Altoona Railroaders Museum to restore K4 1361 locomotive

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) – The Railroaders Memorial Museum is partnering with railroad professionals to restore the K4 1361 locomotive.

The project aims to transform K4 1361 to its former glory. The estimated cost is $2.6 million. Initial fundraising efforts are being led by railroad preservations advocates and industry leaders, according to the Railroaders Memorial Museum.

The restoration efforts will be overseen by FMW Solutions LLC, a company based out of Tennessee. FMW will also assist in strategic planning of the eventual operation of the locomotive.

“The legacy of the PRR, the K4, and the industrious identity of Altoona makes this extremely special to us,” President of FMW Solutions Davidson Ward said. “Our team is prepared to assist RMM turn a new page in this project. Our hope is to make the locomotive a viable ambassador for Altoona and the Commonwealth for years to come.”

Executive Director of the RMM Joseph DeFrancesco said FMW Solutions brings a remarkable set of skills and talents to this project.

The Railroaders Memorial Museum seeks to preserve the history of Central Pennsylvanians through various displays and life-size dioramas of railroad workers. After opening in 1980, the museum relocated to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s form Master Mechanic’s Building that was used in railroad operations for over a century. The building is the sole survivor of Altoona’s machine shops.

“K4 1361 has a checkered thirty-year restoration history,” former Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman said. “Since running last in 1989, it has been disassembled, partially restored, moved across the Commonwealth, and then transported home to Altoona in pieces. Our new team is dedicated to concluding this restoration project that began long ago.”

Visitors can stop by the museum for tours Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a general admission ticket.

In connection with the Railroaders Memorial Museum, just six miles away people can visit the world-famous Horseshoe Curve.

A national historic landmark, the Horseshoe Curve opened for business in 1854 and is considered an engineering marvel. Over the next century-and-a-half, the landmark went from being a primary artery of railroad travel in the nation, a target during WWII and now a tourism destination.

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