For decades, the greatest railroad rivalry in the East was between the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroad - and the most intense expression of that rivalry was in their overnight New York - Chicago passenger service. The standard bearer for the Central was the 20th Century Limited, which took the easy way west, up the Hudson River valley and along the Great Lakes, advertised as "the Water Level Route, so you can sleep." The Pennsy's flagship, the Broadway Limited, fought its way westward over the Allegheny Mountains via Horseshoe Curve, one of railroading's greatest engineering achievements.
On June 15, 1938, both the Broadway and the Century were re-launched with new lightweight, streamlined trains, styled by leading industrial designers of the day. Heading the Century were 4-6-4 Hudsons streamlined by Henry Dreyfuss. On the point of the Broadway was the Pennsy's first streamlined steamer, K4s Pacific No. 3768, styled by Raymond Loewy. Train crews had nicknamed it "The Torpedo." Trailing No. 3768 was a string of brand-new Pullman sleepers in a distinctive black, Tuscan Red and gold-striped paint scheme, along with a diner, RPO and baggage car recycled from older heavyweight equipment. In later years, The Torpedo would go on to lead other Pennsy name trains, but eventually the streamlined Loewy shroud would be removed to make the locomotive easier to service.
Learn More About The K-4s
M.T.H. published an article in an MTHRRC Crossing Gate magazine detailing the history of the K-4s. Learn all about the history by clicking HERE.