Categories
News

Presentation on K-4 locomotive given at Tyrone History Museum

The first restoration project of the K-4 No. 1361 steam locomotive and its round trip excursion from Tyrone to Bellefonte in 1987-88 captured through photographs was a presentation recently given by David Seidel of Altoona.
Seidel addressed some 60 rail buffs, many who formerly worked on the Pennsylvania Railroad, at the presentation hosted by the Tyrone Area Historical Society.
Seidel began his presentation with photos of PRR\’s passenger steam locomotive K-4 as it was displayed at Horseshoe Curve from 1957 to 1958. Then, it was moved to the Altoona Railroad Memorial Museum where efforts began to cosmetically restore the steam engine for display purposes. In time, a closer inspection determined that a mechanical restoration of the steam engine was feasible and through the efforts and time of many, was eventually restored and able to return to the tracks for a period of time.
Built in 1918, No. 1361 is one of 425 K-4 type passenger locomotives built in Altoona. The steam locomotive weighs 250 tons and could travel at speeds of over 90 miles per hour pulling as many as 14 heavyweight steel cars on flat, level track. Mr. Seidel pointed out that for many years these locomotives were the main passenger power on the PRR because of their operational efficiencies.
The speaker pointed out that only two K-4s remain today. No. 3750 is on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania at Strasburg, Lancaster County and never was returned to operational status. The K-4 steam engine No. 1361, after it was restored, made its way over the rail tracks through Tyrone for a short period of time before its trips came to a sad ending.
However, for the past eight-and-a-half years K-4 No. 1361 has been housed at Steamtown National Historic Site where restoration efforts have been underway. As time moves on, it is the dream of all railroaders, and the public, that this magnificent steam engine will once again run the tracks within the next year or two.