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As construction of a new mainline steam locomotive continues, your help is needed to start the next phase rolling.
As construction of a new mainline steam locomotive continues, your help is needed to start the next phase rolling.
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160 backers pledged $22,577 to help bring this project to life.

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$22,577

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A New Mainline Steam Locomotive?

It’s about time! In 1956 the Pennsylvania Railroad scrapped the fastest steam locomotive ever built, the magnificent T1. Our mission is to right that wrong and resurrect the T1 using original blueprints and twenty-first century manufacturing technology. This monumental task is underway one part at a time.

What’s next?

The next objective is to cast two massive drivers for the T1. These wheels stand nearly seven feet tall and are capable of conveying the T1 at speeds in excess of 140 mph. Working from original Pennsylvania Railroad mechanical drawings, the project's engineers created Computer Aided Design models of the wheels. These models were delivered along with requests for quotes to more than 60 foundries across the country. Over a four month period, the search was narrowed and the team ultimately selected Beaver Valley Alloy Foundry in Monaca, PA. Beaver Valley has been providing large, high quality castings since 1919. A respected industry leader, Beaver Valley utilizes today's latest technologies for pattern making, metallurgy and casting steel. We are excited to partner with Beaver Valley and to begin the process of major component construction. 

You are the key to the success of this project!  

This campaign is designed to help us raise the $20,000 needed to create the modern pattern for casting all eight wheels. This is where you step in with your contribution. We have prepared a straight forward menu of rewards to choose from. These tokens of gratitude range from 5550 Patches and T-Shirts to full-sized cast bronze 5550 Keystone Number Plates and membership in the group's Founders Club.  

Thank you in advance for your support. If you are unable to contribute today, please think of us the next time you are in a position to be generous and help bring the mighty PRR T1 roaring back to life!

Above is a video of how the final pattern is being made. The T1 Trust is using the latest technology to build a wood pattern that will be used in the casting of a steel final wheel. Our engineers have taken original PRR drawings, converted them to Computer Aided Design (CAD) files. These files are then adjusted for metal shrinkage as well as adding some additional material for machined surfaces. Once the CAD file has been prepared, it is put into a computer controlled 5-axis milling machine that cuts the wood to the perfect measurements required to make final wheel. Once the pattern is complete, it will be modified to cast each set of wheels until all 8 are complete.

The above video is a prototype foam version that was made for display at events as well as measurements for engineering.

If you have an extra 4 minutes, check out this video clip above provided to the T1 Trust by Green Frog Productions. There is some great footage of these massive machines doing what they do best.

Here is some video in color of the T1's running provided by Mark 1 video. This video is 4 minutes as well. Well worth watching.

Special thanks go to Rich Melvin for doing the audio and to Pete Lerro Jr. for editing the video. We would also like to thank Mark 1 video, Green Frog Productions and Lorenz Schug of MBV Schug Accucraft Europe for supplying stock video footage. With the help of our many volunteers, this project will be completed one step at a time.

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Risks and challenges

The biggest risk is the project does not get finished. The team is planning on the project taking 15 years to complete. The faster money is raised, the quicker the project gets to completion.

*Please note this is a 15 year project, so your hand on the throttle won't happen too soon (unless a large donor steps forward)

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Trainmen - A big thanks for your support - you will receive a PRR T1 #5550 Keystone patch in the mail for your awesome contribution.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Road Foremen - A big thanks for your support - you will receive a PRR T1 #5550 Keystone patch as well as a #5550 Custom Lanyard in the mail for your awesome contribution. You can think about the project every morning with your coffee!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Yard Master - A big thanks for your support - you will receive a PRR T1 #5550 Keystone patch, a custom T1 lanyard and a #5550 Coffee Mug in the mail for your awesome contribution. You can think about the project every morning with your coffee!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Track Inspector - A big thanks for your support - you will receive a PRR T1 #5550 Keystone patch, a custom T1 lanyard, a #5550 Coffee Mug and a #5550 T-shirt in the mail for your awesome contribution. You can think about the project every morning with your coffee while sporting a great #5550 T-shirt!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Dispatcher - A big thanks for your support - you will receive a PRR T1 #5550 Keystone patch, a custom T1 lanyard, a #5550 Coffee Mug and a #5550 T-shirt in the mail for your awesome contribution. A Special Bonus will be you get to sponsor a small drawing from our website as well. Your name will be on that drawing for all to see that you support the project! You will receive a certificate suitable for framing as well.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Trainmaster - A big thanks for your support - you will receive a PRR T1 #5550 Keystone patch, a custom T1 lanyard, a #5550 Coffee Mug and a #5550 T-shirt in the mail for your awesome contribution. As a Special Bonus you will be invited to sponsor a Large Drawing from our website. Your name will appear on that drawing so all can see that you support the 5550 project! In addition, you will receive a Drawing Donation Certificate suitable for framing.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Conductor - A big thanks for your support - you will receive a PRR T1 #5550 Keystone patch, a custom T1 lanyard, a #5550 Coffee Mug and a #5550 T-shirt in the mail for your awesome contribution. As a Special Bonus you will be made the sponsor of record for one section of a driving wheel. You will also receive a Driver Donation Certificate suitable for framing. What a great conversation piece for the train room, office, or den.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Founders Club - A big thanks for your support - you will receive a PRR T1 #5550 Keystone patch, a custom T1 lanyard, a #5550 Coffee Mug and a #5550 T-shirt in the mail for your awesome contribution. In addition, backers at the $1,000 level will receive membership in the exclusive T1 Trust Founders Club.

    Members of the Founders Club will receive:

    Reserved seating on the first excursion train pulled by 5550
    Reasonable access to 5550 at all times
    An invitation to join one of the committees building 5550
    First choice of components and drawings to sponsor
    Quarterly newsletter The T1 Trail Blazer
    ...and a...
    Limited edition print of the first official painting of 5550 signed
    and numbered by the artist, Jonathan Clay (See image above)

    Membership in the Founders Club is a unique opportunity to get in at the beginning of the T1 project. Only a limited number of Founders
    Club seats remain. Hurry and reserve your piece of railroad history today!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    The Keystone - An elite group of T1 Trust supporters will receive a full size cast bronze #5550 keystone. This is a very limited run complete with serial numbers. Your keystone will be made from the very same pattern that #5550's keystone was made from. This will look great on a wall or in any railroad themed room.

    In addition, backers at the $1,000 level will receive membership in the exclusive T1 Trust Founders Club.

    Members of the Founders Club will receive:

    Reserved seating on the first excursion train pulled by 5550
    Reasonable access to 5550 at all times
    An invitation to join one of the committees building 5550
    Discounts on 5550 merchandise
    First choice of components and drawings to sponsor
    Quarterly newsletter The T1 Trail Blazer
    Limited edition print of the first official painting of 5550 signed
    and numbered by the artist, Jonathan Clay (See image above)

    Membership in the Founders Club is a unique opportunity to get in at the beginning of the T1 project. Only a limited number of Founders
    Club seats remain. Hurry and reserve your piece of railroad history today!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The Ultimate Railfan - At this level, you will have the opportunity to be one of the first people to run the T1 Steam Locomotive when complete. Feel the exhiliration of holding six-thousand horses in the palm of your hand. As an additional bonus, you'll receive a full-sized bronze keystone at the end of this Kickstarter Campaign. You are invited to bring the keystone with you during your day at the throttle and we'll place it on the prow. You can then take the keystone home afterwards as an enduring momento.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The Box Trifecta - T1 #5550 is destined to become the Thoroughbred of Steam and in a nod to horse racing parlance “The Box Trifecta” package offers up a very special bronze keystone. This keystone will adorn the prow of the T1 for the World Record Run and return to its owner afterwards becoming a truly priceless piece of railroad history.

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Funding period

- (30 days)