For the first time in over 30 years, T-1 #2102 will be pulling mainline excursions on the Reading & Northern once again! Rail fans gathered in Berks County Wednesday morning as the Reading & Northern performed a test run of #2102, traveling from Port Clinton to the Reading Outer Station in Muhlenburg Township.
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 time has come for #2102 to make a triumphant return to the high iron.
Four “Iron Horse Rambles” excursions have been planned for May, July, August, and September, with five classes of seating being offered.
The all-day Iron Horse Rambles will travel from Reading to Jim Thorpe and return. A lay-over of three and a half hours will be taken at Jim Thorpe. As an added bonus for railfans and train enthusiasts alike, a photo run-by opportunity will occur.
“A photo run-by will be offered on the return trip from Jim Thorpe to Reading”, according to Passenger Department general manager Matt Fisher. “This is an opportunity for riders to exit the train and take pictures and videos of the train passing by a photo location. It is very similar to the famed Reading Company Iron Horse Rambles of the late 1950s and early 1960s”, said Fisher.
Tickets are available for sale on rbmnrr-passenger.com, with ticket pricing per person, regardless of age. Standard Coach seating $99, Crown Class Coach seating $110, Pullman Car Private Rooms $299 per room for up to two people, First-Class Dome Car seating $199, First- Class Lounge Car seating $199, and First Class Lounge Observation Car seating $210.