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Altoona Railroaders Memorial MuseumAltoona Railroaders Memorial Museum

The Railroaders Memorial Museum is dedicated to revealing, interpreting, commemorating and celebrating the significant contributions of Railroaders and their families to American life and industry. The Altoona Pennsylvania Railroad's contribution to the nation's transportation infrastructure, and to production standardization, marks it as one of the most important contributors to America's industrial revolution. By the 1920s, the Altoona railroad works employed 15,000 workers, and by 1945 the Pennsylvania Railroad's facilities at Altoona had become the world's largest rail shop complex.

Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum

Pennsylvania museum

Situated in downtown Altoona, Pennsylvania, along the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline, the Railroaders Memorial Museum features three floors of historical railroad exhibits, an outdoor rolling stock park, and an enclosed roundhouse with an operating turntable. The museum interprets early 20th century American railroading life through the lens of the former Pennsylvania Railroad -- "the standard railway of the world." Key rolling stock includes a PRR class K4s steamer known as "Spirit of Altoona" and a General Electric GG1 electric mover.

What's so special about the GG1? Longevity. The first GG1 went into service in 1935 and the last was taken out of service in 1983. The GG1 outlasted the railroad that built it and its successor road. This may be in part due to the fact that the GG1 was not handed a spot in the PRR inventory, it earned it. It was inspired by the nearby New Haven boxcab electric EP-3a that served that road so well. PRR was in the market for a new electric but the R-1 was offered in addition to the GG1. The R1 and GG1 inherited their general styling from the smaller modified P5a. The GG1 recieved the special attention of industrial designer Raymond Loewy, who, with minor changes in the sheet metal and major changes with the livery, made the GG1 the visual classic it is. Despite the other omnipresent items designed by Loewy, he stated he was always especially fond of the job he did on the G. The R-1 had a smaller single frame 2-D-2 wheel arrangement, compared to the GG1's multiframed 2-C+C-2. The PRR put both locos through their paces and the GG1 came out on top with slightly better tracking characteristics.

The GG1 Homepage

Links / Sources

This page was updated on 2016-06-30