Photographs & History

Photographs and History

Happy Holidays from Michael Froio Photography

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Friends, As 2014 winds down and we are amidst the holiday season I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone for all the wonderful words and support. Between formally becoming a small business owner, commercial commissions, lectures, curating an exhibition, writing, research and making photographs for the Main Line Project it has been a truly amazing year. I look forward to taking the final days of 2014 to reflect on the year and spend some much-needed time with the family. Looking forward to 2015 there is a number of events on the horizon,more information will follow after the start of the New Year. I have taken a moment to assemble here some of my favorite holiday posts from years past, enjoy and happy holidays from my family to yours!

Sincerely,

Michael Froio

Holiday Traditions: Story of the Night before Christmas Paintings by PRR employee William W. Seigford Jr.

This time of year, family and friends come together to celebrate the holidays with traditions developed over generations. As a part of our family tradition I have the pleasure to read to my children on Christmas Eve as my father did before, the fabled poem, The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore. First published anonymously in December of 1823, it is now the tradition in many American families to read the poem on Christmas Eve.

The story and illustrations presented here were made in 1953 by Pennsylvania Railroad employee, William W. Seigford Jr. who maintained an office at the Harrisburg Passenger Station. They were displayed in the station during the Christmas season alternating with other decorations for several years until Seigford was transferred to Cincinnati in 1956. The paintings were never displayed in Cincinnati but remained in Seigford’s possession until he retired from Penn Central as General Foreman of Passenger Locomotives and Cars in July of 1974. After retirement he returned to the Lancaster area and subsequently donated the paintings to Amtrak’s Lancaster Passenger Station for display during the Christmas season. Surviving the Pennsylvania Railroad and Penn Central, all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 waiting room under the watchful eye of Amtrak employees Richard Peiffer and Donna Whitney, who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

I would like to acknowledge Mr. William (Bill) L. Seigford for his help on this post as well as his continued support on the Main Line Project, his knowledge and generosity have been a invaluable resource.

The Lionel Corporation: Model Railroad Icon of the Holiday Season

  Page 12-13 of Lionel's 1947 product catalog illustrating the deluxe train sets # 1447WS and 1459WS featuring accessories including the log dump car and working cattle pen. Note the locomotive which is modeled after the PRR's failed S2 steam turbine locomotive, which ironically Lionel produced more of than the Juniata Shops!  Original 1947 catalog collection of the author.

Page 12-13 of Lionel's 1947 product catalog illustrating the deluxe train sets # 1447WS and 1459WS featuring accessories including the log dump car and working cattle pen. Note the locomotive which is modeled after the PRR's failed S2 steam turbine locomotive, which ironically Lionel produced more of than the Juniata Shops!  Original 1947 catalog collection of the author.

With modest beginnings Joshua Lionel Cowen and Harry C. Grant founded the Lionel Corporation in 1900, building model trains for retail window displays to help draw consumers to their stores. In 1906 the company responded to the increasing demand for the electric trains in the consumer market and developed its trademark three-rail “standard gage” track to simplify wiring and use of accessories.  By 1915 Lionel would supplement the large standard gage with the budget minded O scale which would later become the standard size of their product lines. Lionel’s use of sharp advertising was ultimately responsible for tying model trains to Christmas, making them popular presents during the holidays, establishing traditions that survive today.  By WWI Lionel was one of three major US manufactures of toy trains, surpassing competitor Ives as the market leader by the 1920’s. Lionel’s growth and aggressive ad campaigns further led to Ives' bankruptcy in 1928.

  Lionel 027 gage locomotives and tenders! No Lionel layout was complete with extra motive power, this includes many Pennsy inspired locomotives lettered in both the classic Lionel Lines and PRR. Original 1947 catalog collection of the author. 

Lionel 027 gage locomotives and tenders! No Lionel layout was complete with extra motive power, this includes many Pennsy inspired locomotives lettered in both the classic Lionel Lines and PRR. Original 1947 catalog collection of the author. 

Like many other companies, the Great Depression would be a severe detriment to Lionel’s business, as a result their 1927 operating profit of over $500,000 plummeted to $82,000 in 1930, and ultimately a loss in 1931 of over $200,000 putting Lionel into receivership by May of 1934. A product credited with saving Lionel during the Depression era was a wind up hand car featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse which Lionel sold well over 250,00 units providing the cash flow to keep the company from closing.

  "From the Ranch Lands and Dairy Country!" Lionel was well known for there operating accessories including the Cattle Car and Milk cars both which were accompanied by track side platforms for loading and unloading. Original 1947 catalog collection of the author.

"From the Ranch Lands and Dairy Country!" Lionel was well known for there operating accessories including the Cattle Car and Milk cars both which were accompanied by track side platforms for loading and unloading. Original 1947 catalog collection of the author.

In 1942 Lionel ceased toy production to produce items for the United States Navy during World War II. Regardless of the lack of toy train production, the advertising department pushed heavily to urge American teenagers to start planning their post-war layouts. By late 1945 Lionel resumed production, replacing their original product lines with more realistic trains and accessories exclusively in O Scale. Considered by many aficionados as the golden years, 1946-1956 saw sales soaring with new items including the famous Santa Fe Warbonnet EMD F3 locomotives as well as the Pennsylvania Railroad GGI and experimental S2 steam turbine locomotive. During the 1950s Lionel would tout its short-lived title of largest toy manufacturer, out selling American Flyer almost 2:1. After 1955 sales declined steadily with the rising popularity of the smaller but more realistic HO Scale and to many the end of the true “Lionel era” was in 1959. Over the years Lionel was diversified unsuccessfully and the name survived in different ways including retail toy outlet Lionel Kiddy City. Today the Lionel name remains the most famous name in model trains, though not associated with the original corporation, Lionel LLC owns most of the product rights and trademarks continuing the legacy started by American businessmen Joshua Lionel and Harry Grant well over 100 years ago.

Holiday Travel: A vintage add from the Pennsylvania Railroad

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Monmouth Museum Exhibition Opens This Weekend!

  Allegheny Summit, Tunnelhill, Pennsylvania. One of roughly 80 photographs in the exhibition   "All Aboard, Railroads and the Historic Landscapes They Travel" which opens Sunday, November 16th.

Allegheny Summit, Tunnelhill, Pennsylvania. One of roughly 80 photographs in the exhibition "All Aboard, Railroads and the Historic Landscapes They Travel" which opens Sunday, November 16th.

Please join me this coming Sunday at the Monmouth Museum for the opening of, "All Aboard, Railroads and the Historic Landscapes They Travel". This visually stunning and informative historical exhibition features the work of 8 renowned photographers spanning 70 years of railroad history and will be accompanied by historic travel posters from the private collection of Bennett Levin.

The Monmouth Museum Presents

All Aboard! Railroads and the Historic Landscapes They Travel

Curated by Michael Froio

Opening Reception:Sunday, November 16, 3 – 5 pm is open to the public and free of charge

Can't make it to the opening? The show runs from November 16, 2014 through January 4, 2015

Museum admission is $7 per person

The Monmouth Museum, a private, non-profit organization, is located at 765 Newman Springs Road, in Lincroft, NJ. For hours and additional information, please call the Museum at 732-747-2266, or visit the website at: www.monmouthmuseum.org.

End of Summer Update

  Construction waits as a late running inbound crude train crosses the Delair Bridge into Southern New Jersey during the April Outage. This week marks the sixth and final shoot for Conrail documenting the Delair Improvements program.

Construction waits as a late running inbound crude train crosses the Delair Bridge into Southern New Jersey during the April Outage. This week marks the sixth and final shoot for Conrail documenting the Delair Improvements program.

I hope you all had an enjoyable summer! I know, I promised an in-depth series of posts on the evolution of the Lancaster area on the Pennsylvania Railroad and so far I have published one part. There is more to come I assure you! Recently with gracious assistance from friend William L. Seigford and accompanied by the knowledgeable Mark Hoffman I made a trip to sew up some loose ends on the Lancaster Terminal and the New Holland Branch. Much of this film has been processed but still needs scanning and editing to add to the series, rounding out the contemporary part of my survey. Adding to the backlog, this week marks the last of six shoots for Conrail documenting improvements to the former PRR Delair Bridge, a vital connection between the South Jersey cluster of Conrail Shared Assets and Norfolk Southern and CSX’s transportation networks. Once complete I'll be shifting gears to finalize and begin promoting the upcoming exhibition I am curating at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft, NJ. I look forward to sharing this exciting Fall season for the blog and Main Line Project and as always thank you for your patience and support!

Sincerely,

Michael Froio

Mill Towns | Steubenville, Ohio

Steubenville OH – Situated along the Ohio River, the County Seat of Jefferson County was a center for steel production for over 120 years. Flanked by mills and associated support industries up and down the Ohio River, Steubenville was the home to nearly 40,000 people at its peak in 1940. The history of steel production here began when the LaBelle Iron Works, a leading nail mill in Wheeling, WV purchased an independent mill here and immediately began construction of two blast furnaces by 1899. Known as the North Plant these furnaces produced the raw steel to feed several other specialty plants in the area to produce tin, galvanized and structural steel. LaBelle stayed independent until 1920 when Wheeling Steel was founded absorbing several companies in the process. These furnaces operated constantly through the 1960’s merger with Pittsburgh Steel, operating under the name Wheeling-Pitt Steel. The Number One Furnace operated continuously until the mill was shut down in 2005.

  The remaining blast furnaces of the Wheeling-Pitt North Plant was one of many industrial landmarks along the Ohio River, complete with a large cantilevered Baltimore truss bridge that linked the North plant with mills on the West Virginia side including the Coke Works in Follansbee.  Tracks in the foreground are the Wheeling secondary track, on the Ohio side the PRR's Panhandle Divison Main Line and River branch flanked the former LaBelle furnace converging in Steubenville to the (railroad) east.

The remaining blast furnaces of the Wheeling-Pitt North Plant was one of many industrial landmarks along the Ohio River, complete with a large cantilevered Baltimore truss bridge that linked the North plant with mills on the West Virginia side including the Coke Works in Follansbee.  Tracks in the foreground are the Wheeling secondary track, on the Ohio side the PRR's Panhandle Divison Main Line and River branch flanked the former LaBelle furnace converging in Steubenville to the (railroad) east.

A prominent landmark in Steubenville is the Market Street Bridge the sole project undertaken by the Steubenville Bridge Company in 1905. The suspension bridge was constructed by the Ohio Erecting Company with the steel coming from Jones & Laughlin and Bethlehem Steel and the frame fabrication performed by Penn Bridge Company. The bridge’s sole purpose was to connect Ohio to West Virginia providing an easy means of access to the Follansbee Brother’s steel mill that later become the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Coke Works in appropriately named Follansbee, WV. Designed by noted engineer E. K. Morse who was involved in the design of Roebling’s Brooklyn Bridge, the structure has a checkered past. From its original design the bridge was multi-modal, carrying pedestrians, trolleys and automobiles. In 1917 it was sold to the West Penn Traction Company and was operated by the streetcar line until the constant stress of heavy freight rail traffic caused a major cable failure on the bridge. Dr. David B. Steinman, a noted bridge engineer in the same year, addressed design flaws and oversaw repairs; Steinman would also be involved in a major upgrade in the 1940’s.

  View looking south down the Ohio River we see the 1905 Market Street Bridge prior to its restoration and the Wheeling-Pitt Railroad Bridge at a distance behind it. To the left of the suspension tower rises the stacks of the coke works now operated by Mountain State Carbon in Follasbee, WV.

View looking south down the Ohio River we see the 1905 Market Street Bridge prior to its restoration and the Wheeling-Pitt Railroad Bridge at a distance behind it. To the left of the suspension tower rises the stacks of the coke works now operated by Mountain State Carbon in Follasbee, WV.

Traffic on the Market St. Bridge decreased with the opening of the Fort Steuben Bridge in 1928, providing better access to the area industry via highways outside the city center. Ironically the Fort Steuben Bridge was replaced in 1990 with the opening of the Veterans Memorial Bridge and sadly the historic structure was found structurally deficient and ultimately demolished in 2012. Fortunately the Main Street Bridge did not suffer the same fate, though it was also found to have structural issues. With funding from the WV Department of Transportation the bridge received major repairs in 2009 providing the necessary steel reinforcements as well as period lighting and fresh paint. The bridge, now eligible to be on the National Historic Register, was dedicated on December 7th of 2011 opening again for local traffic.

Though the Market Street Bridge was the first of its kind for the general public it was not the first crossing of the Ohio in Steubenville. The Pennsylvania Railroad constructed the first bridge in the area around 1868 with two subsequent replacements in 1888 and 1927, the later survives today carrying what remains of the former PRR Panhandle Division which once extended to St. Louis via Cincinnati and was the supply line to the heavy industry of the Ohio Valley. Like the railroad Steubenville and the steel industry have faced hardships, seeing a decline in population directly connected to slumping steel production and subsequent closure of the mills. What remains today is quickly disappearing as the shuttered mills are torn down for scrap. The surviving towns face the challenge of adapting to a new life or fading away in existence an unfortunate reality to many towns through out the former steel belt.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Night Before Christmas

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This time of year, family and friends come together to celebrate the holidays with traditions developed over generations. As a part of our family tradition I have the pleasure to read to my children on Christmas Eve as my father did before, the fabled poem, The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore. First published anonymously in December of 1823, it is now the tradition in many American families to read the poem on Christmas Eve.

The story and illustrations presented here were made in 1953 by Pennsylvania Railroad employee, William W. Seigford Jr. who maintained an office at the Harrisburg Passenger Station. They were displayed in the station during the Christmas season alternating with other decorations for several years until Seigford was transferred to Cincinnati in 1956. The paintings were never displayed in Cincinnati but remained in Seigford’s possession until he retired from Penn Central as General Foreman of Passenger Locomotives and Cars in July of 1974. After retirement he returned to the Lancaster area and subsequently donated the paintings to Amtrak’s Lancaster Passenger Station for display during the Christmas season. Surviving the Pennsylvania Railroad and Penn Central, all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 waiting room under the watchful eye of Amtrak employees Richard Peiffer and Donna Whitney, who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

I would like to acknowledge Mr. William (Bill) L. Seigford for his help on this post as well as his continued support on the Main Line Project, his knowledge and generosity have been a invaluable resource.

Celebrating Labor Day on the Pennsylvania Railroad

 A remarkable PRR system map from 1855 showing the original main line from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh including eastern connections to the Philadelphia & Columbia and Harrisburg & Lancaster Railroad. Note the inscription of Chief Engineer Herman Haupt, who succeeded J. Edgar Thompson when he became the third president of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1847 where he would remain until his death in 1874. For 27 years as president, Thompson still played a very active role in engineering the PRR from a single track intrastate carrier to one of the most influential and wealthiest railroads in the land. Map created by J.P. & J. Lesley Jr. Topographers, the collection of the Library of Congress.  

A remarkable PRR system map from 1855 showing the original main line from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh including eastern connections to the Philadelphia & Columbia and Harrisburg & Lancaster Railroad. Note the inscription of Chief Engineer Herman Haupt, who succeeded J. Edgar Thompson when he became the third president of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1847 where he would remain until his death in 1874. For 27 years as president, Thompson still played a very active role in engineering the PRR from a single track intrastate carrier to one of the most influential and wealthiest railroads in the land. Map created by J.P. & J. Lesley Jr. Topographers, the collection of the Library of Congress.  

September 1st, 1849 marks a day of significant history in the early years of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1838 State and Philadelphia officials acknowledged the failure of the Main Line of Public Works and the need for a privately owned all rail route to preserve Philadelphia’s western trade. As a result surveyor, Charles L. Schlatter was sent to the wilds of western Pennsylvania to survey various routes for such a potential venture. Schlatter returned with three options; the one selected would follow the Juniata and Conemaugh Rivers, and by 1845 the legislature was asked to charter such a railroad.

 Trimmers Rock, a location along the Juniata Division of the Main Line of Public Works canal system represents the typical landscape of the original PRR main line to Lewistown, loosely following the canal network the railroad later used to improve and relocate its main line alignment. Photograph by William H. Rau, collection of American Premier Underwriters, Inc

Trimmers Rock, a location along the Juniata Division of the Main Line of Public Works canal system represents the typical landscape of the original PRR main line to Lewistown, loosely following the canal network the railroad later used to improve and relocate its main line alignment. Photograph by William H. Rau, collection of American Premier Underwriters, Inc

Much to the dislike of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad who was attempting to build a line into Pittsburgh, the State Legislature passed an act on April 13th, 1846 incorporating the Pennsylvania Railroad.  The new company recruited J. Edgar Thomson as Cheif Engineer, and by early in 1847, the railroad let contracts to begin construction of the first 20 miles west of Harrisburg and 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, to meet requirements to make the B&O’s Pennsylvania charter null and void. By the end of 1848 more contracts for the grading of roadbed would total 117 miles of right of way west of Harrisburg to Logans Narrows. The anticipated operations to commence between Harrisburg and Lewistown by 1848, however, due to problems constructing the Susquehanna River bridge, the difficulty of obtaining rails fast enough and the overall lack of labor the opening would be delayed for some time.

 The surviving main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad owes its success to the years of tireless improvements that all began with the charter to build a privately operated railroad connecting Philadelphia to the west in 1846 opening the route between Harrisburg and Lewistown on September 1st, 1849. The Main Line, looking west, Mifflin, Pennsylvania. 

The surviving main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad owes its success to the years of tireless improvements that all began with the charter to build a privately operated railroad connecting Philadelphia to the west in 1846 opening the route between Harrisburg and Lewistown on September 1st, 1849. The Main Line, looking west, Mifflin, Pennsylvania. 

The first segment of the Pennsylvania Railroad was completed and open for service providing a connection with the Canal and Turnpike system on September 1st, 1849. Though one of the easier segments of the original PRR construction this important date begins a chapter in rail transportation history that would forever change the landscape of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With much fan fare, the first through train from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh departed On December 10th, 1852 commencing operation on the PRR which has been in continual service since. With the evolution of the PRR’s route in the 19th Century, advancements in technology and engineering the State’s first east west rail line would develop into a conduit of industry and commerce. The very same route that visionaries like C.L. Schlatter and J. Edgar Thomson laid out and successor William H. Brown improved upon survives today as a vital transportation link in the Norfolk Southern rail network, remaining in regular service for over 165 years.

Though for many of Labor Day marks the end of summer, we should all take a moment to acknowledge the countless men and woman that work to keep our rail networks viable, maintaining a transportation system that has been vital to American life for generations. Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!

Main Line Tour Resumes!

  Interior detail of the 1929 Lancaster passenger station. Lancaster is the county seat of Lancaster County and was an important junction between the Harrisburg, Portsmouth, Mt Joy and Lancaster Railroad and the Philadelphia and Columbia Railway. After the PRR assumed operations of both railroads, Lancaster remained an important terminal for both passenger and freight operations in the area with many consignees including the large Armstrong Industries facility. 

Interior detail of the 1929 Lancaster passenger station. Lancaster is the county seat of Lancaster County and was an important junction between the Harrisburg, Portsmouth, Mt Joy and Lancaster Railroad and the Philadelphia and Columbia Railway. After the PRR assumed operations of both railroads, Lancaster remained an important terminal for both passenger and freight operations in the area with many consignees including the large Armstrong Industries facility. 

There is a rich history associated with what became known as the Philadelphia Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Starting in the mid 1830’s the State owned Main Line of Public Works would construct a railroad between Philadelphia and Columbia, Pennsylvania connecting to a network of canals that was intended to compete with the Erie Canal. The system was troubled from the start as the advent of the railroad quickly triumphed over the slow, seasonal travel of the canals. The 1846 charter of the Pennsylvania Railroad eliminated any chance of the system succeeding as the new railroad paralleled the canal from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. Upon arrival at the Ohio River, the young PRR looked to expand from its current terminal points aiming to secure access to lines reaching West as well as to Philadelphia and New York. Initially the PRR had negotiated the right to operate over the Philadelphia and Columbia Railway in 1853 but poor track conditions, a result of the Main Line of Public Works financial distress, presented major limitations.

Seeking an alternative to the P&C the PRR surveyed a route in 1853 known as the Lancaster, Lebanon and Pine Grove Railroad, a route that would bypass the P&C all together, creating direct competition while taking away some of the State Works only railroad revenue. Construction however never took place, as the PRR finally purchased the failing Main Line of Public Works in 1857 for $7.5 million. This purchase included the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad providing exclusive control of the railroad to Philadelphia.

  At the top of a complicated and dense triangle of heavy freight and passenger traffic funneling west from major costal cities, the Philadelphia Division was the gauntlet that fed traffic to the Middle and Northern Divisions. Map created with help of Elizabeth Timmons.

At the top of a complicated and dense triangle of heavy freight and passenger traffic funneling west from major costal cities, the Philadelphia Division was the gauntlet that fed traffic to the Middle and Northern Divisions. Map created with help of Elizabeth Timmons.

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Another formative railroad in the evolution of the PRR expansion east from Harrisburg was the Harrisburg, Portsmouth, Mount Joy & Lancaster Railroad. It was chartered in 1837 to connect Harrisburg and Lancaster to the Portsmouth Canal Basin in modern day Middletown. One of its founders and first president was a young James Buchanan who would later become the United State’s 15th President. Indicated by its name, this route provided an attractive connection with the PRR in Harrisburg to the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad in Lancaster via the new line, eliminating part of slow trip on the P&C. In 1848 the PRR contracted a lease for 20 years, which was later extended to 999 years to operate the HPMtJ&L, making it the first of many independent railroads the PRR would absorb to build its empire.

As the railroad expanded and traffic grew, this main line network proved to be outdated to meet the needs of the PRR. Extensive rebuilding, expansion, realignment and added infrastructure continued to alter the railroad landscape in bucolic Lancaster County. By the 1880s Chief engineer William H. Brown had begun improving the main line, expanding the route to the trademark four-track main line, and replacing lighter bridges with the ubiquitous stone arch bridge he became known for. Though these improvements alleviated congestion, the undulating grades of these alignments, which dated from the formative years of American railroad development, were far from ideal for the future.

  Insets: Route guides based on 1954 Employee Timetables of the PRR Philadelphia Division - adjusted for eastward direction and  annotated to simplify presentation. You will see more of these for better reference and context of other locations as we continue our tour of the Main Line and Low Grade. 

Insets: Route guides based on 1954 Employee Timetables of the PRR Philadelphia Division - adjusted for eastward direction and  annotated to simplify presentation. You will see more of these for better reference and context of other locations as we continue our tour of the Main Line and Low Grade. 

Enter PRR President Alexander J. Cassatt who undertook a monumental system improvements project between 1902 and 1906 to eliminate operational bottlenecks and further modernize the PRR network. Cassatt and Brown would begin constructing what Chief Engineer and 3rd PRR President J. Edgar Thompson had envisioned many years before. Building a Low Grade route that provided freight traffic a dedicated right of way free of major grades, obstructions and curvature that would span the system between the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers, with the intention of going as far east as Colonia, New Jersey as well as a by-pass of the original Main Line into Philadelphia along Darby Creek.

A major piece of the this network was the Atglen and Susquehanna Branch, a two track main line that ran from a connection with the Northern Central south of Harrisburg, improving upon existing trackage to a location just south of Columbia, where the branch diverged off on what was the largest piece of new construction the PRR had taken on to date. Running across the rolling hills of Southern Lancaster County through cuts and fills, the A&S would connect back to the Main Line at Parkesburg continuing on a shared right of way to Thorndale where the routes split yet again, with the Low Grade continuing on the Philadelphia and Thorndale Branch and the Trenton Cut-Off to Morrisville, and the Main Line into Philadelphia via Paoli. Opening in 1906, the A&S thrived for many years providing the capacity the railroad needed to handle the spike in traffic during World War I and II but would later fall prey to the Penn Central merger and subsequent creation of Conrail. As Amtrak inherited the main line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, efforts were made to separate freight and passenger operations on the new railroads, forever changing the PRR network on the Philadelphia Division.

Starting next week we will resume our exploration of both routes, with many new photos, graphics and historical images to tell the story of the evolution of this important division on the Pennsylvania Railroad.

The Night Before Christmas... Part 12

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

The Night Before Christmas... Part 11

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

The Night Before Christmas... Part 10

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

The Night Before Christmas... Part 9

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

Classic Christmas Spirit from the Standard Railroad of the World!

In the spirit of Christmas, here are a few festive ads from the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad! Merry Christmas!

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The Night Before Christmas... Part 8

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

The Night Before Christmas... Part 7

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

Christmas wishlist circa 1951

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Looking back into a personal Lionel Catalog from 1951 made me think, how many boys (and girls) dreamed of having these beauties under the Christmas tree in 1951. I for one have it on mine! The 1951 catalog listed Set numbers 2185W (New York Central) and 2175W (famed Santa Fe Warbonnet) as "Twin-Diesel Freights with  Magne-Traction" for a list price of 70.00, quite a bit of money in 1951!

The Night Before Christmas... Part 6

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

The Night Before Christmas... Part 5

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.

The Night Before Christmas... Part 4

  Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

Painting by former PRR employee William W. Seigford, Jr., circa 1953. Photo reproduction by Michael Froio

The classic poem The Night before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore, was first published anonymously in December of 1823. Since that time the story has found its way into many family homes and traditions for the Christmas Season. The following series of posts celebrates this famous poem accompanied by illustrations painted by a Pennsylvania Railroad employee, Mr. William W. Seigford, Jr. who worked in Harrisburg where the paintings were displayed as early as 1953. Later in the 1960's Seigford retired from the PRR and moved to Lancaster bringing the paintings there. Since then the delicate paintings have survived several railroads and changes in management, miraculously intact and in fairly good condition all things considered. Today all 12 original paintings hang proudly in the beautiful 1929 Lancaster Station waiting room during the Holiday Season under the watchful eye of Ticket Office Manager, Donna Whitney who facilitated the making of these reproductions for future preservation.