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    

Ho Scale Bli Broadway Limited 009 Prr #6716 4-8-2 M1b Steam Locomotive Dcc SoundHo Bli Broadway Limited 017 Prr #5528 4-4-4-4 T1 Steam Locomotive Dcc SoundKtm Ho Scale Brass Pennsylvania 2-10-4 Steam Loco & Tender #6453Gem Models Sh-109 Ho Scale Brass Prr Class N1s 2-10-2 Steam Loco & TenderHo Brass, Gem Models, Reading I-10sa, 2-8-0 Consol, W/prr Lines West TenderHo Scale Die-cast/brass Pennsylvania 2-10-0 Steam Loco & Tender #3445United Scale Models Brass Ho Scale Pennsylvania Railroad K-4 4-6-2 LocomotiveHo Scale Die-cast Pennsylvania 4-8-2 M1 Mountain Steam Loco & TenderHo Athearn Genesis Usra 2-8-2 Light Mikado Pennsylvania Prr L-2 Samhongsa KoreaOverland/ajin Fa-2 Pennsylvania Prr - 2-rail, Brass Postwar Lionel 6454 Pennsylvania Boxcar~all Original~w/nice ObU. S. Hobbies Pennsylvania N1 2-10-2 - 2-rail, BrassCustom Nj Brass Ho Scale Pennsylvania 0-8-0 Steam Loco & Tender #6551 - PaintedOlympia Ho Scale Brass Pennsylvania D-16 4-4-0 Steam Loco & Tender #1223Ho Brass, Ahm #402, Pennsylvania Rr Class J-1, 2-10-4, Ob & Partial Foam 1966Ihc Ho Scale Prr Gg-1 Electric Loco W/ (6) Passenger CarsBachmann Spectrum Ho Scale Pennsylvania Passenger Cars (6)Key Imports Prr L1s Brass Train, 2-10-0 Decapod, Professionally Painted, PrrHo Scale Japan Brass Pennsylvania 0-6-0 Steam Locomotive & TenderLionel Post War "o" X2458 All Metal Prr Automobile Car-1946 Orig. Box-gorgeous!Olympia Ho Scale Brass Pennsylvania 2-6-0 Steam Loco & Tender #2063 ExN Scale Trains Brass Sunset Models Kmt Japan Fm Trainmaster Diesel Phase Ii PrrAtlas Steam Engine # 5129 Pennsylvania 4-6-2 N ScaleHo Aerotrain Prr (pennsy) Dcc Equiped - Complete TrainWeaver Brass Prr M1a Mountain Steam Engine And TenderJapan Brass Ho Scale Prr 4-4-6-4 Q2 Duplex Steam Loco & Tender - PaintedUnited Pfm Brass Ho Pennsylvania Prr K4 4-6-2 With BoxIhc Ho Scale Pennsylvania Gg-1 Electric Locomotive #4843 Ln/boxHo Scale United Brass Pennsylvania 4-6-2 Pacific Loco For Parts/restorationRivarossi & Trix N Scale. Pennsylvania. 2 Powered Engines. Excellent Condition!!Lionel Pennsylvania Brunswick Dual Motor Gg1 Electric Locomotive Engine #2340Williams 40306 Prr 4-8-4 J-class Steam Locomotive & Tender Ex/boxMth 11-6062-1 Pennsylvania #256 Tinplate Electric Engine W/ps3.0 Ln/boxLionel 3854 Pennsylvania Operating Merchandise CarMth Standard Pennsylvania Steam Locomotive & Tender #392e (bst 8-0758) American Flyer #561 4-6-2 Pennsylvania K5 W/#558 Tender & Original Boxes. RunsK-line K4680-40011 Pennsylvania "huron Rapids" 21" Passenger Sleeper Car LnAmerican Flyer Train Trains 24750 50 Fy & Prr Afl Baggage Express CarN-scale Key Imports 2-10-0 Locomotive Pennsylvania Railroad I-1s *mint*Ho Scale Brass Key Imports Pennsylvania J-1a 2-10-4 Texas For Parts/restorationN Scale Model Railroad Minitrix 2072 Black Steam Locomotive PennsylvaniaO Scale Rivarossi Pennsylvania Fm C-linerLionel 2046w Pennsylvania Railroad Streamlined Tender With Whistle & Box Lionel Train Postwar Operating Prr Pennsylvania Box Car 3484Hallmark Models Brass Trains N Scale Baldwin Switcher Ds 4-4-6 Exc PennsylvaniaO Scale Max Grey Pennsylvania Radio Equiped Brass N 5 Caboose Two Rail Precision Scale Pennsylvania B60 Baggage Car -2-rail, BrassRapido Trains & Walthers Ho Scale Pennsylvania Passenger Cars (4)/boxHo Scale Bli Broadway Limited 005 Prr #6766 4-8-2 M1a Steam Locomotive Dcc SoundVintage Ahm Rare Ho Gg1 Electric Locomotive 5161 Prr Made In Italy #4929, C-8 ObBrass Imports O Overland Pennsylvania Railroad As-616 W/ant. C/p Lit No ReserveWilliams U.s.r.a. Prr/pennsylvania Brass 2-8-2 MikadoSet Of Lionel Pennsylvania Passenger Cars Ob Lionel 6-28453 O Pennsylvania Inspection Vehicle Ln/boxRoundhouse 2-8-0 Locomotive #8004 Pennsylvania Railroad N ScaleTyco (mantua) 2-6-2 Prairie Steam Locomotive Kit, Pennsylvania. Unbuilt.N Scale Quonset Hut Prr (weathered) Postwar Lionel 2035 Prr K4 Pacific Steam Loco & 6466w Tender C-7 Ex, Runs FineBowser As-616 Prr With Tsunami Sound NewBachmann 'n' Gauge 81455 'pennsylvania' Usa Emu Gas Electric Loco Boxed #413