Tag Archives: #Reading & Northern

Reading & Northern F-units at Jim Thorpe

In March Kris & I arrived at Jim Thorpe, PA in time to travel on the midday Lehigh Gorge Scenic train. We were please to find Reading & Northern’s recently acquired former Norfolk Southern F-units on display near the old CNJ passenger station.

Exposed using my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm Z-series zoom.

Reading 2102 Revisited

In the 1960s my father, Richard Jay Solomon, made numerous photos of Reading Company’s famous Iron Horse Rambles. This included countless photos of Reading T-1 2102.

As I’ve previously recalled on Tracking the Light and in the pages of Trains Magazine, these photos were, in part, my inspiration for the HO-scale Reading Company that I’ve been building in my Finacé’s basement.

Early in the planning for the railroad Kris and I bought an HO model of 2102, and in February last year (2021), I ran one of my father’s famous photos of this engine, a picture that I featued in my book Locomotive, 20 years earlier (see below).

A week ago Friday (March 18, 2022), Kris & I visited Reading & Northern’s Port Clinton, PA offices and obtained permission to visit the 2102 and make photos. This was a privilege and a real thrill. It was the first time I’d seen this engine up close.

Later this year R&N plans to have this magnificent machine operating in excursion service on their railroad.

My father’s image of 2102 on an Iron Horse Ramble in the 1960s.
My HO scale recreation of 2102 seen at speed on our interpretation of the Reading Company.
My recent digital photography of Reading & Northern’s former Reading Company 2102 at Port Clinton, PA.

Tracking the Light Post Daily!

In the 1960s my father, Richard Jay Solomon, made numerous photos of Reading Company’s famous Iron Horse Rambles. This included countless photos of Reading T-1 2102.

Rare Bird on the Reading & Northern

A week ago (March 18, 2022), Kris and I called into the Reading & Northern at Port Clinton, Pennsylvania.

We obtained permission to be on the property and make photos.

Although, I had visions of seeing something older, grander, and of greater personal interest, I was impressed by the vintage EMD diesels sitting outside the company offices.

Reading & Northern 2000 was a classic SD38, a 2,000 hp six-motor EMD, built for the Penn Central in 1970, and later served Conrail.

Where the GP38 was a common type (as were the GP40 and SD40 models), the SD38 was unusual—a real rare bird with just 63 built.

I’ve only photographed a scant few SD38s in all my years wandering North American rails, including those operated by Conrail, the US Steel roads: Bessemer & Lake Erie, Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range, and Elgin, Joliet & Eastern; and at least one Grand Trunk Western unit, that back in 1986 showed up on Central Vermont in Palmer, Massachusetts leading a cable laying train.

So here we find this rare diesel, ripe for a few photos: I made this photo with my Nikon Z6 with 24-70mm Z-series lens. But, I also exposed a frame or two of HP5 using an antique Nikon F3 with 50mm lens.

Soon we were on the verge of finding something rarer, cooler, and the reason for our visit . . . stay tuned!

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Reading & Northern SW1500

I walked the trail along the Lehigh River in Jim Thorpe on frosty morning last week. This trail runs parallel to Reading & Northern’s former Central Railroad of New Jersey yard.

The yard was once a sprawling sea of track largely used to marshall coal cars moving to and from area mines.

Today, the remains of the yard is primarily a base of operations for R&N’s Lehigh Scenic Gorge Railway.

At the northend of the yard, I spied this R&N SW1500, which made for an interesting subject against the autumn leaves on the hillside. I made these images with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera.

Tracking the Light posts Daily!

Reading & Northern Surprise at Tamaqua.

I was enjoying a prime rib sandwich at the Tamaqua Station Restaurant, taking in the well-preserved Victorian atmosphere with Kris, and marveling at the details, when I hear the unmistable sounds of an approaching train.

Lumix LX7 in hand, I headed for the door and arrived at the platform in time to make a sequence of photos of a Reading & Northern ‘hospital’ move of passenger equipment heading north on the old Reading Company.

I wasn’t expecting this unusual train, but delighted with the fortuity to catch it, and with nice autumn light and brilliant autumn foliage in the distance.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Hall Disc Signal at Port Clinton.

Reading Company was among the most prolific users of the Hall Disc signal, one of the earliest forms of an electrically actuated signal.

Curiously, Reading continued to install new Hall Discs years after perfection of the electric three-position semaphore.

A few of Reading’s Halls survived into the diesel era.

Reading & Northern, which operates significant sections of the old Reading Company, installed this recreated Hall Disc near its Port Clinton, Pennsylvania offices in homage to Reading’s classic signaling.

In December 2014, I made this sequence of photos using Pat Yough’s FujiFilm XT1, on a trip to photograph R&N’s 4-6-2 Pacific number 425 that was running Christmas trips to Schuylkill Haven and Minersville.

Now that I’ve endeavored to recreate the Reading Company in HO Scale, I’ve stumbled upon a quandary: How to make operating scale models of the antique Hall Disc signal? 

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Reading & Northern 425 near Auburn, PA.

On December 13, 2014, Pat Yough and I visited Reading & Northern’s former Reading Company main line near Auburn, Pennsylvania where the former Pennsylvania Railroad Schuylkill Branch crossed on a through truss bridge.

Working with my Canon EOS-7D fitted with a 100mm lens, I exposed a sequence of Reading & Northern’s 4-6-2 Pacific number 425 that was leading a Christmas excursion toward Schuylkill Haven.

This is among the scenes that inspired me to recreate the Reading Company in HO scale.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

Port Clinton and 425.

Reading & Northern’s 4-6-2 Pacific #425 was the draw.

In December 2014, this handsome steam locomotives was operating a series of holiday trips on the old Reading Company lines out of Port Clinton, Pennsylvania.

Pat Yough offered to drive and so I traveled down by train to meet him and make photographs.

At the time, I was keen on investigating the FujiFIlm X-series mirrorless cameras as my next avenue for digital photography, so Pat lent me his Fuji XT1 to try out.

In addition, on that day I was also working with my Lumix LX7 and Canon 7D cameras.

We arrived at Port Clinton in the morning in time to catch 425 making some switching moves in preparation for its run up to Schuylkill Haven.

Overall, I was extremely impressed by the Fujifilm camera that day and a month later I invested in one.

The territory served by the old Reading Company also impressed me, and I’ve chosen this area as the setting for the model railroad that my girlfriend Kris Sabbatino and I are building.

Recently, Kris, impressed by my results with the Fuji X-series has invested in a Fuji XT4.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1.
Exposed using a Lumix LX7. Notice the old Pennsylvania Railroad right of way above the locomotives.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Steam at Cressona, Pennsylvania.

In December 2015, Pat Yough and I photographed restored Central Railroad of New Jersey 0-6-0 113 working excursions on the former Reading Company at Cressona, Pennsylvania.

Photographing with my FujiFilm XT1 mirrorless digital camera, I made this telephoto view of a westward excursion threading its way through Reading & Northern’s yard.

I like the composition featuring the complicated track work.

Tracking the Light is a Daily Blog!