Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reading & Northern Hoper Jet

Hi, On My 5, 2012 the Reading & Northern Railroad ran an excursion train they called the Hopper Jet in conjunction with the Lackawanna & Wyoming Chapter of the NRHS.  The train was pulled by 3 former Lehigh Valley SW8s and consisted of 11 hopper cars, a caboose, 4 passenger coaches and 2 open cars.   Our route took us South to the outskirts of Reading, PA.  We then reversed direction passing back through Port Clinton before continuing on to Tamaqua, East Mahanoy Junction and Mahanoy City.  From just west of Mahonoy City we returned to Port Clinton by our reverse route.

I rode the trip with friends from the Baltimore Chapter NRHS Jim Kleeman, Bill Kalkman and Tom Bunjon.  We arrived at Port Clinton about 10:00 AM for an 11:00 AM departure.  This gave us some time for some photos around the terminal.

This SD40 and its mate was switching our hopper cars.

Our first stop was at East Mahanoy Junction where one of the SW8s was detached.  The train then pulled up and we detrained.

After everyone was off the lone switcher coupled to the rear of the train, the passenger cars were uncoupled from the caboose and the passenger cars were pulled back out of sight.  This provided an opportunity to cross to the sunny side of the track and photograph the train as it backed up for its first photo run.

This is the first photo run.

The train then backed up for a second photo run

on the other track at the junction.

The lone switcher then pushed the passenger cars against the caboose, backed beyond the junction and came forward on the unoccupied track, on which we would continue.

Finally the 2 switchers backed the entire train through the junction

and pulled forward to couple to the lone switcher.

We then proceeded to a coal loading area just west of Mahanoy City where a static photo opportunity was provided without the passenger cars.

The hoppers were then backed against the passenger cars, shown below, and some switching ensued to reverse the trains direction.

Our Final photo runs were at West Penn, PA.

We arrived back at Port Clinton at 7:00 PM having covered 94 miles.  I hope you enjoy the photos.

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