Steam at Twilight

steamattwilightThe Members of the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum would like to welcome you to visit the Museum on Friday nights for “Steam at Twilight”.  On Friday nights, we lower the lights and turn back the clock from the summer of 1952 to an early fall evening in 1949. “The Smokey City” is just beginning the long, hard process of cleaning up its act and its air, in the earliest days of what will be known as “Renaissance”.

Now that World War II is over, prosperity is returning, people are once again traveling for pleasure and the Railroads are still the royal way to go. Famous “Name Trains” like the Broadway, Super Chief, 20th Century and the Shooting Star continue to captivate the public.  America’s railroad rush to replace old, war-weary heavyweight passenger cars with new lightweight streamliners. The car shops of Pullman, Budd and ACF are enjoying a huge backlog of passenger car orders.

The winds of change are starting to blow as the old order make way for the new. Spectacular, innovative “Vista Dome” cars are economical, self-propelled “Rail Diesel Cars” promise lower operating costs. Lumbering 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 “steamers” are being replaced by efficient S2’s, VO-1000’s and SW7 diesels, in freight cars. EMD is about to release its powerful new E8 to head the nation’s “crack” passenger fleets, while ALCO is countering with its handsome PA-1’s and Baldwin is fielding its sleek “Shark Nose” passenger diesels. On the work-a-day freight trains, venerable 2-8-2, 2-10-0, and 4-8-8-2 steam giants are rapidly being pushed aside by powerful, “Jack the Giant Killer” diesels with names such as F7, FA-1, DR4-4-15, GP7, and RS-2.

But for now, join us on Friday evenings to reminisce on a warm fall evening as we watch legions of steam locomotives like “Consolidations”, “Mikes”, Pacifics”, “Hudsons”, and Appalachians” thunder past; hauling America’s freight and passenger trains as they have for over 100 years. Their time is short; the scrapper’s cutting torch beckons ominously. However, for today, they still command all of the respect and awe that has transfixed generations of the nation’s traveling public

Watch them as they labor during their brief remaining days; experience their power and might while you still can, during this time known as… “Steam at Twilight”