Posts Tagged ‘Reading steam locomotives’

R&N 2102 Makes First Test Run

April 7, 2022

Reading & Northern conducted its first test run of 4-8-4 No. 2102 on Wednesday and plans to make additional test runs today and Friday.

The 2102 shoved a short train for 16 miles from Port Clinton to North Reading.

R&N owner Andrew M. Muller Jr. was in the cab as the former Reading Company T-1 steamer prepared to take the mainline for the first time in 31 years.

Muller had earlier in the week pulled the throttle as the 2102 moved on its own for the first time since going into storage in 1991.

He had purchased the locomotive in 1986 and it pulled excursion trains through 1991.

The 2102 will pull a series of public excursions in Pennsylvania this year with the first of those set for May 28 between Reading and Jim Thorpe.

2102 Test Runs to be Done Today

April 6, 2022

The first test will be made today by former Reading Company 4-8-4 No. 2102.

The locomotive, now owned by the Reading & Northern, recently was fired up as it neared completion of a $2.4 million restoration. R&N said there would be no schedule for the test runs.

The T-1 type locomotive last ran in the early 1990s before being placed in storage in 1991.

Restoration work began in 2016. R&N also owns a 4-6-2, No. 425.

Public excursions behind the 2102 will begin on May 28 and continue through early September.

Tickets range from $99 to $299 per person and can be purchased by phone at 610-562-2102 or at

R&N Sets Iron Horse Rambles Schedule

March 24, 2022

The Reading & Northern has finalized its 2022 Iron Horse Rambles excursion schedule featuring restored T-1 4-8-4 No. 2102.

The former Reading Company steamer was overhauled in a $2.4 million project for the Pennsylvania-based regional railroad.

It will pull excursions between Reading and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, on May 28, July 2, Aug. 13 and Sept. 3.

The May 28 trip is already sold out. Tickets in five classes of seating are still available for the other excursions.

Fare are not based on the age of the passenger and include standard coach for $99, crown class coach for $110, Pullman car private rooms for $299 per room for up to two people, first class dome car seating for $199, first class lounge car for $199, and first class lounge observation car for $210.

R&N owner Andy Muller, Jr. purchased the 2102 in 1986 and operated it in excursion service until it was put into storage in 1991.

The 2102 is one of four surviving T-1 steam locomotives and at one time pulled trips in Northeast Ohio.

Iron Horse Rambles tickets can be purchased at, or by phone at 610-562-2102.

Steam Sunday: Welcome Back Reading 2102

February 13, 2022

The last time former Reading Company 4-8-4 No. 2102 operated was in fall 1991. I’ve ridden behind the 2102 three times.

I rode an excursion on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie out of Pittsburgh in 1976; a trip on the former Erie (then operated by Conrail) from Kent to Greenville, Pennsylvania, on May 1, 1977; and on May 22, 1977, from Pittsburgh to Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The latter excursion was a doubleheader with former Grand Trunk Western 2-8-2 No. 4070, which is best known for its many years of operation on the Cuyahoga Valley Line, now the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Nine of the photos above were made during a chase from Temple, located north of Reading, Pennsylvania, to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on May 21, 1988.

Another image was made at South Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, on a Reading to Tamaqua trip on October 13, 1991.

Tickets for the T-1’s return to Reading Rambles will be available this week. My goal for 2022 is to be onboard one of those excursions.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Firebox Welding Completed on Reading 2100

October 12, 2021

The American Steam Railroad Preservation Association said it has completed welding work within the firebox grate area of former Reading T1 4-8-4 No. 2100.

The work included welding of 548 new side sheet flexible and rigid staybolts, the welding of the inner sheets to the mud ring, and the installation of two new arch tubes.

Next will be making repairs to 85 sleeves in the firebox combustion chamber and purchasing 170 new caps and copper gaskets, to complete this phase of the restoration. Vendors have quoted a price of $9,060 for these parts.

The work is being performed at a former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse in Cleveland that is now the home of the Midwest Railway Preservation Society.

R&N Test Fires Reading T-1 2102

January 14, 2021

Former Reading Company 4-8-4 No. 2102 underwent steam testing this week in Port Clinton, Pennsylvania.

Owned by regional carrier Reading & Northern, CEO Andy Muller, Jr. blew the whistle of the T-1 at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

“The engine is like new,” Muller said following the testing, adding that the boiler, injectors, feed water heater and stoker tested fine.

Workers did find a leaks and will repair those after the locomotive cools down.

Shop forces had lighted a fire inside the firebox of the locomotive on Saturday. By Tuesday the engine has reached 240 psi working pressure

Restoration work on the locomotive, which was built by the Reading in 1945 will continue.

The 2102’s cab is still not attached and the tender needs to be rebuilt.

However, Mueller hopes to have the locomotive operating by spring when he wants to have it pull a freight train.

The restoration work has cost $1 million to date and Muller said completion of the work will cost another $100,000.

Muller bought the 2102 in 1987 and it pulled excursion trains on the 13-mile Blue Mountain & Reading from 1987 to 1992. 

Its first assignment in revenue service is expected to be pulling the North Reading Fast Freight, between North Reading and Pittston, Pennsylvania.

Steam Saturday: Reading 1251 in Strasburg

December 5, 2020

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

AoSRM Takes Delivery of ‘Camelback’ Locomotive

August 5, 2020

The Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum in Sugarcreek this week completed delivery of a rare Reading Railroad “Camelback” steam locomotive.

No. 1187 is the 23rd steam locomotive acquired by AoSRM and one of only three Camelbacks still existing.

The museum acquired the locomotive during a closed bid auction conducted by the Strasburg Rail Road.

The locomotive and its tender were moved to Ohio by truck. A third truck carrying parts is expected to arrive on Wednesday.

“This Reading 0-4-0 Camelback is a unique, unusual and significant type of steam locomotive that is a welcome addition to the Age of Steam Roundhouse,” said William Strawn, chairman of the board of directors of the Jerry and Laura Jacobson Foundation.

“This tiny switch engine rolled on just 4 driving wheels and was able to negotiate tight curves to move railroad cars at factories or waterfront docks,” he said.

Built in 1903, No. 1187 was the last Camelback used in regular freight railroad service before its 1962 retirement. It last operated under steam in 1967.

The locomotive began service as a Philadelphia & Reading Railroad 0-4-0 steam switcher that was specially designed to burn the smokeless anthracite “hard coal” mined in eastern Pennsylvania.

Camelbacks needed a special, wider firebox to burn anthracite coal with its lower heating value than found in other types of coal.

Consequently, engineers operated the locomotive inside a separate cab mounted on top of the boiler.

It was this hump-back appearance resembling the desert-dwelling animal that gave rise to their nickname, “Camelback.” Firemen shoveled coal into the wide firebox in the usual manner, but from their own small, open-sided cab located at the back of the locomotive.

“Even though No. 1187 appears in rough shape, AoSRM has all of its parts except for its wood cab that has rotted away,” said Tim Sposato, chief mechanical Officer at AoSRM.

“Luckily, included with the locomotive’s purchase is the original drawing of No. 1187’s cab. That will be a huge help in AoSRM’s cosmetic restoration of this rare little switcher.”

Steam Sunday: Reading 2102 in Akron

June 21, 2020

Here are two images of ex-Reading 4-8-4 No. 2102 on display in the Norfolk & Western  (ex-Akron, Canton & Youngstown) yard in Akron on April 23, 1971, or April 24, 1971.

She would run an Akron-Spencer excursion on both April 25 and April 26 of that year.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

R&R Article Triggered Reading 2102 Memories

August 9, 2017

If any of you get Railfan & Railroad magazine you probably read about the Chessie Steam Special and Reading 2101.

The article states that work was done on the engine at the Saucon Roundhouse in Hellertown, Pennsylvania.

I pass through Hellertown on occasion and I have photographed the roundhouse over the years. Here are images of it with the roundhouse and coaling tower still standing in 2009, and the last time I saw it in 2014.

I never experienced the Reading 2101 except on the American Freedom Train when it came to New Jersey. I have encountered and ridden behind 2102 several times.

Photographs by Jack Norris