Steam Saturday: Seems Like Only Yesterday

These two photos are in honor of the just-finished rebuilding of former Reading 4-8-4 No. 2102 and its break-in runs in Pennsylvania this week.

It seems like it was yesterday when the 2102 was doing a break-in run in Akron.

It was a warm summer day in 1968. Somehow the news had gotten out that the 2102, which had been purchased by a group of railfans in Akron who restored it to operating condition, planned to take the T-1 Northern type on a run from Akron to Hudson where it would turn on the Penn Central wye there and return to Akron.

My good friend and fellow railfan Mike Ondecker brought two lawn chairs for us in order to wait for 2102. Diesel-powered train after train appeared.

Finally northbound 2102 came into view. It is seen pulling up to the switch in the top photograph after which it reversed a little ways back.

If you look closely, you can see the switch in front of the steamer appears to be thrown for the other track.

That’s the Erie Lackawanna passenger station platform behind the engine. Those three children watching from the hillside would be about 60 now.

You can also see Mike in the bottom image. He is the closest person sitting down.

Then the 2102 came past us, passed under the concourse of Akron Union Depot, and soon was gone. For a brief few moments Mike and I had traveled back to the age of steam locomotives. Yes, it seems like it was only yesterday.

Article and Photographs by Robert Farkas

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2 Responses to “Steam Saturday: Seems Like Only Yesterday”

  1. Bill Kuethe Says:

    The two people in the bottom of the picture look more like Gary Dillon and Bruce Triplett. Past members of the Akron RR Club.

  2. Bill Kuethe Jr. Says:

    In the bottom photo it looks like Bruce Triplett and Gary Dillon, former members of the club.

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