The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania marks the 90th anniversary on Sunday, June 11 of the famed "Lindbergh Special"run, headed by one of the historic locomotives in the Museum's premier collection, Pennsylvania Railroad E6s Atlantic No. 460. Visitors are invited to view the newly and beautifully restored locomotive No. 460 on display on Track 3 West in the Museum's Rolling Stock Hall.
The first 90 visitors to the Museum on June 11 will receive a deluxe sized postcard featuring an historic view of locomotive No. 460. One per family, please. Youthful visitors may take home a coloring sheet featuring No. 460.
A signed, limited edition reproduction of artist Carolyn Kilgour's dramatic painting "The Lindbergh Engine"is available for a donation of $100.00 (to $249.00) to the nonprofit Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. A handsome, limited edition reproduction of artist Ted Rose's stunning watercolor painting "White Knuckles," which depicts No. 460 taking on water during the "Lindbergh Special" run, is available for a donation of $250.00 (to $999.00) to the Friends.
Brief History of the "Lindbergh Special" Run
On June 11, 1927 at special ceremonies in Washington, DC, Charles A. Lindbergh was awarded both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Congressional Medal of Honor by U. S. President Calvin Coolidge for his solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Several newsreel companies filmed the ceremony and chartered an airplane to fly the film to New York to be processed and rushed to theatres. The International News Reel Company sent their film footage by train.
The Pennsylvania Railroad promoted this event as a race between a train and an airplane, and pulled out all stops for the race, including outfitting a B60 baggage car as a darkroom so that technicians could process the film en route. Dispatchers were ordered to clear the line of all train traffic for the "Lindbergh Special." A select crew was called and locomotive No. 460 was assigned to power the train.
The "Lindbergh Special" smashed all previous times for a run from Washington, DC to New York City, covering the distance in two hours and 55 minutes, for a total average speed of 74 miles an hour. It was reported that in an area between Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia, the"Lindbergh Special" may have attained a speed of 115 miles per hour.
Although the airplane landed before the No. 460-headed train arrived, the International News Reel Company's film was ready for viewing when it reached New York. The footage was rushed to movie theatres in a fleet of taxicabs, scooping the rival newsreel companies. Since that time, locomotive No. 460 has been known as the Lindbergh Engine.
About The Lindbergh Engine
Built in 1914 by the Pennsylvania Railroad in its Juniata Shops, No. 460 is the sole survivor of the fleet of eighty-three PRR E6 Atlantic class locomotives. Lightweight yet powerful, No. 460 enjoyed a long and colorful career running on such distinguished trains as the "Broadway Limited," spent most of World War II working on the Pennsylvania Railroad's Atlantic Division and was finally retired from service in 1955. No. 460 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the famed Pennsylvania Railroad Historic Collection.
Opened to the public in 1975, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is home to a world-class collection of more than 100 historic locomotives and railroad cars, a working restoration shop, a vast library and archives, an immersive education center, a Museum store and unique special events, programs and exhibits.
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is one of 24 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History®, with the active support of the
Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
300 Gap Road, PA Route 741, P. O. Box 125
Strasburg, Lancaster County, PA 17579
(717) 687-8628 www.rrmuseumpa.org