A Look Back When 2100 Rolled Out of the Shop

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Below are text and photos from the October 1945 edition of the Reading Company’s magazine. It details the construction of Reading 2100, and many of the technical refinements from the late period of steam locomotive design. We are grateful to the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum for furnishing this issue to use for 2100’s 75th birthday this month.

Reading Constructing Twenty 4-8-4, Class T-1, Locomotives for Fast Freight Service

By E.P. Gangewere

Superintendent Motive Power and Rolling Equipment                       

   Twenty 4-8-4, Class T-1, locomotives are under construction in the Reading Company Locomotive Shop at Reading, Pennsylvania.
   The locomotives were designed by the Reading Motive Power Department in collaboration with the Engineering Staff of the Baldwin Locomotive Works.
   The new locomotives are intended for freight service, being equipped with 70” diameter driving wheels, and capable of operating at a speed of 65 miles per hour.
   An interesting feature in these engines is the roller bearing application to the engine truck, trailer, and tender. Nineteen will have oil lubricated friction driving journals and one engine to be equipped throughout with roller bearings on the axles of all driving wheels. Hennessy oil lubricators, type DR-s, applied to driving wheel axles with friction bearings, on 19 locomotives and Timken roller bearings on the twentieth locomotive.
   Other features include light weight piston and lip-type packing, multiple bearing crosshead with single guide, steam operated cylinder cocks and mechanical lubrication throughout. To minimize rail and equipment shock in high speed operation, particular attention was paid to the cross-counter balancing of the main wheels and the counter balancing of the remaining driving wheels.
   A Worthington open-type feedwater heater is applied to each locomotive consisting of a cold-water pump, a hot water pump and the heater. The cold-water pump takes cold water from the tender and delivers it to the heater located in the front of the locomotive. Here the water is heated by direct contact with exhaust steam from the locomotive cylinders. The heated water then passes down to the hot water pump, which delivers it to the boiler. This equipment definitely increases boiler horsepower and permits an added saving in fuel and water.
   To facilitate longer runs, tenders are equipped with six-wheel trucks, the tender coal capacity being 26 tons and has a water capacity of 19,000 gallons and is equipped with an indicator which shows water levels at all times.
   The locomotives are built of General Steel Castings, one-piece cast-steel locomotive bed of which the cylinders are an integral part.
   The trailing trucks are Commonwealth four-wheel Delta type. The engine truck is of the rocker type which dispenses with pin supported swing links.
   The locomotive boiler is equipped with three syphons in the firebox and one in combustion chamber which materially increases the heating surface and thereby increasing the steaming capacity of the boiler. Type “A” superheater is also installed. A multiple valve throttle is located in the front end of the boiler which delivers the superheated steam directly into the cylinder.
   In order to utilize the maximum hauling capacity of the locomotive over ascending grades at scheduled speed, a Franklin booster is applied to the trailing truck of the locomotive which increases the pulling power of the locomotive so that heavy tonnage trains can be readily handled over that portion of the railroad where heavy grades are encountered, thus eliminating the necessity of having an extra locomotive  assist in moving the train over these grades.
   This booster consists of a small two-cylinder steam engine which is connected by gears to the rear trailer axle and can be cut in or out of service by the engineers while the locomotive is in motion. The booster is intended for use over the heavy grades where additional power is needed in order to keep the train moving at a reasonable speed and prevent stalling of the train.
   The fuel is fed directly from the tender into the firebox by means of a type “HT” screw conveyer stoker furnished by the Standard Stoker Company.
    The locomotives are equipped with two 8 ½” cross-compound air compressors. The brakes are the Westinghouse No. 8 ET.
   The principal characteristics of these locomotives which will be numbered 2100 to 2119, inclusive, is as follows:

Valve gear – Walschaert
Superheater – Schmidt
Journals – Driving, Main – 12 ½” x 14”
Journals – Driving, all other – 11 ½” x 14”
Journals – Engine Truck – 7 ½” Roller
Journals – Trailer Truck – 7 ½” Roller
Journals – Tender Truck – 6 ½” Roller
Size of Cylinders – 27” x 32”
Size of Piston Valves – 13”

Tractive Effort – 68,000 lbs.
Booster Starting Effort – 11,100 lbs.
Total – 79,100 lbs.

Factor of Adhesion – 3.99
Steam Pressure – 240 lbs.
Tubes – Number – 291 50
Tubes – Outside Dia. – 2” 5 3/8”
Tubes – Length Between Sheets – 19’ 10 ¾”
Firebox – Inside Length – 10’ 6 3/8”
Firebox – Inside Width – 9’ 9 1/4”

Grate Area – 94.5 sq. ft.
Heating Surface Tubes 2” – 3,054 sq. ft.
Heating Surface Arch – 17 sq. ft.
Heating Surface Firebox – 327 sq. ft.
Heating Surface Syphons (4) – 121 sq. ft.
Heating Surface Superheater – 1,214 sq. ft.
Heating Surface Total – 4,920 sq. ft.

Wheels
Size of Engine Truck – 36”
Drivers – 70”
Trailer Truck – 44”

Tender Capacity
26 Tons of Coal
19,000 Gallons of Water
Wheel Base – 37’ 8 ½”

Total Wheel Base
Engine and Tender – 96’ 6 ½”
Length Overall –
   Engine and Tender – 110’ 1 ½”

   Additional specialties applied as follows: Kind Sanders No. 35, automatic fire doors, ten sets of S.K.F. roller bearings and ten sets of Timken roller bearings applied to the tenders.

Lubrication

   Edna Model “A,” 30 point, 10 pumping units (8 feed) mechanical on right side to lubricate with oil, cylinders, valves, stoker, booster, flange oilers and crosshead guides.
    King Model 31, 24 pint, 8 pumping units, mechanical lubricators on the left side to lubricate with oil, engine truck center plate and pedestals, driving wheel pedestals and trailer truck radius bar set.
   Each Westinghouse air pump is equipped with a King Model No. 36 mechanical lubricator and the Worthington feed water heater hot pump is equipped with a Nathan type L.B.W. mechanical lubricator.

September 2020 Restoration Update

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Here is the mid-month update on what’s been accomplished by American Steam Railroad volunteers.

  • The forging and machining of the 560 staybolts has been completed by our great volunteers, who have given many hours and days to this project. The next process is to sand blast all of them to remove mill scale so they can be welded into the firebox. 
  • The water shut off valves from the tender to the locomotive have been inspected. The valve on the engineer’s side had a bent rod, which volunteers are fixing, along with replacing the filter screens that help keep sediment from flowing out of the tender and into the boiler. 
  • An inspection was made of the interior water space of the tender. We found that the baffles and walls to be in good shape. The floor has an accumulation of sediment that will need to be cleaned during a future work session. 
  • Currently $1,654 has been raised for the welding in of the staybolts. Only $2,873 is needed before we can have boiler contractors strike an arc and start the process. Click here to sponsor one today and you’ll get a shutout in our next monthly video update. 
  • Various items were taken out of long term storage including the tender doors, grate shaker bars and mounts, lubricator lines for the stoker, a dead weight gauge tester, along with other various items. 
  • A light oil was applied to the grease cellar parts to help prevent rust, along with grease reapplied to the main driving axles. 
  • The feed water pipe from the tender was brazed to fix freeze damage. 

Fire Up 2100 Mid August Update

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Here is the mid-month update on what’s been accomplished by American Steam Railroad volunteers.

  • The forging and machining of the 560 staybolts has been completed by our great volunteers, who have given many hours and days to this project. All the telltale holes have been drilled in the center of the staybolts, the next process is to sand blast all of them to remove mill scale so they can be welded into the firebox. 
  • Currently $1,357 has been raised for the welding in of the staybolts. Only $3,170 is needed before we can have boiler contractors strike an arc and start the process. Click here to sponsor one today and you’ll get a shutout in our next monthly video update. 
  • Various items were taken out of long term storage including the tender doors, grate shaker bars and mounts, lubricator lines for the stoker, a dead weight gauge tester, along with other various items. 
  • A light oil was applied to the grease cellar parts to help prevent rust, along with grease reapplied to the main driving axles. 
  • The feed water pipe from the tender was brazed to fix freeze damage. 

Black Diamond Birthday T-Shirt Contest

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Calling all artists! We’re celebrating 2100’s 75th birthday this year in grand style. To mark her Black Diamond Birthday this September, we’re holding a t-shirt design contest to commemorate this special occasion. The winner of the contest will get $100, a one-year membership to American Steam Railroad, and a shirt featuring the winning design! The winning design will also be sold in our online gift store and will help with the restoration efforts of ASR. Read More

Doyle McCormack Dinner Postponed

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We regret to inform you that the Legends of Steam dinner with Doyle McCormack on Sept. 19 has been canceled for this year. Those holding tickets have already been notified of the cancelation.

After much discussion with the Mad River & NKP Museum, and reviewing protocols by local and state health departments, both organizations have agreed that it’s in the best interests of our guests and volunteers to postpone the event until 2021, on a date yet to be determined.

We’re grateful for everyone’s support during this time, and offer our best wishes for good health to every one of you.

Railroad Restoring Reading 2102 Helps Sister Project

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Board members of American Steam Railroad stand with the steam crew of the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern, after being presented with a firedoor casting by the steam crew at the Port Clinton, Penn shops last week. The group is standing in front of Reading T-1 2102, which is undergoing restoration.

PORT CLINTON, Penn. – American Steam Railroad, the caretakers of Reading 4-8-4 T-1 locomotive 2100, received a large donation last week from the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad and its owner Andy Muller. Read More

June 2020 Restoration Update

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American Steam Railroad President Steven Harvey takes your questions in this video, along with updating you on the progress of Reading 2100. Highlights include:
  • Removal of the reflective tape on the running board skirting.
  • Metal brackets in the tender that held in the fuel oil tank were removed, and surfaces cleaned.
  • The steel floor of the cab was removed, so a new one can be fabricated.
  • Thanks to your support, the fundraising campaign for the staybolts was a success! Volunteers are now cutting bar stock and drilling telltale holes, before the forging and machining process of these important boiler components.
    We are now starting a new fundraising campaign for the welding of the staybolts. For just $9 you can put one staybolt in the firebox, and bring us even closer to performing a hydro test on the boiler. Click here to sponsor one today!

Doyle McCormack Dinner Date Moved

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Due to the current world health situation, American Steam Railroad is rescheduling our Legends of Steam dinner with Doyle McCormack to Saturday, September 19, at 3:00 p.m. The event will still take place at the Mad River & NKP Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

The event will continue as planned with guests encouraged to explore the museum, caboose rides, BBQ dinner, and a presentation by Mr. McCormack, followed by an audience Q&A.

Given the state of flux that many guests now or could be personally experiencing in the future, refunds will be granted for previous and new registrations until Friday, September 4, 2020, at midnight.

All are encouraged to register early. This will be an evening filled with unforgettable stories of a man who’s helped restore many steam locomotives and has brought back a classic, streamlined diesel from scrapyard hulk to showroom star, all in a setting that honors his railroading roots.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions via email, Brian.Smith@AmericanSteamRailroad.org. All proceeds from the event will help with American Steam Railroad’s restoration projects.

Thank you for your continued support,

Brian Smith

Communications Director

American Steam Railroad Receives Large Donation to Finish Staybolt Project

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A longtime supporter of the American Steam Railroad Preservation Association has helped bring a recent fundraising campaign to a close.

Louis Schillinger, president and CEO of United Shortline Insurance Services Inc., has donated $1,000 to help complete the forging and machining of the 560 new staybolts needed for Reading Company T-1 4-8-4 2100’s firebox.

“I have personally participated in the restoration, retubing, and use of 2100 since 2007. It was my honor to be able to continue my efforts to support the ongoing restoration of this spectacular example of our steam history through ASR,” said Schillinger.

Schillinger has worked with ASR over the past five years by assisting and transferring interest in Reading 2100 to the group, along with providing ASR’s insurance needs.

“Working with Louis has been a real pleasure,” said ASR president Steven Harvey. “It’s been great to work with someone who shares the same goals of restoring such a historic piece of equipment.”

The recent progress of Reading 2100’s restoration has impressed Schillinger.
“The work is being done methodically, professionally, and completely by a dedicated number of volunteers and otherwise committed individuals anxious to see this magnificent locomotive back in productive service.”

The staybolt forging and machining is one of several steps that will bring the engine closer to a hydrostatic test of the boiler. Processes that still need to be done before a test include welding the staybolts in, along with forming and replacing the two arch tubes in the firebox. A new fundraising campaign will soon be announced for these projects.

United Shortline Insurance Services Inc. is based in Port Austin, Michigan, and specializes in railroad liability and property insurance, along with providing inland marine coverage for shortline, regional, scenic, and historical railroads throughout North America.

American Steam Railroad Preservation Association is a non-profit dedicated to preserving experiences from railroading’s golden age by saving historic railway equipment.