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Allen H. Tweddle collection of railroadiana

Creation: 1878-2011
Accession: 2639


A collection amassed by a retired conductor successively employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central, Conrail and Amtrak. It consists partly of company publications and documents collected on the job, and partly of advertisements, timetables, brochures, maps and other railroadiana from many different companies bought from dealers and other collectors. It is particularly useful for the Amtrak manuals relating to things like consumer satisfaction, employee health and safety and equipment maintenance.


  • Creation: 1878-2011



15 Linear Feet

General Physical Description

9 cartons, 2 oversize flat boxes, 1 map folder, 2 map rolls.

Biographical Note

Allen Harrison Tweddle was born in Delaware on April 12, 1949. A career railroad operating employee, he entered service as a brakeman on the Penn Central Transportation Company in 1969, eventually becoming a freight and then passenger conductor. Following the bankruptcy of Penn Central, he worked successively for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail), and finally on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor passenger trains.

In addition to preserving reports, operating manuals, rule books, timetables and other documents issued to him in his line of work, Tweddle became interested in the histories of the compannies he worked for and in railroad history generally, especially that of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the original owner of the routes he worked. In pursuit of this he collected books, historic and contemporaty postcards, timetables, brochures, posters, maps, advertisements and other types of railroadiana before giving the bulk of his collection to Hagley in 2015. He purchased much of the material from dealers or at "train show" flea markets, but other pieces were picked up on travels to tourist-oriented railroads around the country or from the timetable racks of stations on his regular routes. Tweddle also preserved some materials collected from his time as a United Transportation Union delegate in the 1990s and 2000s.


Series I. Pennsylvania Railroad Company material; Series II. Penn Central Transportation Company material; Series III. Consolidated Rail Corporation material; Series IV. Amtrak material; Series V. SEPTA material; Series VI. Internal publications of other railroads; Series VII. Timetables and brochures of other railroads; Series VIII. United Transportation Union material; Series IX. Personal; Series X. Advertisements; Series XI. Maps and drawings.

Scope and Content

The Tweddle Collection lacks a single focus but rather augments materials from the same railroad companies in other Hagley accessions. Material issued to Tweddle by employers typically includes employee and public timetables, rule books, equipment operating manuals, and advertising brochures. Of particular interest are the manuals for the Acela high speed train and several classes of Amtrak diesel and electric locomotives, including the relatively unsuccessful HHP-8 and the workhorse AEM-7. A large number of the manuals are devoted to employee safety, to the cleanliness of the trains and ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction and to employee well-being, stress-reduction and the like.

The timetables and brochurse of other railroads, other than the PRR, are a random assortment, mostly from the East but also the transcontinentals. While there are some early examples, most are from the long decline of private passenger trains in the 1950s and 1960s. Aslo of note are small fact books and comic books distributed by the Association of American Railroads to elementary schools in the 1950s and 1960s, explaining the railroad industry when it was a more visible part of American life.

United Transportation Union material dates from the early 2000s, when Tweddle was a delegate to union conventions.

Advertisements are tear sheets from popular magazines that were traded as collectables. They include some from the PRR's J. Walter Thompson campaign of the late 1920s, but most are color ads from the 1940s through the early 1960s. There is a good sample from the World War II years with patriotic themes.

Artwork is mostly of PRR subjects, but includes color renderings of General Motors diesel locomotives, all of which were marketed to the enthusiast community. Some are limited edition prints, while others are mass-marketed reproductions of the railroad companies' own commercial art. There are two original illustrated brochures for the 1949 versions of the "Broadway Limited" and "Spirit of St. Louis."

Maps and drawings are also a mix of modern prints from company originals that Tweddle was able to obtain from the engineering departments of Conrail and Amtrak and others purchased as collectables. Subjects include Pennsylvania Station and the proposed re-use of the Farley Post Office, Sunnyside Yard, random pieces of PRR rolling stock, track maps of the Philadelphia and Chicago areas and a plan of the 1876 Centennial grounds.

Posters include purchased reproductions of PRR posters and originals obtained from Amtrak. Among the latter are ones advertising the high-speed Acela and the centennials of Washington Union Station and the Wilmington, Del., station.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply to some items.

Language of Materials


Additional Description

Separated Material

Published books and serials from the Tweddle Collection have been merged into the general holdings of Published Collections and may be located through Hagley's online public catalog. The substantial collection of railroad postcards and the few photographs have been transferred to the Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department.

Related Names


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Allen H. Tweddle Collection of Railroadiana
Christopher T. Baer
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:
Language of description note:

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA