Steam Saturday: Reading 1251 in Strasburg

Today’s Saturday steam wayback machine takes us to Strasburg, Pennsylvania, in either the late 1960”s or 1970s.

Reading 0-6-0T No. 1251 was on display after having arrived at the museum in 1968.

The class B-4a steamer had been a shop switcher in Reading, Pennsylvania, until 1963, making it the the last Reading steamer still in regular use. In fact once source indicates it was the last steam locomotive still in use at the time by a Class 1 railroad.

It had been built in Reading in 1912 in the company shops, using components from a retired 2-8-0 Consolidation locomotive.

For a while in the 1960s No. 1251 pulled tourist trains in York, Pennsylvania, while paired with a former Reading tender to provide water.

After ending that work in 1966 it sat for two years before moving to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where it still resides today on static display after receiving a cosmetic restoration

Photograph by Robert Farkas

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