The famous race that gave it its name. In May 1927, a young ex-Army Air Corps pilot, Charles A. Lindbergh, made the first successful non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris, and thus became the world’s hero of the hour. Upon his return to the United States (by ship), “Lucky Lindy” was summoned to Washington on June 11 by President Calvin Coolidge for an official welcoming ceremony during which he was promoted to colonel and awarded a medal for his remarkable feat.
In those pre-television days, such events were filmed by news organizations and prints distributed to movie theaters across the country from New York where most news films were processed. Manhattan’s famous theater district usually was first to receive the newsreels, and producers sought to “scoop” the competition by being first on screen with the latest news.
The International News Reel Company engaged the Pennsylvania Railroad to rush their film of the tumultuous Lindbergh reception ceremonies to New York by special train. To gain a “leg up” on their competitors who hired airplanes to fly film to New York for processing, International leased a B60 baggage car and converted it to a rolling film studio where the raw film was processed, edited, and copied en route. This enabled them to rush finished reels directly to theaters when the special arrived at Penn Station.
Reaching speeds as high as 115mph, and averaging nearly 80mph, the famous #460 PRR E6 4-4-2 Atlantic made the 215 mile run from Washington DC to New York City in two hours and 56 minutes, a new record. Ten canisters of film, processed in-route, were delivered to Broadway Theaters more than one hour before those of all competitors giving birth to the legend of "The Train that beat the planes". Forever known thereafter as the "Lindbergh Special" the legendary #460 remains preserved to this day in the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum in Strasburg, PA.
MRRHQ has recreated this legendary train in exacting detail including a Mantua Collectibles 03008 PRR E6 4-4-2 Atlantic Locomotive #460 and two magnificent and modified Con-Cor period correct PRR heavyweight coaches.
Check our BLOG for a more comprehensive and fascinating look at survivor Pennsy E6 #460, the "Lindbergh Engine".