Reading & Northern Buys 2 NS F Units

Reading & Northern has purchased two of the four Norfolk Southern F units that were put up for auction last week.

The Pennsylvania regional railroad and tourist line operator bought F9A No. 270 and F7B No. 275 and plans to use them in special passenger service.

The fate of the other two NS F units has not yet been revealed. Bids on the locomotives were due on Nov. 20.

NS acquired the F units in 2006 to pull is executive fleet of passengers cars. The Class 1 carrier has rebuilt them to GP38-2 standards.

They have been based at the Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

R&N owner and chairman Andrew M. Mueller Jr. told Trains magazine that he was surprised to win the bidding on two of the NS F units because he expected a larger railroad to buy all four of them.

Mueller said tentative plans are to the replace the NS light gray paint with R&N Tuscan red on the streamlined units and keep the NS roster numbers.

R&N already owns two former Bessemer & Lake Erie F7s that are in the process of being restored to operating condition.

The NS A-B set will be combined with one of the former B&LE units to form a matched A-B-A consist, Muller said.

He said the NS F units will be moved from Altoona to the R&N’s interchange with NS at Reading, Pennsylvania, soon.

R&N plans to display the NS F units at its Outer Station Christmas-light display.

Muller said the NS units will be used to lead the first train over a new bridge connecting the railroad’s Lehigh and Reading divisions that is being constructed at Nesquehoning Junction and expected to open shortly before Christmas.

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