Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

Take a Look Back at the Reading

October 4, 2020

It may not be as colorful as some Reading locomotives, but switcher 2704 shown here in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 10, 1973, had an interesting history.

It was built by Baldwin in June 1943 as a VO-1000 with roster number 73.

In April 1959 it was sent to the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors for rebuilding where it emerged with a Geep style long hood and a new model designation, VO100M.

It also was given a new roster number. No. 2704 would make it to Conrail where it spent time on that company’s motive power roster where it was 9304.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Amtraking East in Search of a Reading T-1

June 30, 2020

The excursion train crosses the Reading’s concrete viaduct across the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, on May 21, 1988.

My spring vacation in 1988 began with a drive to Canton in the wee hours of the morning to catch Amtrak’s eastbound Broadway Limited to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

My sister and brother in law were living in Gettysburg and they picked me up in early afternoon.

My focus was an excursion trip sponsored by the Blue Mountain & Reading from Temple to Gettysburg with Reading 4-8-4 No. 2102 running all the way on ex-Reading rails, recreating one of the early 1960s Reading Rambles.

At Belt Line Junction, No. 2102 took the Conrail mainline to Harrisburg then to Mt Holly Springs, where it switched to the Gettysburg Railroad, which was the ex-Reading branch, the rest of the trip to Gettysburg.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

At Belt Line Junction in Reading.

A wider angle view of the Reading T-1 crossing the river in downtown Harrisburg.

Now on the Gettysburg Railroad at Hunters Run.

No. 2102 stalled shortly after I made this shot at Goodyear. Gettysburg motive power had to be brought down to assist the 2102 and train to Gettysburg.

Since I was on a “T-1 high ,” I drove to Baltimore the next day to the B&O Museum. Reading 2101 is shown as it appeared when it was the power in the East of the American Freedom Train.

Historic Switcher Donated to Pennsylvania Museum

February 28, 2020

A California short line has donated a historic locomotive to a Pennsylvania railroad museum.

The EMD SW1200 was last used by the Stockton Terminal & Eastern and is being sent to the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

The unit was one of five of the same model built for the Reading in 1963.

The museum expects to have the switcher on display later this year.

It is being moved by BNSF and Norfolk Southern.

CSX Donates Ex-Reading Unit to Reading Museum

October 5, 2019

CSX has donated a former Reading GP-39-2 to the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

No. 4317 was the last new locomotive delivered to the Reading before it was taken over by Conrail. It was built in December 1974 as No. 3412.

However, the locomotive was actually owned by the Chessie System and was leased to the Reading.

The unit will be repainted in Reading green and yellow from its current CSX livery as soon as time and funding permit.

When Conrail was formed in 1976, 20 Reading locomotives were set aside for the Delaware & Hudson, which eventually purchased them from the Reading estate.

Canadian Pacific returned the ex-Reading units to CSX after it acquired the D&H.

The Reading museum is part of the Reading Co. Technical & Historical Society and features a comprehensive collection of Reading rolling stock and locomotives as well as an extensive archive of Reading photographs, corporate records, and technical drawings.

Sneaking Through Northeast Ohio

March 6, 2018

Early Sunday morning Todd Dillon sent me a text that no Norfolk Southern heritage units were on the horizon in Northeast Ohio.

That was too bad because it was a nice sunny day although a bit cool.

Later I got a text from Todd saying that the Reading H unit had snuck through Cleveland on the lead of train 421.

Todd caught it at Leetonia on the Fort Wayne line at about 9:45 a.m. as seen above. He said it caught him by surprise.

The previous sighting of NS 1067 posted on Heritage had placed it in Michigan on Saturday morning.

It just goes to show that some days it is better to be lucky than good.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

Railroading as it Once Was: Delaware & Hudson Also Was a Colorful Railroad in the 1970s

February 9, 2017


While most know of the colorful early years of Conrail, the Delaware & Hudson wasn’t to be ignored either in the years after April 1, 1976.

The government allowed the D&H to expand as “competition” to the new Conrail and some of the newest power the Reading and the Lehigh Valley had was transferred to the D&H to help with their newly expanded territory.

In September 1976 a meet occurred on the Penn Division under the former Erie Starrucca viaduct in Lanesboro, Pennsylvania.

While this beautiful stone viaduct still stands and sees the occasional New York, Susquehanna & Western train, the D&H tracks below are all gone.

Article and Photograph by Roger Durfee

Amtrak Excursion to Allentown Won’t Run

May 21, 2016

A planned Amtrak excursion train between New York and Allentown, Pennsylvania, won’t be operating due to lack of action by Norfolk Southern.

The train also was to inspect the route for the prospect of possible regular service between the two cities, although officials said that service is years away from happening.

Amtrak logoNS owns the portion of the route not used by New Jersey Transit and the freight hauler apparently had not made any plans to host the passenger special.

NS spokesman Rudy Husband said NS hasn’t ruled out hosting an excursion, but it would require “a lot more planning.” Husband indicated that for now the train won’t be operating.

Amtrak Vice President for Government Affairs and Corporate Communications Joseph McHugh said the passenger carrier will continue to work with officials in the Lehigh Valley toward instituting the service, but indicated it is at least a decade away.

Allentown has been without passenger service since the late 1960s. A route via the Reading and Central Railroad of New Jersey that connected Jersey City, New Jersey, ended in 1966.

Two years later the Reading ended service from Allentown to Philadelphia.

Another View of the Akron Brewing Building

April 29, 2016


Roger Durfee and I both spent a great deal of time within view of the Akron Brewing building. Here is an image from an earlier time.

Westbound Erie Lackawanna 2504, Reading 3604 and Penn Central 1730 approach the same building on June 12, 1976, during the early Conrail “any lash-up goes” period.

Today, this scene is virtually all memories. The Akron Brewing building with its Admiral Television sign on a north wall, the EL, RDG, PC, most of the trackage, and the other building are history with only our memories and slides to help preserve the past.

The building, by the way, is being razed to make room for a rebuilding of an exit ramp from Interstates 76 and 77.

Article and Photograph by Robert Farkas