PRR diesel retirement/scrapping/sale records?

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PRR diesel retirement/scrapping/sale records?

Postby AnotherPennsyNut » Wed May 27, 2015 8:34 pm

Hello all,
I'm a high school student in AP Statistics, and for my final project I'm analyzing trends in the makeup of the Pennsy's diesel roster over time. Rosters and build/purchase dates for all units were very easy to find, of course, but I'm having much more difficulty locating info on when units were stricken from the roster! I have a fairly good idea of what models survived through to PC, and I've been able to find retirement info for some well-known Pennsy specialties (centipedes, PA's, sharks, the A6 boxcabs, etc.), but by-and-large I can't find any useful indications of when, say, various switchers were retired. Does anyone know where I can locate comprehensive records (or any records at all) of the retirement, sale and/or scrapping of diesels by the PRR?
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Re: PRR diesel retirement/scrapping/sale records?

Postby Highball116 » Thu May 28, 2015 2:46 pm

I would try the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg or the Railroader's Memorial Museum in Altoona. The former is most likely to have those records, and if not, they probably have an archivist who is familiar with the collections of other organizations. Good luck.

Toby
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Re: PRR diesel retirement/scrapping/sale records?

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat May 30, 2015 12:50 am

It would be rally neat if you could get a detailed historical roster of the PRR's locomotives. Such rosters have been prepared for number of railroads-- they have been a feature of the rail fan magazine (now, I think, published only electronically) "Extra 2200 South" and the quarterly journal (I think its title is "Railroad History") of the Railroad and Locomotive Historical Society. Alas, I don't know of one for the Pennsylvania-- too big and too complicated, perhaps (though "Extra 2200 South" did publish -- over several issues, I think -- one for the Southern Pacific).

One thought. Many of the Pennsylvania's locomotive survived to be owned by the Penn Central after the 1968 merger. This
http://thedieselshop.us/PennCentral.HTML
Penn Central roster notes which locomotives were inherited from which pre-merger railroad, so could be used as a check of how many of which models were retired before the merger. (The same web site, thedieselshop.us, gives a link for a Pennsylvania diesel roster, which lists serial numbers and purchase dates, but not retirements.)
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Re: PRR diesel retirement/scrapping/sale records?

Postby AnotherPennsyNut » Sat May 30, 2015 9:25 pm

The roster they link to is actually my main source for the project, as it happens. But that's actually a clever idea checking the PC roster for what survived exactly, why didn't that occur to me? I found a PC roster from immediately after the merger and NYC rosters to cross-reference with that. Let's see how much closer I can get with these.

Update: All the ALCos are accounted for except some switchers and the FA's/FB's. None of those from the PRR survived to PC, anyone know when they were retired?
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Re: PRR diesel retirement/scrapping/sale records?

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat May 30, 2015 11:00 pm

Sorry, nothing to report. (I have some ideas of things to look for in my basement, and will post if I find anything useful.)

But a (tangential) thought occurred. Railroads get "trade-in" allowances on old locomotives when they buy new, and sometimes components from the trade-ins get re-used. PRR had a comparatively large number of second generation Alcos (15 RS-27, 1 C-424, and a bunch of C-425 before switching to CC units) and the third-largest U25B fleet (over 50) as well as some CC GE units. Alco and GE would both have given good trade-in deals on old Alcos (which had GE electrical gear), and the trucks from FA/FB units could be re-used on the four-axle units among these.
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Re: PRR diesel retirement/scrapping/sale records?

Postby rvlch » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:04 pm

Pennsy Power 2
by Stauffer and Pennypacker (1968) has pretty good diesel retirement date info up to its time of publication. Long out of print but available in the online marketplace.

For the Alco FA/FB (class AF15), it indicates all were retired in 1965 (it does not have individual unit retirement dates to address units that may have been taken off line prior to that time for whatever reasons).
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