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The Loretto

Help Save The Loretto

The Railroaders Memorial Museum – Altoona, PA, announces the transfer of ownership of the Private Car Loretto to the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust of Boyertown, PA. 
“We are pleased that this important part of Pennsylvania heritage will get a new lease on life,” said Joe DeFrancesco, Executive Director of the Railroader’s Memorial Museum.  “The Colebrookdale has developed an expertise around cars from this period, and their commitment to reverse the fire damage the car suffered in the 1980s was a critical part of our decision to sell it to them,” he said.  The Colebrookdale Railroad provided a comprehensive restoration and operation proposal to the museum’s board of directors. Museum officials decided it was in the car’s best interest to accept this proposal. Immediate plans are underway by the new owners to overhaul the car’s interior and mechanical condition to return the car to its original configuration. The Loretto suffered fire damage from arson in the 1980s with limited restoration work to the car since. The car was ordered in 1917 from Pullman by famous steel baron Charles Schwab of Bethlehem Steel, and served as his second private car to bear the name. “The Loretto will join the Lynnewood (built for Joseph Widener, and also Pullman 1917) to tell the story of Pennsylvania’s two most famous steel dynasties,” said Nathaniel Guest, Executive Director of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust. “Together, the cars tell a fitting story for our railroad which connects the earliest ironmaking sites in Pennsylvania–sites from which those dynasties ultimately emerged,” he said.  The Colebrookdale plans to create an immersive experience by allowing passengers to go back in time to experience the luxury of this mansion on the rails. “The Loretto, like the Lynnewood, is a landmark among railroad cars, and its destruction in the 1980s was truly an act of civic vandalism.  I am proud to right that wrong,” said Guest.
The car departed the Railroaders Memorial Museum on Monday, January 29, 2024, and arrived at the new railroad on January 31, 2024.
To donate to the car’s restoration, or for further updates on the car’s restoration and return to operation, see Colebrookdale’s website and social media. All inquiries should be directed to the Colebrookdale Railroad.


We are embarking on a capital project for the Loretto to undergo immediate restoration, but we need your support! Please consider a donation for our fundraising campaign for the Loretto

Here are some photos of the Loretto being unloaded in Boyertown, PA!

Photos of the Loretto before it suffered fire damage.

Interior photos courtesy of the Railroaders Memorial Museum Website.