRail King 4-8-2 Imperial M-1a Mountain Steam Engine, Tender Pennsylvania Ob RunsUsa Trains Emd F3a "pennsylvania Locomotive" G-scale R22360a ***no Box***American Flyer Custom Prr SetLionel 2340 Pennsylvania Railroad Tuscan 5 Stripe Gg1, Runs Great, No Reserve!Usa Trains Gp38-2 Pennsylvania LocomotiveAmerican Flyer #48993 Prr Heavywt.2-pakcars New,mint,sealed-in-shipping-box L@@kLionel Prr Gg1 Electric Locomotive 4935Lionel 8970 Tuscan Red Pennsylvania F3 Aa Set Mint ObLgb 2018d Locomotive And Tender Dsp& Prr Mogul 2-6-0Vintage Alco Models Ho Brass Pennsylvania Railroad O1c Electric LocomotiveLionel Postwar 736 1961 Locomotive With Pennsylvania Tender Tested Runs Great Trainmaster Atlas Prr Ho Scale LocomotiveBroadway Limited Prr T-1 4-4-4-4 #5533 W/ SoundUsa Trains G Scale Pennsylvania Prr 44-ton Diesel Switcher For Project Or RepairLionel Postwar 681 6-8-6 Pennsylvania Passenger Train Set Outfit 2150ws 1950* Nice * Lionel 671 Prr S-2 Turbine Steam Engine * 2671w 12 Wheel Whistle TenderRare Lionel Mint Car Series Pennsylvania Gg-1 Diesel Electric Locomotive 6-18300Williams O Gauge Baldwin Shark Aa Tuscan Prr Pennsylvania Railroad Loco 21904Williams 4-6-4 Pennsylvania Steam Engine & Tender W/sound #5392 Ln/boxBroadway Ltd. N 3142 Prr A-a Baldwin Centipede Set Dcc 2xpowered W/ Sound - Nib* Nice * Lionel 671 Prr S-2 Turbine Steam Engine * 2671w 12 Wheel Whistle TenderSunset/korea Ho Brass Prr 0-6-0 Switcher Unpainted Nib HsLionel 2340 Pennsylvania Gg-1 Tuscan 5-stripe Electric Locomotive- Restored/boxO Scale - Williams- Pennsylvania Brass K-4s 4-6-2 Pacific Steam Locomotive 5001!Lionel Postwar Prr 671 6-8-6 2671w Passenger Train Set 2140ws 1948-49Pennsylvania Railroad Ho Gauge 2-10-0 Brass Steam Locomotive-no ReserveAthearn Genesis Ho Pennsylvania Rr Prr F7a And F7b Set Dc, Fully Serviced!Lambert Associates Pennsylvania Ho Scale Brass Class H-6sb Locomotive-no ReserveLionel Prr Allegheny Lionchief Remote Control Engine & Tender O Gauge 6-81269 EAmerican Flyer 316, Prr 4-6-2 Pacific Steam Locomotive And Tender, 1953-1954Lionel Green 5-stripe Pennsylvania Gg-1 Electric 6-8150 :)Lionel 2055 Prr 4-6-4 With 6026w Tender Bowser Ho T-1 Prr Steam Loco With Tender 2 Motor Vintage Runs Biult From KitWilliams 6001 Prr Brass K4 Pacific Steam Locomotive/boxNew K-line K-21801 Ic Prr Fleet Of Modernism A-b-a Alco Engine SetPrecision Ho 16240-2 Brass Pennsylvania Railroad N8 Cabin Car Factory Paint PrrAmerican Flyer Engine 4-6-2 Pennsylvania