Tag Archives: #Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Reading’s Rocket

Among the world’s oldest surviving locomotives is Reading’s Rocket. This was recently relocated from Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

It was named to honor of Robert Stepenson’s original Rocket of 1829—the locomotive that is the ancestor of most subsequent reciprocating steam locomotive designs.

Reading’s Rocket was built in England in 1838 by Braithwaite & Company and shipped across the Atlantic to the Port of Philadelphia and then by canal to Reading, Pa. It was first steamed in May of that year, and began working in passenger service in July 1838.

The locomotive later greatly altered from its original appearance and then subsequently restored to more or less its as built condition.

Thanks to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania for facilitating my photographs of this rare and antique machine.

Photos exposed using a Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom.

Typical of early locomotives, Rocket has inside connect rod connections and inside valve gear. This vital equipment—located between the wheels of the locomotive—is key to the engines operation, but goes largely unnoticed by most observers.

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Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in the Details.

I love to wander around the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and study the old equipment on display.

I made these photos of the displays on a recent visit using my Nikon Z7-II set to a high ISO. This permitted me to make detail photos handheld.

Do you have a favorite?

I do.

Rau Studio
EPA 800

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Treasures in the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania at Strasburg is among America’s finest railway museums. Not only does the museum have one of the best collections of significant locomotives, rolling stock and artifacts, but their indoor display offers superb interpretation in a railroad themed environment.

During our visit on St. Patrick’s Day, I made these photos using my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm Z-series lens.

Adobe Lightroom is an excellent tool for processing museum photos because it easily enables lightening of shadow, controlling highlights and contrast, while adjusting color temperature and color balance. This allows for significantly more pleasing images.

Statue of Pennsylvania Railroad’s Alexander Cassatt.
Pennsylvania Railroad baggage car.
Kris poses in front of Pennsylvania Railroad class D16sb 4-4-0. In 1981, I traveled behind this antique on the Strasburg Rail Road.
Pennsylvania Railroad 5901, the only surviving Electro-Motive Division E7A.
Detail of a statue of Baldwin Locomotive Works founder, Matthias Baldwin (1795-1866).
Pennsylvania Railroad class B1 electric 5690.
On January 1, 1980, I photographed this former PRR GG1 electric at New Haven, Connecticut. Today, it is one many locomotives displayed at the railroad museum of Pennsylvania.
This Union Switch & Signal color light once authorized train movements on the Reading Company.

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