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Saturday, July 5, 2008

08-07-05 PHOTOS: Alburtus, Kempton and Mech Chunk

Wow, my photos no longer look out of date because I have nearly a year's backlog. Anyway, last 4th of July I went on a little expedition with professional railfan Chuchubob to the coal country of northeastern PA. We first stopped for lunch in Alburtis, PA at the Iron Horse Bar which was across the street from CP-ALBURTIS on the the NS Reading Line. Despite the name the bar had nothing railfan related inside and really didn't live up to expectations as it was more of a dive than quaint and definitely didn't have a mid to upscale clientele in mind.

CP-ALBURTIS was rebuilt in 2002 from its 1980's Conrail configuration. Fortunately the relay hut was given a Conrail type blue sign, but all of the other classic equipment was removed. Fortunately I was in town to photo document it before the defacement

CP-ALBURTIS is the junction with the C&S secondary which serves various industries like the Mack Truck factory. Back in the day the interlocking was much more rustic with lots of weeds, SA searchlights and interlocked hand operated switches. Today its all business with power switched and forced air snow melters.

Still, NS decided to keep the Reading Line Rule 251, which is becoming a real rarity these days.

We were lucky enough to catch a coal train as we waited for our lunch with NS SD70M #2622 and C40-9W #8918.

Next stop was the Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern steam tourist railroad in Kempton, PA. When we got there we caught their GE 45 ton diesel switcher pulling the tourist train at a railroad crossing.

Heading back to the main facility we saw the 0-6-0T steam switcher warming up to pull the next train.

It did a little flat switching.

And eventually pulled up to the coaling dock for a refuel where the tourist train showed back up with the GE 45 ton.

Here are some videos of the steam engine in operation.

Out but not running was a former L&NE Whitcomb 70 ton.

Also of interest was a spring switch and signal.

After the WK&S Chuchu and I made a quick swing by the Reading Lofty tunnel, but he chickened out and wouldn't come with me and I didn't feel like trekking through my myself.

Finally, on our way back Bob and I stopped by the Reading and Northern tourist train depot in Mauch Chunk. The local NRHS chapter's CNJ A-A F3 pair #57 and #56 were in residence.

As well as the tourist train sandwitched by EMD SD-50s like #5049 here. 

If anyone is ever in the area I recommend you stop by. The station is right next to the big sign advertising train rides.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed these, look forward to more write-ups soon. If you are still interested you can find the rest of the photos here.

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