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 Post-war "o" Gauge #2332 Pennsylvania Gg-1,m Original 1948-very Nice!Lionel 2330 Pennsy Gg-1 W/ Ob, Clean, Nice Stripes, Runs, OriginalSunset Ho Brass Prr H-10 2-8-0Westside Ho Brass Prr Q2 4-4-6-4Lionel Post-war "o" Gauge #2360 Pennsylvania Gg-1-original 1961-spectacular!3rd Rail 6100 6-4-4-6 Prr S-1 Steam Locomotive&tender Ex/boxAmerican Flyer 313, Pennsylvania Pacific 4-6-2 Loco & Tender, 1955-1957 W WrapO Mth Prr 4-4-4-4t-1 Duplex Steam Engine W/ps, Item#20-3043-1, Nib/mint -jttjsLionel Postwar #2340 Gg-1 Electric Pennsylvania W/box Engine The Congressional !Lionel Post-war #2020 6-8-6 Prr "steam Turbine" Loco W/whistle Tender-1948!Lionel Trains Pennsylvania Steam Engine Tender Set Postwar Die-cast Model #671 Aristo-craft 22801 Pennsylvania-reading Seashore Lines Rail Diesel Car Ln/boxWeaver Pennsylvania Pennsylvania E8 A-b-a Lash Up - Really Nice!Sunset Ho Brass Prr T-1 4-4-4-4Lionel O Gauge #681 Turbine 6-8-6 Steam Engine & Pennsylvania Whistle TenderSunset Ho Brass Prr I-1 2-10-0 DecapodVintage N Gauge Pennsylvania Rr Lot-2 Atlas Fm C Units+10 Bachmann Coach/combineAmerican Flyer Set 4619 Pennsylvania Freight Train With Log LoaderMth 20-2200-1 Prr Pennsylvania Centipede A-a Diesel Set Brass O Scale Pennsylvania K-4 Pacific (project Engine)Lionel Pennsylvania F3 A-b-a #8970, 8971 & 8960Pennsylvania N5b Cabin Car (caboose) - Prr 477755 Western Region (brass)Lionel 2332 Pennsy Gg-1, Rubber Stamp Keystones, Nice Stripes, Clean, OriginalAmerican Flyer S Gauge #312 - Pennsylvania - 4-6-2 Pacific Locomotive - RunningBowser #100430 Pennsylvania M-1 Mountain Steam Locomotive Kit, Ho GaugePennsylvania Rr (prr) Ho Scale K-4 Locomotive Pfm BrassBing No. 1 Gauge Pennsylvania Cast Iron Steam Locomotive Original NiceO Scale Lionel Pennsylvania Gg-1 Locomotive, Item # 6-18308, Nos/nib, C9-te Pennsylvania Rr 4435 E-44 Ge Electric Alco Brass Ho Custom Paint [6765]Lionel Pennsylvania Tmcc E-33 Rectifier Railroad Engine Electric Train 6-18353Lionel 2020 Pennsylvania Railroad S2 Steam Turbine & 6020w Tender, Runs FineLionel Postwar 2360 Pennsylvania Brunswick Green 5 Stripe Gg-1 W/ Original BoxesLionel 6-31726 Century Club Pennsylvania Coal Train Set, NewWeaver Gold Edition Brass O Scale Pennsylvania N6b Caboose G2014-l 3-railWilliams Trains Gg3001c Pennsylvania Gg-1 Electric Engine- Green. W/ Orig Boxes Weaver Gold Edition Brass Pennsylvania N5-c Caboose O Scale 2 RailMib 1970s N Scale Minitrix-w Germany Pennsylvania Locomotive 2-10-0 W Tender #2O Scale Brass Williams 4949 Prr 4-6-2 3-rail Steam Locomotive Unletteredo-gaugeLionel 6-18371 Prr Pennsylvania Scale Gg1 Electric Locomotive Tuscan R 5 StripeBeautiful, 3rd Rail Brass Prr, 2-10-0 Locomotive With Long Tender.Ahm/rivarossi Ho Scale 2-8-8-2 Mallet Pennsylvania Railroad #2197Stewart Ho Rs3 Kitbash/custom Paint "hammerhead" PrrLionel Pennsylvania Railroad Tugboat 6-24110 Boxed 2003Lionel 6-8952 Pennsylvania F-3 Aa Diesel Locomotive Set Ex/boxMth 20-6507 Pennsylvania 5-car Passenger Set Ex/boxMth 20-6017 Pennsylvania 60‘ Aluminum Passenger Set NibN Minitrix 2970 Pennsylvania 4-6-2 Steam Locomotive & Tender Sealed!!3rd Rail 4739 Pennsylvania P5a Boxcab Electric Locomotive Ln/boxLionel O Gauge Prr Gg1 #4912 Tuscan 5 Stripe Jlc Series #6-18371 New ObMth 30-69158 Pennsylvania 4-car 60' Madison Passenger Set Ln/boxMth H=3 Consolidation Prr Steam Engine And Tender With P-2 SoundN&w (ex-prr) E-3 4-6-2 Pacific Steam Locomotive Westside, Brass Samhongsa KoreaScarce Lionel 6417 Prr N5c Caboose~no New York Zone~w/nice ObO Mth Pennsylvania Rs-3 Diesel Engine W/ps2,#30-2201-1,nos/nib -dmm Mth Prr Ff-2 #7 Box Cab Electric With P-2 SoundLionel 6-18364 Diecast Pennsylvania Prr Bb1 Double Electric Locomotive C-8 6-31936 Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer O Gauge Train Set With Extra TrackIves Standard Gauge # 194 Prr Coal Hopper 1926Lionel Postwar 2541 2542 2543 2544 Pennsylvania Congressional Aluminum Pass CarsO Scale Mth Prr P5a Modified Electric W/proto Sound 2.0 #20-5510-1, Nib