Monday, April 9, 2012

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

People who know me or follow this blog know that I like trains.  I've liked trains for a long time and I've liked them even more since I've taken a few trips on them.  When I found out there was a railroad museum near the hotel, I had to stop there.  Little did I realize it would be a very impressive museum.
 I'm not sure if they are related to each other but there is almost two parts to the railroad museum.  On one side of the road is the Strasburg Railroad which has actual moving locomotives and on the other side is the museum which has a pretty impressive collection of trains.  The above building is a switching tower from the Pennsylvania Railroad.  Judging by the pictures I've seen, it is a pretty standard design.
 As we were approaching the museum, my mom noticed the train on the track and she told me about it.  Little did I realize that it was an actual steam engine and you could ride its train (more on that in a later post).  But I did need to get pictures of it.
 Unfortunately, the lighting wasn't cooperating with me, so I couldn't get a good shot of the steam and smoke coming out of the engine but it was still cool to get a picture of a real steam engine.
 This particular engine comes from the Norfolk and Western Railroad (One of the ancestors of the Norfolk-Southern Railroad).  It seems like it is fairly well maintained.
 This is the entrance to the Museum.  This was added to the land that contained the original roundtable from the Reading Railroad.  For some reason, this reminds me of many of the train stations I've seen.  This entrance was built in 2007.
 One of the impressive things about the museum is the quantity of train engines they have.  Most of them come from the Pennsylvania Railroad but there are a few from other companies.  Although some of the cooler trains were not preserved.

The museum itself opened in 1975 and featured an operating turntable from the Reading railroad.  The bulk of its collection is over 100 steam engines from the Pennsylvania Railroad's historical collection.  They are trying to get other pieces from other railroads but it looks like space may be an issue.
 There is something magical about a steam engine.  The collection is pretty well lit and there is enough separation that you can get decent pictures.
 Outside of the museum is a roundtable and there are trains all over the place outside too.  I think tere are plans to get more of these inside but for now they are outside.  This is a diesel engine from the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad.
 One of the early Amtrak engines.
 The front of the Amtrak Engine and some other cars.
 An engine from Conrail which is sort of a descendant of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
 A couple of old passenger cars.  I was trying to get a shot with some nice lines in it.
 This guy is a telegraph operator.  I think the telegraphs work but they use an mp3 player to simulate the sounds of actual transmissions.
 This was pretty neat, the telegraph operators would put a tobacco can behind the sounder in the telegraph.  This way they could distinquish the sounds of the different telegraphs.
 A couple more steam engines.
 The front of one of the steam engines.
 One of the earlier Pennsylvania Railroad disel engines.
 This was a diesel that was used for passenger cars.
 The front of a Pennsylvania Railroad Steam Engine.
 This was a steam engine from the Virginia and Truckee Railroad.  I think it may have taken some of the same rails I took when I was on the Zephyr.
 Another angle of that engine.
Another steam engine.
 I tried to get a shot where the newer electric engine was framed by the two steam engines.  You can still see some of the wires that was used by the engine in the back.
 A sort of stylized Penn keystone.
 A couple of the trains outside.
 Another shot of the tower.

All in all, it was a pretty cool museum.  I wish I could have spent more time there but we had other places to see.  It's kind of a shame that the Pennsylvania Railroad had to go out of business but then again, I guess if they didn't we wouldn't have this museum.

Across the street from the museum is the Strasburg Railroad and I will have more about that when I post my ride on that engine.

1 comment:

Isaac said...

When I was there in 2005, I didn't take enough pictures and I've been pining to go back. These shots are great!