Anthracite and Iron Horses

Written by Cale Leiphart on Sep 29, 2009 in - 0 Comments

Reading "Iron Horse Rambles" T-1 class 4-8-4 Steam Engine and Passenger Cars

Reading Consist

Excursions were a regular part of railroading in the last days of the steam era. These rail outings were usually run "off the beaten track" over freight-only branches or were main line "Autumn leaf excursions " run in the fall to view the Autumn colors.

On the Reading Railroad these excursions which became known as "Reading Rambles" were started in 1936, when the first was run in October and was billed as an "Autumn leaf excursion". This very popular ramble ran every year until the outbreak of World War II. After the war only a few rambles were run and, when diesels took over completely in the mid 1950's, they were thought to have become a part of railroading history.

Then surprisingly in 1959, the Reading announced an "Iron Horse Ramble" to be led by a steam locomotive, one of the Reading's T-1s, #2124. This revival of the rambles was run on October 25, 1959, with #2124 pulling a 16 car train from Wayne Junction to Shamokin. The Reading continued to run the rambles using T-1's #2100, #2102 and #2124 until locomotive repair costs and track deterioration brought these popular outings to an end. From the October 25, 1959 ramble to the last one on October 17, 1964, the Reading had operated a total of 50 "Rambles".

Josh and Kyle Sanders have brought the Iron Horse Rambles back to life with their latest MOCs. The Iconic Reading T-1 steam engine is one of the finest 6 wide models I've ever seen. And as an added bonus she powered by Power Functions. The passenger cars are lovely as well with their two tone green livery and interior details. You can check out the whole set on their Iron Horse Ramble Flickr Gallery and be sure to check out their Reading & Northern SD50's as well.

And here is an Iron Horse Ramble Movie for you RR history buffs.


About the Author


Cale Leiphart lives in York Pennsylvania and is a veteran LEGO steam builder and founding member of the Pennsylvania LEGO Users Group. His main interest is modeling steam era railroads in the North Eastern US, in particular those local to his home town of York. Outside of LEGO and trains he enjoys video games, old cars, and collecting farm toys.


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