Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reading Railroad Heritage Museum, Hamburg, PA

We drove to a small town, Mt Carmel, just west of Centralia, where we stayed the night. An evening of drinks for four of us came to $15.50! This small town is dying as the two clothing factories which employed much of the population closed down and also many small shops have shut due to a Walmart opening up nearby. At times, I hate progress. The people were very friendly and told us that Centralia used to looked like Mt Carmel. Once we'd filled our bellies on a fabulous breakfast in the town's diner, we headed south for an abandoned hospital near Philadelphia.

About an hour or so into our drive, we spotted some derelict railway cars near the side of the road. Immediate investigation was given a thumbs-up by all and we excitedly hopped out of the car to explore. We were able to climb inside the cars and for a while there was silence except for the constant click of camera shutters.

As I was hopping from car to car, the others engaged in conversation with another urban explorer who'd just been exploring north at a coal breaker site. I used the moment to capture this image while they were oblivious of my attention.

This one was locked up but looked in perfect condition inside according to Bill who was about 6" taller than any of us and could peer in in through the windows.

The inside image above was from this car which looked like it was built in the 50's. Next door to this railway scrapyard was the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum, so we decided to visit this too, and were told that the trains we'd been investigating would become their property soon and would hopefully be restored.

I fell in love with this beautiful 1500hp FP7 locomotive built in 1950, and took a stack of photos. The size of it was intimidating yet awe inspiring. I did some research and found another photo of it from 1975. It was a dual-service passenger and freight-hauling diesel locomotive and is line for restoration work.

These huge engine wheels made Bill look like someone from the TV show, The Land of the Giants.

I saw a lovely old Mack truck and had to take some photos. I've posted images in a previous blog of a Mack fire truck and adore the bulldog hood ornament and the chunky design of the vehicle. Our guide was amazed that I was so enamored with the vehicle and said I could have it!

These signs had been tossed near some other junk, and if I'd had a tow truck to haul the Mack, I would have grabbed these too.

The GP30, #5513 to the left was the first locomotive to be purchased by the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society and was built in 1962. It was primarily a freight locomotive and was restored to its original appearance in 1985. The GP7, #621 to the right has arrived back home after running on the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, (Ma & Pa), as #1506. It was built in 1953 and has not operated since 1997 but will be fully restored.

As we were preparing to leave, we looked inside a large derelict building which is going to be restored for working on the trains. The museum already has the money for rebuilding the roof and as we looked around, I found this door irresistible. We walked back to the car and although we were halfway through the afternoon, we decided to head back towards the north for our next adventure.

1 comment:

greg said...

Once again some really good photo's. I'm not sure my Fujifilm A850 is up to the mark !! I share you're enthusiasm. I also think you're be helping me with my new website which is under construction.