Return of the Reading Rambles

 My goal this past weekend was to introduce my former brother-in-law (but still good friend) Karl West, his son (my nephew) Owen, and Jeff Troutman to an old friend of mine from way back

Reading  4-8-4 No. 2102 on May 28 made its first passenger excursion since October 1991.

To sum it up, everybody loved it. It ran, sounded and looked spectacular.

The departure from Reading Outer Station was right on time at 9 a.m. A quick passenger stop was made at Port Clinton,

We started with cloudy conditions and we ran in some rain en route. The T-1 was unaffected and from what I could see performed flawlessly. The stack talk was loud and constant. We arrived at Jim Thorpe at 11:45 a.m. 

We had plenty of time for lunch in town. Afterwards we returned to the station to see the return of the 1 p.m. Lehigh Gorge Scenic Train.

After the 3 p.m. Lehigh Gorge train departed, the 2102 performed a solo photo runby. Once complete it backed to pick up the train for our 3:45 p.m. departure.

The sun broke through on the return trip.  We arrived back in Reading on time, just before 7 p.m.

The last time I rode behind 2102 was May 22, 1977. That was its doubleheader with former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070 on a trip from Pittsburgh to Altoona and return featuring Horseshoe Curve. It was a 45-year wait for me to ride behind the 2102 again. It was worth it.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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