The Reading & Northern Passenger Department held its Iron Horse Ramble on Saturday, August 13, 2022, traveling from the Reading Outer Station in Muhlenberg Township to Jim Thorpe in Carbon County.
What makes this excursion extra special is the addition of two steam locomotives, #2102 and #425, being used to pull passengers through the scenic countryside.
This is the first time both Reading & Northern Railroad steam locomotives have pulled a train together since the 1988 Rail-fan Weekend.
Return of the #2102
Built in 1945 by The Reading Company at their Reading, Pennsylvania shops, #2102 is one of four surviving T-1 class locomotives. The locomotive had a busy career hauling heavy coal trains for the Reading until being retired – set aside by the company for use in its Iron Horse Rambles program at the end of the steam era in the late 1950s.
After spending several years with Steam Tours in Ohio, Andy Muller, Jr. purchased the locomotive in 1986, operating it between Temple and South Hamburg. In 1991, the locomotive was placed into storage. In 2016, work began on rebuilding the locomotive and bringing it back to service on the Reading & Northern.
After 30 years being out of service and an extensive rebuild costing over 2.4 million dollars, the #2102 made its triumphant return to the rails in April of 2022.