R&N’s fall steam excursions between Reading PA, and Jim Thorpe allowed an excellent opportunity to ride over former Reading Co. and Central of New Jersey lines in the anthracite coal region. We photographed the Saturday run from Reading to Jim Thorpe.
1. We chose the weekend of the steam excursions to photograph and ride. R&N Excursions page 1.
2. R&N Excursions page 2.
3. R&N Excursions page 3.
4. Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Pacific (RBMN) 425 blasts out of Reading with 13 cars. It is passing through North Reading Yard at Tuckerton PA.
5. Just after the stop at Port Clinton, RBMN 425 is ready to pass under PA 61 at Moleno PA.
6. Rolling through New Ringold PA. RBMN 425 was built by Baldwin in 1928 for the Gulf, Mobile & Northern and later the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio.
7. RBMN 425 rolls into Tamaqua PA. The switch to the left leads to the old Lehigh & New England. There is still an active coal breaker up the Panther Valley.
8. Reading had a yard down around the curve. The engine terminal was behind me on the east side of the track. RBMN 425. New Ringgold PA.
9. The former Tamaqua depot is on the right. It now houses a restaurant. Back in the day there were multiple tracks through this area. RBMN 425. Tamaqua PA.
10. The “King Coal Express” was evidently a premium service car offered on this trip. RBMN 425. Tamaqua PA.
11. At Haucks PA we found this MP15DC parked in a siding. This unit came from NS and started life in 1977 as Southern Ry. 2350. I love the Reading-inspired green paint scheme.
12. Haucks was an interchange yard between the Reading and the Central Railroad of New Jersey (well legally the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania in this state). RBMN 435 is now on the former CNJ Nesquehoning Branch. RN 1540. Haucks PA.
13. RBMN 425 starts down the steep grade from Nesquehoning to Jim Thorpe. Nesquehoning PA.
14. The high mounted headlight reminds me of a C&O F-15. RBMN 425. Nesquehoning PA.
15. Hanging around Nesquehoning for the return trip, we were surprised by RBMN 2011-2012 heading to Port Clinton with the Pottsville train. These are advertised as powered by RDCs, but these ex-NS, nee-Southern GP38-2s drew the assignment this weekend. The RDCs were parked in Jim Thorpe. Nesquehoning PA.
16. After a three-hour stay in Jim Thorpe to visit the festival and soak in the coal town atmosphere, RBMN 425 chugs up grade through the east end of Nesquehoning with the SD50 helping out. Nesquehoning PA.
17. RBMN 425. View 2. Nesquehoning PA.
18. RBMN 425. view 3. Nesquehoning PA.
19. Steaming upgrade at Hauto PA, the location of a Lehigh Coal & Navigation colliery served by the CNJ. RBMN 425.
20. RBMN 425. View 2. Hauto PA.
21. Swinging off a remnant of the former-Reading Catawissa Branch onto the main line through the coal fields at East Mahanoy Junction. RBMN 425.
22. RBMN 425. View 2. E Mahanoy PA.
23. Passing Premium Fine Coals breaker at Zehners PA (South Tamaqua). Note the Halloween dummy propped up by the pole on the right. RBMN 425.
24. Chuffing through scenic farm land at Millers PA. 5:07 PM. RBMN 425.
25. Near Shoemakersville on the last lap into Reading. RBMN 425.
26. RBMN 425. View 2. Near Shoemakersville PA.
27. RBMN 425 is pulling into Reading by now. R&N’s new signal system helps dispatch freight and passenger trains on those heavy excursion days with safety and efficiency. As you can guess there was once a second track here. RBMN sig 73S Shoemakersville PA.
On Sunday we will ride the train.