Class T-1 4-8-4 Northern, Nos. 2100, 2101, 2102, 2124
Background & History
It was during the post-war years of 1945-47 that the Reading embarked on an ambitious steam program that saw the construction of 30 T-1 Northerns built utilizing components from the 76 foot class I-10sa Consolidation. With 70" drivers and weighing in at just over 220-tons, these middleweight Northerns were powerful, modern engines capable of hauling both long strings of loaded hopper cars or fast passenger consists. They served the Reading well during their relatively short careers as most were stored serviceable by 1955. A handful were steamed that year and in 1956, nine T-1’s were leased to the power-short Pennsylvania Railroad. This would be one of their last hurrahs as the delivery of a second batch of FM Trainmasters would see all remaining T-1’s put into storage by 1958.
However, four lucky T-1’s (Nos. 2100, 2101, 2102, 2124) would get a reprieve as they were picked, based on their mechanical condition, to be used on the Reading Iron Horse Rambles excursion program which began in 1959 and ended in 1964. Unfortunately the fate of the other remaining T-1’s was not as kind as they ended up being scrapped in the early 60’s. After the Rambles ended, the Reading also disposed of its last four T-1’s, donating #2124 to Steamtown, selling #2102 to Steam Tours and nos. 2100 and 2101 for scrap to Streigel Equipment & Supply in Baltimore. These last two engines would have been lost forever had it not been for owner Ed Streigel, a sentimental ex-B&O railroader turned salvage yard operator, who safely stashed away both Reading engines (and a few other steamers) until they were eventually purchased by Ross Rowland in 1975. Below you’ll find more detailed information, history and disposition of each surviving T-1.
Class T-1 Northern #2100
Built September 1945 by the RDG Co., Reading, PA shops using components from former class I-10sa Consolidation (2-8-0) #2045. First T-1 to be place into service (1945). Last freight revenue service mid-1950s, pulled Iron Horse Rambles 1959-1964. Sold 1965 to Streigel Equipment & Supply. Sold 1975 to Ross Rowland, stored many years in Hagerstown, MD roundhouse (Western Maryland Railroad), used as parts source for sister #2101. In 1987, the 2100 was sold to the “2100 Corporation.” The group was led by Richard Kughn (ex-Lionel Trains owner) and included Ross Rowland and Bill Benson. Overhauled in 1988 at Hagerstown, MD (by Richard Kughn at a cost of over $1,000,000) with plans to run it. However, no railroad was found that would agree to accommodate a locomotive that large. The Kughn group donated 2100 to the Portage Ohio Regional Transportation Authority (PORTA) which had plans to operate it on its lines. These plans did not work out and PORTA moved the 2100 to the Ohio Central Railroad and placed it up for sale. The 2100 was sold at auction on 11/98 to Tom Payne and moved to the former New York Central Railroad shops at St. Thomas, ON, Canada. Currently in Washington state with future operational status unknown.
Class T-1 Northern #2101
Built September 1945 by the RDG Co., Reading, PA shops using components from former I-10sa Consolidation (2-8-0) #2037. Last freight revenue service mid-1950s, held as reserve power but never used on Iron Horse Rambles. Sold 1965 to Streigel Equipment & Supply. Sold 1975 to Ross Rowland, operated as American Freedom Train #1 for 1975 and 1976. Repainted and operated on Chessie Steam Specials in 1977 and 1978. Damaged by fire February 1979 while stored in Silver Grove, KY, roundhouse. Cosmetically restored (but badly in need of another overhaul) as American Freedom Train #1 and displayed today at B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, MD.
Class T-1 Northern #2102
Built Oct. 1945 by the RDG Co., Reading, PA shops using components from former class I-10sa Consolidation (2-8-0) #2044. Last freight revenue service mid-1950s, used on Iron Horse Rambles from 1962 to 1964. Sold 1966 to Steam Tours, operated under many sponsors and railroads. Sold to “Allegheny Railroad,” tour group in OH 1974. Sold to Rail Diversified of OH 1977. RCT&HS-sponsored trips in 1985 brought it home to Reading and 2102 was later sold to Andrew Muller, operating excursions into the mid 90’s on both the Blue Mountain & Reading tourist line and the Reading & Northern. Currently stored at the R&N roundhouse in Port Clinton, PA awaiting repairs.
Class T-1 Northern #2124
Built January 1947 by the RDG Co., Reading, PA shops using components from former class I-10sa Consolidation (2-8-0) #2024. Last freight revenue service mid-1950s, pulled Iron Horse Rambles 1959 to 1961. Sold to Steamtown USA, Bellows Falls, VT 1962. Moved with rest of collection to Scranton 1984. Received cosmetic restoration in 1997. Currently on static display at Steamtown National Historic Site.
|Class T-1 Northern Specifications:*|
|Builder:||RDG Co. Shops, Reading, PA||Cylinders (2):||27" dia. x 32" stroke|
|Date built:||1945-1947||Cylinder horsepower:||3,147|
|Wheels:||4-8-4||Boiler pressure:||240 p.s.i. max.|
|Length:||110' 1.5" (engine & tender)||Tractive effort engine:||68,000 lbs.|
|Driving wheel diameter:||70"||Tractive effort w/Franklin Booster:||79,100 lbs.|
|Weight on drivers:||278,200 lbs.||Horsepower rating:||5,500|
|Total engine weight:||441,300 lbs.||Top speed:||70 m.p.h.|
|Total weight in working order:||809,000 lbs. (engine & tender)||Tender capacity:||19,000 gallons water, 26-tons coal|
|Grate area:||94.5 sq. ft.||Fuel:||Coal|
|• Steam Locomotive dot Com (Wes Barris)
• Restore 2124 (Brian Wowak)
• Steamtown Special History Study
• Steamtown T-1 #2124 Inquiry