Remains of the Reading

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The Reading Company once maintained one of the largest railroad shops in the world and employed thousands in eastern Pennsylvania. Remarkably, the Reading shops still stand and have been adapted for other uses, but even more remarkable is this: one of the Company’s massive steam locomotives has survived and is now undergoing restoration.

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December 2015 Work Session

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Reading 2100 shirts on their way!

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Show your support of the American Steam Railroad with these stylish Reading 2100 shirts! With a style influenced by the Reading Railroad’s late era marketing, these shirts are some of the most attractive railroad wares around.

These shirts will be available to order online for $15.00 on November 30th.

Email us to let us know if you’re interested in ordering.

October Work Session

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The American Steam Railroad hosted another volunteer work session on October 31st. With a dozen volunteers on hand, the following work was performed:

  • Cleaned smoke box of sand and soot from previous.
  • Replaced improperly installed washout plug on the throat sheet.
  • Continued drilling out stay-bolt tail tell holes inside the firebox and syphons.  Evidence shows that this work was not regularly performed during the engine’s last service life. This will help us get ready for the hydrostatic test.
  • Started needle scaling the outside of the boiler to make way for proper boiler protective painting with a boiler paint to stop rusting and protect the boiler for the long haul.
  • Washout plugs removed for inspection of the mud ring and boiler shell for inspection.

The next scheduled work session is November 21st and 22nd. Crews will be continue preparing for the hydrostatic test in addition to a potential fire-up.

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October 2015 Work Session

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Fundraising campaign for Fire Up 2100 begins

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Following the cross-country relocation of a historic steam locomotive from Richland, Washington to Cleveland, Ohio, the American Steam Railroad Preservation Association (ASR) announces the official start of its capital campaign to rebuild Reading Company no. 2100.

“After conducting a detailed inspection of the engine, we’re ready to officially kick off the fundraising and restoration phase of Fire Up 2100,” explained Steven Harvey, President of ASR.

As part of Fire Up 2100, ASR has created the $21.00 Campaign, where supporters can commit $21.00 a month to the project for a year. Donors can sign up to contribute $21.00 or any reoccurring amount automatically online. Reoccurring donors are eligible for perks including merchandise, advance ticket sales and throttle time with 2100. For more information or to donate, visit www.fireup2100.org/donate.

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The project is estimated to cost $700,000 with major phases dedicated to running gear repair ($270,000), appliance repairs ($50,000) and boiler work ($95,000), among others. Upon returning 2100 to operable status, ASR will employ the 2100 in passenger excursion and educational outreach programs, capitalizing on the worldwide popularity of railroad tourism and unique appeal of steam locomotives.

“If 3,000 people sign up, we’ll have exceeded the fundraising goal for Fire Up 2100 in a year’s time,” Harvey stated.

Since moving the 2100 to Ohio, and with no formal development program yet in place, ASR has already seen $10,000 in donations and interest from regional railroads and corporate donors, including 100 sustaining members donating $21.00 a month as of October.

“The allure of steam locomotives is demonstrated nearly every year at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. We’d like to collaborate with ASR to operate a series of test runs with 2100 and participate in our Steam in the Valley events,” said Ray Kammer Jr., Director of Operations and Planning for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Restoration work on 2100 will take place at the the Midwest Railway Preservation Society as part of an ongoing partnership with the organization.

Additional information, photos, and videos will also be released online at fireup2100.org and americansteamrailroad.org.

Reading 2100 Initial Inspection Report

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Following several weeks of work, the American Steam Railroad initial inspection report on the condition of Reading Company steam locomotive No. 2100.

The report, compiled by steam locomotive contractors Jason Sobczynski and Zach Hall, includes initial testing and inspection results of the firebox, boiler, running gear, tender and various appliances. The report notes that the overall condition of No. 2100 is extremely satisfactory, warranting further work to restore the locomotive to operating condition.

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Several hundred visitors to the American Steam Railroad’s Open House on August 15th and 16th were given advance notice of the inspection’s findings and news of upcoming work, including the re-acquisition of No. 2100’s stoker motor and auger in the next 90 days.

The report recommends the following:

  • Removal of all firebrick from firebox.
  • Re-install all washout plugs and otherwise make the boiler capable of holding water.
  • Chemically wash the interior of the boiler to remove all scale. This will permit a more comprehensive visual inspection as well as aiding the discovery of any leaks in the following steps.
  • Hydrotest to full hydro pressure and preform an in-depth inspection for any leaks around the entirety of the pressure vessel. This will of course be followed by an internal inspection to determine the condition of the braces, hammer testing of bolts etc.
  • Steam test to full operating pressure to determine if there are any other leaks which are not visible until such time that there is steam pressure in the boiler. This will also give us an opportunity to test the air pumps, hot water pump, cold water pump and dynamo.

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The report concludes that an additional $45,000 in work is necessary to finish a comprehensive  inspection and create a final scope of work, which will include driver and rod removal, checking of tram, frame, and rods; NDT inspection of crank pins, axles, and piston rods, and the ultrasound survey.

To date, the Fire Up 2100 project has received over $7,000 in donations and interest from corporate sponsors and tourist and regional railroads.

“If 3,000 people commit to donating $21.00 a month for 12 months, we can exceed the fundraising goal for 2100 in a year’s time,” said Steven Harvey, President of the American Steam Railroad.

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