Reading & Northern Railroad reintroduces historic steam locomotive No. 2102

For the first time in over 30 years, T-1 #2102 will once again run mainline tours on the Reading & Northern! Rail fans gathered in Berks County on Wednesday morning as the Reading & Northern carried out a trial run of #2102, traveling from Port Clinton to Reading Outer Station in Muhlenburg Township.

Built in 1945 by The Reading Company at its stores in Reading, Pennsylvania, #2102 is one of only four surviving Class T-1 locomotives. The locomotive had a busy career hauling heavy coal trains for the Reading until its retirement – 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 put into storage.

In 2016 work began to rebuild the locomotive and return it to service on the Reading & Northern. After 30 years of inactivity and an extensive rebuild that cost over $2.4 million, the time has come for the #2102 to make a triumphant return to the high iron.

Four “Iron Horse Rambles” tours are scheduled in May, July, August and September, with five seating classes offered.

The full day Iron Horse Rambles will travel from Reading to Jim Thorpe and back. A three and a half hour stopover will be taken at Jim Thorpe. As a bonus for railway enthusiasts and train enthusiasts, a photo shoot will take place.

“A photo parade will be offered on Jim Thorpe’s return trip to Reading”according to general manager of passenger service, Matt Fisher. “This is an opportunity for passengers to exit the train and take photos and videos of the train passing a photo location. It is very similar to the famous Reading Company Iron Horse Rambles of the late 1950s and the early 1960s.”Fisher said.

Tickets are available for sale at rbmnrr-passenger.com, with one ticket price per person, regardless of age. Standard Coach Seats $99, Crown Class Coach Seats $110, Pullman Car Private Rooms $299 per room for up to two people, First Class Dome Car Seats $199, First Class Lounge Car Seats class $199 and first class lounge observation car seats $210.

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Jose P. Rogers