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Introduction to Our Restoration Program

Major Achievements

Our Restoration People

Restoration Shop Tours

Rolling Stock Roster

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a world class museum of railroad history in Strasburg, PA.

An Example of the Restoration Process

Pennsylvania Railroad Air Brake Instruction Car No. 492445

A Save America's Treasures project, performed using the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation and the Association of Railway Museum's Recommended Practices for Railway Museums. A study in excellence.

  • 400before
    Badly rusted, filled with junk and odd parts.
  • 400remove
    Carefully removing hundreds of feet of piping.
  • 400carefulstudy
    Studying plans every step of the way.
  • 400trackingcomponents
    Identifying special components.
  • 400bodywork
    Very extensive bodywork required throughout.
  • 400cutting
    Extensive cutting and welding were required.
  • 400morebodywork
    Body work on roof.
  • 400scrape
    Scraping years of rust and paint.
  • 400fabricate
    Fabricating many new parts.
  • 400reassembling
    An intricate process of reassembly.
  • 400reinstalllighting
    Restoring lighting fixtures.
  • 400newfloor
    Installing a new floor.
  • 400wabcoadvisors
    Westinghouse Air Brake advisors.
  • 400lettering
    Relettering in 23 karat gold leaf.
  • 400reasembledcontrols
    Reassembled brake instruction equipment.
  • 400results
    An American Treasure Saved!


Built in 1910, the car was converted to an air brake instruction car in 1928. Equipment and controls provided hands-on training experience to engineers on the various air brake systems used in different locomotives. A maze of pipes hidden in the walls allowed the controls to mimic the actual feel of air brakes being applied on long trains under varying conditions.

One of two surviving examples of this type of mobile training facility, it was very badly deteriorated, and required extensive skills and work by paid and volunteer staff. The result is an amazing testament to the Museum's commitment to the preservation of American railroad history, as well as to the skills of those who achieved this wonderful result.

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Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
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