Category Archives: Railroads and Rail Transportation

Blocked in the Snow

English: Passengers of a train stuck in the snow forage for wood
Source Our Young Folks, 1868
Author Anonymous engraver

The engraving bears a mark in the lower left that seems to be “R. Sc.” “Sc.” is probably an abbreviation for “Sculpsit,” leaving “R.” as the only identification of the artist.

Inclined Plane on the Pennsylvania Railroad


From Gleason’s Pictorial, 1853. —At this time the crossing of this mountain in the Alleghenies was effected by an inclined plane with a stationary engine. The cars were brought to the bottom of the hill by locomotives, and then hauled up by a chain attached to the engine at the top of the incline. These inclined planes were apparently common on early railroads in the eastern mountains, but it is very difficult to find information on them today. Most were abandoned by the later 1800s in favor of longer but much faster alignments that did not require separating the cars from the locomotive.