Near Ronks in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Pennsylvania Railroad No. 460
The introduction of steel passenger trains on the Pennsylvania at the turn of the twentieth century created a need for a more powerful passenger locomotive. While most roads had begun building larger Pacific (4-6-2) type locomotives for this service, Alfred Gibbs, the PRR's General Superintendent of Motive Power, Lines East, chose to refine the proven and reliable Atlantic.
Designed to be powerful yet lightweight, the E6 class earned a reputation as the ultimate development of their type. The design featured a greatly enlarged and superheated boiler atop a sturdy yet lightweight frame. From their debut in 1910 to the arrival of the first K4 Pacific's in 1920, the E6 fleet held down the premier passenger assignments east of Harrisburg, PA.
Bumped to secondary and commuter trains in the 1920's, the E6 fleet soldier on for many more decades. By the 1950's only 3 remained, including the last one built, No. 460. No. 460 finished her career in commuter service on the Atlantic Division and Seashore Lines, including hauling the last passenger train down the original route of the Camden and Amboy, before being retired in 1955. Immediately upon retirement, No. 460 was added to the PRR's historic collection, and officially added to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's roster in 1979.
Builder: Pennsylvania RR, Juniata, PA
Build Date: August, 1914
Retirement Date: October 1955
Number Built: 83
Driving Wheel Diameter: 81 in.
Tractive Effort: 31,275 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: Coal: 16 tons, Water: 7,150 gal.
Boiler Pressure: 205 psi.
PHMC Catalogue No. RR79.40.4
The Lindberg Special
No. 460's most famous assignment came on June 11, 1927, racing newsreel footage of a Presidential reception for Charles Lindberg from Washington, D.C. to New York City for the International News Reel Company. A competing firm had chartered an airplane for the same purpose. Intent on upholding its reputation for speed, the Pennsylvania converted a baggage car into a dark room to enable the footage to be developed en route and chose one of its fastest locomotives, No. 460, to power the special train. Although the plane landed earlier, the film carried by the Pennsylvania had already been developed and was shown in theaters first. From that day on, No. 460 held the title of "the train that beat the plane."
(Banner at Bottom):
In 1927, No. 460 raced an airplane from Washington, D.C. to New York, hauling newsreel footage of Charles Lindberg's Presidential reception.
Erected by Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 39° 58.958′ N, 76° 9.662′ W. Marker was near Ronks, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Marker was on Gap Road (Pennsylvania Route 741) east of Bishop Road, on the right when traveling east. Located in front of the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 300 Gap Road, Ronks PA 17572, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. Strasburg Rail Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Reading Observation No. 1 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); History of Railroad Pump Cars (about 600 feet away); 37 East Main Street (approx. 0.8 miles away); 33 East Main Street (approx. 0.8 miles away); Original Head Race & Water Turbine (approx. 1.9 miles away); Leaman Place Bridge (1893) (approx. 3˝ miles away); Leacock Presbyterian Church (approx. 4.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ronks.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo captioned, No. 460 holds two young boys spellbound as she rests between runs near the end of her career. By the time they are old enough to act out their daydreams of highballing down the mainline, the steam locomotive itself will seem just a distant fantasy.
On the lower right is another photo of No. 460. Having just broken about every speed record in the books, the proud crew of the Lindberg Special poses with No. 460 at the end of the run on June 11, 1927.
Also see . . .
1. Pennsylvania Railroad's E6s Atlantic No. 460, The Lindbergh Engine. Article from the museum detailing the locomotive's history and heritage. (Submitted on June 13, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. A Tale of Two Memos. Charles Lindbergh and the Pennsylvania Railroad. (Submitted on October 31, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 10, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 13, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 903 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 13, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.