The Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad (reporting mark RBMN), sometimes shortened to Reading and Northern Railroad, is a regional railroad in eastern Pennsylvania. Its headquarters is in Port Clinton. The RBMN provides freight service on 300 miles of track. Its mainline consists of the Reading Division between Reading and Packerton and the Lehigh Division between Lehighton and Dupont. Its main freight cargo is anthracite coal.
Passenger excursions also run on RBMN tracks. The RBMN itself operates excursion service from Reading and Port Clinton to Jim Thorpe, while the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway (LGSR) offers service between Jim Thorpe and Lehigh Gorge State Park. [Wikipedia]
When Amtrak took over intercity passenger rail service on May 1, 1971, it inherited a collection of rolling stock from twenty different railroads, each with its own distinct colors and logos. Needing only to operate 184 of the 366 trains that had been run nationwide by the private railroads, Amtrak was able to pick the 1,200 best passenger cars to lease from the 3,000 that the private railroads had owned. This equipment was haphazardly mixed to form consists, resulting in trains with the mismatched colors of several predecessor railroads. This "Rainbow Era" was short-lived; Amtrak began purchasing some of the leased equipment in mid-1971, setting the stage for wholesale repainting from 1972 to 1974.
Shout out to Kaylee Zheng whose clinic was the initial data for this cheat sheet!
EMD Model Designation
F = Cowl/Monocogue Unit SW = Switcher MP = Multi Purpose Switcher GP = General Purpose (4 axle) SD = Special Duty (6 axle)
If last digit is 9, then 12 cylinder prime mover; otherwise 16 cylinder.
Exception: T4 locos are 12 cylinders always
(blank) = base version
-1 = EMD reman. program (late 1960s)
-2 EMD reliability improvement series
A = Special Custom Builds AC = Alternator or AC Traction M or W = Wide cab I = Isolated (vibration reducing wide cab) L = Lightweight frame P = Passenger/steam heat H = Head End Power (HEP) e = Reduced emissions compliant -T4 = Tier 4 emissions compliant IAC = Individual Axle Control P4 [?] = B1-1B wheel arrangement X = Experimental
GE Model Designation
Locomotive HO x 100
Wheel Arrangement per Truck
U = Universal P = Passenger Dash8 = Dash 8 Series Dash9 = Dash 9 Series AC = AC Traction Series ES = Evolation Series ET = Evolution Series, T4 Compliant
For AC series, full HP is written out, although, conventional 2 digit HP indicator is also used interchangeably
C = Cowl Unit H = Head End Power (HEP) P = Passenger Q = Extended Crew Cab W = Wide Cab
Roof Line: Clean
Roof Line: Congested
Fuel Tank: Angular
Fuel Tank: Rounded
Brake Reservoir: Two tanks
Brake Reservoir: Long "Torpedo Tube"
Exhaust stack right before radiator
Exhaust stack towards cab
Radiator "winged" (except U-boats)
GEVO has mini-radiator in front of main radiator
GEVO T-4 similar to standard GEVO radiator but massive
Radiator has raised fans:
Two large fans - 38 series
Three large fans - 40 series
Three large fans, angled radiator - 45 series
Three large fans, tall radiator screens - 50/60 series
Three large fans, tall angled radiator - 70 series
Three large fans, chunky angled radiator - 80/90 series
Two XL fans, chunky angled radiator - 80/90 series (Ace)
Three XL fans, chunky angled radiator - 80/90 series (Ace T-4)
The Pennsy Modeler is a celebration and collection of information about railroads of Pennsylvania.
The majority of the site pertains to the Pennsylvania Railroad and represents a sequel to the Keystone Crossings web site which was retired several years ago. Under the Pennsylvania Railroad menu, you will find access to blogs of articles, downloads, databases, and an index.
Under the Other Railroads of Pa menu you will find information about Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, Trailer Train Company, and other railroads of Pennsylvania. Within the blogs you will also find information about fallen flags from Pennsylvania.
Norfolk Southern has honored its predecessor railroads during 2012, its 30th anniversary year, by painting 20 new locomotives in commemorative schemes that reflect the heritage of those predecessors.
Since the 1820s, hundreds of railroad companies were built, merged, reorganized, and consolidated into what eventually became Norfolk Southern, itself created from the consolidation of Southern Railway (SR) and Norfolk and Western Railway (NW) in 1982. In 1999, Norfolk Southern expanded the scope of its heritage with its acquisition of a portion of Conrail (CR). The heritage locomotives represent most of the railroads that played significant roles in Norfolk Southern's history. The first unit, Conrail 8098, rolled out of Altoona, Pa., March 15, and the final one, Lackawanna 1074, rolled out of Muncie, Ind., on June 27.
Each paint scheme was modified to fit contemporary locomotives while staying as true as possible to the original designs. Norfolk Southern employees in Altoona and Chattanooga, Tenn., painted GE ES44AC locomotives, while the EMD SD70ACe units were painted at Progress Rail Services' facility in Muncie, Ind. The heritage locomotives are now hauling freight across Norfolk Southern's 20,000-mile, 22-state network.
Central of Georgia Railway (SR, GE) was formed in 1833 to connect Macon, Ga., with Savannah, completing a rail link between Chattanooga and the port. It was famed for two passenger trains named after prize-winning race horses, the Nancy Hanks and the Man O’ War.
Central Railroad of New Jersey (CR, EMD) was the first American railroad to have its employees wear uniforms, and in 1892, one of its locomotives set a world speed record of 105 mph.
Conrail (GE) was created by the U.S. government in 1976 from the bankrupt Penn Central, Lehigh & Hudson River, Erie Lackawanna, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Lehigh Valley, Reading and Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, becoming the largest railroad at the time, with 34,000 route miles.
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (CR, EMD) was created in 1849 to connect the rich anthracite coalfields of the Lackawanna Valley of Pennsylvania to northern New Jersey. A hurricane in 1955 knocked the railroad out of operation for a month, with the resulting financial difficulties forcing it to merge with theErie Railroad in 1960 to formthe Erie Lackawanna Railroad.
Erie Railroad (CR, EMD) was key to economic development along the Southern Tier, which includes Binghamton and Elmira, N.Y. In 1851, Secretary of State Daniel Webster, wrapped in a blanket and clutching a bottle of rum, was strapped to a rocking chair on an open flatcar so he could ride the just-completed railroad.
Illinois Terminal Railroad (NW, EMD) began life as the Illinois Traction System in 1896 as an interurban electric railroad in central and southern Illinois. Hit by the Great Depression, it was reorganized as the Illinois Terminal in 1937 and attempted to survive as a passenger railroad until relinquishing that business in 1956, when it was acquired by a consortium of railroads. It was operated as a freight railroad until acquired by NW in 1982.
Interstate Railroad (SR, GE) was incorporated in 1896 to serve southwestern Virginia coalfields. Despite its name, it operated entirely within Virginia. It was acquired by Southern in 1961.
Lehigh Valley Railroad (CR, GE) was built to haul coal, replacing water transport down the Lehigh River, and was known as the Route of the Black Diamond.
Monongahela Railway (CR, GE) was created in 1901 as a joint venture of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad to haul coal out of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with its base of operations in Brownsville, Penn. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad acquired a one-third stake in it in 1927. It was merged into Conrail in 1993. The lines of the former Monongahela continue to serve a vital coal-producing region today.
New York Central Railroad (CR, EMD) was organized from 10 roads paralleling the Erie Canal between Albany and Buffalo, N.Y., and became known as the “Water Level Route.” Today, the former NYC line between Cleveland and Chicago is the busiest on the NS system, with more than 100 freight trains daily.
New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad(NW, GE) was known commonly as the Nickel Plate Road, a moniker it acquired when the Norwalk (Ohio) Chronicle referred to it in 1881 as “the great New York and St. Louis double track, nickel plated railroad,” supposedly indicative of its solid financial backing.
Norfolk Southern Railway (SR, EMD) (not to be confused with today’s Norfolk Southern) was a line serving southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina, chartered in 1883 and acquired by Southern Railway in 1974.
Norfolk & Western Railway (GE) originated as City Point Railroad, a nine-mile road between Petersburg and City Point, Va., in 1836. Following numerous mergers and acquisitions, it became the Norfolk & Western in 1881.
Penn Central (CR, EMD) The Penn Central Transportation Company was created in 1968 from the merger of the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the New York, New Haven and Hartford was added shortly afterward. Penn Central formed the core of Conrail when Conrail was created in 1976.
Pennsylvania Railroad (CR, GE), incorporated in 1846, billed itself as the “Standard Railroad of the World” and was for many years the largest American railroad by tonnage and revenues. PRR opened the Horseshoe Curve railroad engineering marvel; carried President Lincoln to his inauguration; implemented the “line and staff” organizational structure used by business today; built Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan; and electrified the route between New York and Washington, among its many achievements.
Reading Company (CR, EMD) was one of the first railroads built in America and built its fortune hauling coal. It featured the first iron railroad bridge in America.
Savannah & Atlanta Railway (SR, EMD) began life as the Brinson Railway in 1906, slowly expanding from Savannah toward the Northwest. It was consolidated with other small railroads to become the Savannah & Atlanta in 1917. Central of Georgia bought the S&A in 1951.
Southern Railway (GE) originated as the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company in 1827. On Christmas Day, 1830, it put into service the nation's first regularly scheduled steam passenger train, "The Best Friend of Charleston." Southern was incorporated in 1894 from the reorganization and consolidation of numerous predecessors, and absorbed another 68 railroad companies over the next six years.
Virginian Railway (NW, EMD) was the only railroad created through the capital and credit of one man, oil magnate Henry Huttleston Rogers. After building a short line, the Deepwater Railway, to haul coal out of West Virginia and then being blocked by the bigger railroads, he created another railroad, the Tidewater Railway, to reach Norfolk, Va., then combined the two into the Virginian in 1907. It was acquired by N&W in 1959.
Wabash Railroad (NW, EMD) was formed in 1877 and served the central U.S. It was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1927 and leased to Norfolk & Western in 1960. In 1991, N&W, by then part of Norfolk Southern, purchased the Wabash outright. Made famous by the 1904 song “Wabash Cannonball,” there was in fact no such train by that name until 1949.
Triple Crown is a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern, created to provide Roadrailer services.
With a hub at Fort Wayne, in 2011 routes extended to Minneapolis (through Chicago), Kansas City (through St. Louis), Toronto (through Detroit), Jacksonville (through Atlanta), and Bethlehem (through Harrisburg).
In 2015, routes were reduced to just autopart service between Detroit and Kansas City.
1956: C&O Railvans begin testing
1957: NYC Flexi-Vans begin testing
1958: Flexi-Vans enter revenue service
1959: Railvans enter revenue service
1961: Railvan name changed to RoadRailer
1969: Original RoadRailers out of service
1974: Flexi-Vans out of service
1978: Bi-Modal Corp. introduces its 45-foot RoadRailer
1986: Triple Crown service established
2004: RoadRailer service peaks with 9,000n trailers in service
2015: Triple Crown reduces service to Detroit-Kansas City