"The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) T1 Steam Locomotive Trust is a non-profit organization that believes in thinking differently about preservation. Through hard work, dedicated volunteers and the financial support of many generous donors from around the globe, the T1 Trust is constructing PRR T1 5550. Slated to become the fifty-third locomotive of its class when complete, 5550 combines stunning art deco design with a unique 4-4-4-4 wheel arrangement. The goal is simple; to provide mainline steam excursion service, and to set the World Speed Record for a steam locomotive." - from the Foundation's web site.
The Foundation's efforts since its founding in 2014 were on display during an Open House at the Sheraton Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg, PA on May 13th, 14th and 15th, 2022, coinciding with the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society's annual meet. This was a unique opportunity for fans, and the general public, to see the locomotive before it becomes so heavy, it gets classified as a "super-load" making such moves much more difficult. The locomotive began its return trip to Continental Fabricators in St Louis, MO, on Sunday, May 15th. It is hoped that, with enough support and donations, the locomotive can be completed by 2030 - less time in years, than I have been posting on RP.net. Imagine that. Click above on "Steam 4-4-4-4" in the "Locomotive" field to see nostalgic photos from the past that have been posted on this site.
The Pennsylvania Railroad's 4-4-4-4 T1's
The first PRR T1 Duplex locomotive was built in 1942. Designers from the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the PRR's long time development partner, were eager to prove the viability of steam in the face of new competition from diesel-electric locomotives. They persuaded the railroad to adopt Baldwin's latest idea: the duplex locomotive. This split the locomotive's driving wheels into two sets, each with its own pair of cylinders and rods. The first PRR duplex was the single experimental 4-6-6-4 S1, No. 6100 of 1939. The PRR returned to Baldwin to develop a duplex design fit for series production. The PRR ordered two Baldwin prototypes (Nos 6110 and 6111) on June 26, 1940. Both prototypes had numerous teething problems and were prone to wheelslip if not handled carefully by the engineer. Favorable test reports resulted in a follow up production order for 50 T1s, split between the PRR's own Altoona Works and Baldwin. The locomotives were built between 1945 and 1946 (Nos 5500–5549). They locomotives themselves were nearly 123 feet long and weighed close to 700,000 lbs with an empty tender. Performance-wise, they generated 6,500 hp and had a maximum speed of over 110 mph. The T1's were the first production express passenger locomotives produced by the railroad since its K4s of 1914, which were produced until 1928. Two experimental enlarged K5 locomotives were produced in 1929, but they apparently were not considered enough of an improvement to pursue and the railroad's attention switched to electrification. Sadly, all PRR's T1's were out of service by 1952 and scrapped between 1951 and 1956.
Click here to purchase a t-shirt, sponsor a part or make a donation. Also, note that Amazon Smile lists the T1 Trust as one of the charities you can link. If you chose to link your Amazon account, they will send a donation with every purchase you make!