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PennDOT Keystone Corridor work requires temporary move of historic GG1 locomotive

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As part of ongoing improvements on the Keystone Corridor, PennDOT said it will move the historic GG1 Pennsylvania railroad locomotive No. 4859 from its spot at the Harrisburg Transportation Center.

Amtrak is managing the move — to 1,000 feet west of the station — which will take place at 7 a.m. April 5. The move of both the GGI locomotive and caboose is necessary so a $36 million project to improve power, signals, track and switches into the Harrisburg Transportation Center can be completed.

The upgrades will further improve the train times from Harrisburg to Philadelphia and New York City, PennDOT said in a news release. Work started in late 2013 and will conclude by 2017.

GG1 refers to a class of electric locomotives built for the Pennsylvania Railroad for use in the northeastern United States. General Electric and Altoona Works built 139 GG1s from 1934 to 1943.

An Amtrak locomotive will push the GGI and caboose to a spot near the Seventh Street garage about a quarter-mile away. The locomotive later will be “shrink-wrapped” to protect it from the elements until it can be moved back to its current location.

Because of safety concerns during the move, spectators will be able to watch the move only from an overlook area at the transportation center or from other designated, public areas away from the station, PennDOT said. Parking is available at nearby parking garages or metered spots on nearby city streets.

The GG1, one of the world’s most distinctive locomotives and a mainstay of the Pennsylvania Railroad, served the Harrisburg station on service to Philadelphia and New York City between 1938 and 1981, the release states. No. 4859 pulled the first electrically powered train from the Harrisburg station on Jan. 15, 1938.

It was located at the station as a memorial to that service in 1986 and designated as the official state locomotive. The Harrisburg Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society maintains it.

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