Reading Railroad Heritage is a photographic essay of the history of a well-run system up to its acquisition by the Consolidated Rail Corporation in 1976, and its legacy that includes the Reading & Northern Railroad, certain electrified commuter lines operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in the Philadelphia area, and a sampling of a number of short line railroads that were initiated to preserve rail service.
The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad opened its first line from Philadelphia to Reading in 1839. Within a few years, it constructed railroad lines throughout the coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania and in 1893 became the Reading Company.
The railroad was noted for its design and building of steam locomotives, which culminated in the fabulous T1 class of steam locomotives placed in service in 1945-1946. Some of these freight locomotives, with their classic arched cab windows, powered the Iron Horse Rambles of the 1960s.
Circumstances beyond its control, including the decline in the hauling of anthracite coal and passenger business, ended in the bankruptcy of the railroad.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Kenneth C. Springirth, with a lifelong interest in rail transportation. Born and raised in the United States, he commuted to Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia by trolley car, subway, and sometimes commuter train. His father was a trolley car motorman in Philadelphia, and his grandfather was a trolley car motorman in Washington D.C. A detailed researcher, Ken's interest in rail transportation by 2013 has culminated in writing 20 books on trolley car systems and railroads covering a variety of locations.
Publisher: America Through Time
Images: 221 Color
Dimensions: 8.5 (w) x 11 (h)