Pennsylvania Railroad 1361 Article

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Pennsylvania Railroad 1361
Hoseshoe curve PRR train display - panoramio.jpg
PRR 1361 on display at Horseshoe Curve
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
Builder Altoona Works
Serial number3475
Build date1918
 •  Whyte 4-6-2
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia.36 in (914.4 mm)
Driver dia.80 in (2,032 mm) [1]
Trailing dia.50 in (1,270 mm)
Wheelbase13 ft 10 in (4.2 m) between driving axles
Length83 ft 6 in (25.5 m)
Loco weight274,500 lb (124,511 kg)
Fuel capacity22 short tons (20  t) [2]
Water cap11,300 US gallons (43,000 l) [2]
 • Firegrate area
69.89 sq ft (6.49 m2) [1]
Boiler pressure205  psi (1,413  kPa) [1]
Heating surface4,041 square feet (375 m2) [2]
Cylinder size27 in × 28 in (686 mm × 711 mm) [1]
Performance figures
Tractive effort44,460  lbf (197,770  N) [1]
Factor of adh.4.54
Operators Pennsylvania Railroad
Class K4s
Nicknames"Spirit of Altoona"
DeliveredMay 1918
First runMay 1918
Last run1988
Restored1987, 1996 – 2010, 2015 – ongoing
Current owner Railroaders Memorial Museum
DispositionUndergoing restoration

Pennsylvania Railroad 1361 is a 4-6-2 "Pacific" type steam locomotive built in 1918 for the Pennsylvania Railroad by their own Altoona Works. As a member of the K4s locomotive class, it served its active career hauling mainline passenger and mail trains. Retired from revenue service in 1956, it was restored to operating condition in 1987 when mechanical problems sidelined the locomotive after only a year and a half of operation. The engine is currently owned by the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, Pennsylvania. It is one of the only two remaining K4s locomotives and, along with PRR 3750, was designated the official state steam locomotive in 1987 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.


The K4s is considered the Pennsylvania Railroad's most famous class of steam locomotives, with a total of 425 engines produced from 1917 to 1928, and including the prototype that was built in 1914. [3] The last of K4s stayed in service well into the late 1950s, until being replaced with diesel locomotives.


1361 was constructed in 1918 by the Altoona Works. On June 8, 1957, 1361 was dedicated and placed on exhibit at the Horseshoe Curve outside of Altoona. It had clocked an estimated 2.5 million miles (4.02 million kilometers) over its career. [4] 1361 remained at Curve until 1985 when it moved back to the Altoona Works. It was replaced, at the curve, with the EMD GP9 diesel locomotive 7048, painted in Pennsylvania Railroad colors. 1361 was restored in 1987 to haul excursion trains. A year later, the main bearing and the drive axle suffered a catastrophic failure. The Pennsylvania General Assembly designated 3750 and 1361 the official state steam locomotives on December 18, 1987, while also designating the GG1 4859 the state electric locomotive in the same bill. [5]

Restoration efforts

1361 was dismantled in 1996 and moved to Steamtown in Scranton. It was to be restored through a partnership between Steamtown, the University of Scranton and the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona. [4] After an initial grant of $420,000, Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge released an additional $600,000 in March 2000. [4] The restoration was forced to slow exponentially because "every broken pin and bolt had to be replaced with handmade duplicates." [4] Scheduled completion dates kept being pushed back and, after 13 years, the restoration had cost $1.7 million. [2] [6] Most of the smaller components of 1361 were inventoried and returned to Altoona in 2007, when the museum stopped paying out funding until the rest of the locomotive, consisting mostly of the boiler, was returned to the museum. [7]

In April 2010, it was decided to cancel the current restoration plans for 1361. [6] Instead of rebuilding it and placing the locomotive back into service as an excursion train, the museum decided on "semi-static display." [6] The museum hoped to still be able to reconstruct the boiler so that it could still fired and produce enough steam pressure to operate at low speeds around museum property and blow the whistle. [6] The restoration was eventually canceled but because the boiler would have had to have been rebuilt to current specifications required by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which have drastically changed since the engine was first completed in 1918.

By 2013, the engine had been removed entirely from Scranton, with the frame, tender, and various small components stored in Altoona, while the boiler was stored at the East Broad Top Railroad. [8] By early 2015, the museum had completed construction of their "quarter- roundhouse" and began to place the 1361's tender, frame, and other components inside. [9] In late July, 2015, the 1361's boiler was moved to Altoona and placed in the roundhouse with the remainder of the engine. [10]

The engine is currently being worked on by a dedicated team of 4 people. Restoration cost is estimated at $750,000. The locomotive requires boiler patches, firebox patches, and a new crown sheet. Then, reassembly can take place. New parts for the 1361 have been fabricated and are ready for installation.Other than the boiler and firebox, all other work has been completed. After boiler is completed, the locomotive will be able to operate at full pressure. As of 2017, slow boiler and firebox work continues to take place.

As of May 2018, 1361 has another chance to see the high iron again, as Bennett Levin and Wick Moorman have started to set up a private fund to restore her. The locomotive will have PRR style Timken roller bearings built from designs from the 1940s. It is said that there are several ex-PRR P70 and B60 cars to be used for the train. [11]


  1. ^ a b c d e Stauffer 1962, p. 163.
  2. ^ a b c d Kaufman, Dirk W (March 18, 2007). "Altoona awaits refurbished steam locomotive". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  3. ^ Stauffer 1962, p. 159.
  4. ^ a b c d Conway, Rachael (July 16, 2000). "Train repair picks up steam". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. B2.
  5. ^ "Act of Dec. 18, 1987, P.L. 421, No. 89 Cl. 71 - OFFICIAL STATE LOCOMOTIVES - DESIGNATION". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Kibler, William (April 14, 2010). "Official: Working K-4 plans derailed". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Kibler, William (May 18, 2008). "K-4 to return — in pieces". Altoona Mirror. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  8. ^ "RailPictures.Net Photo: PRR 1361 Pennsylvania Railroad Steam 4-6-2 at Rockhill, Pennsylvania by Dennis A. Livesey". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Altoona museum moves in to new roundhouse - Trains Magazine". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  10. ^ "RailPictures.Net Photo: PRR 1361 Pennsylvania Railroad Steam 4-6-2 at Altoona, Pennsylvania by Brandon Fiume". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  11. ^ "New effort will focus on restoration of famed Pennsylvania Railroad K4s No. 1361 - Trains Magazine". Retrieved 12 September 2018.


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