Reading & Northern No. 425 to pull 2014 Fall Excursions

Fall 2014 steam excursions on Reading & Northern 425

Reading & Northern 4-6-2 No. 425 will head up Autumn Leaf special excursions for the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway on Oct. 11-12. The trips will operate from Port Clinton to Jim Thorpe. Tickets for the trips are $69 per person.

Reading & Northern 425 Photo by Ian McKeown

Reading & Northern 425 Photo by Ian McKeown

Ride behind the vintage steam locomotive No. 425 through beautiful fall scenery of Pennsylvania. This year’s Reading & Northern #425 fall schedule will find the blue painted Pacific on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, an affiliate of Reading & Northern that operates diesel-powered trains over R&N trackage from the former Central Railroad of New Jersey station in downtown Jim Thorpe into Lehigh Gorge State Park. It will begin its tenth season in Jim Thorpe over Memorial Day Weekend, with tourist train operations continuing into December, offering one-hour, 16-mile narrated excursions.

The former Gulf, Mobile & Northern 4-6-2  No. 425 was built in 1928. It later became Gulf, Mobile & Ohio No. 580 and was retired in 1950.  Quickly after retirement, it was purchased by Paulson Spence as part of his Louisiana Eastern Railroad. The engine was renumbered to #4, and later to #2, and became part of a large collection of steam engines hauling freight. Shortly after his death in 1961, his relatives unceremoniously had all but four of the locomotives scrapped, with No. 425 one of the survivors.

The 425 was again purchased in 1962 by Malcolm Ottinger, where the engine became the main power of the Valley Forge Scenic Railroad of Kimberton, Pa.  In the 1970s, it was purchased by Brian Woodcock and others, and moved to the Wilmington & Western Railroad, though it never operated there.

In 1983, it was sold to Andrew J. Muller Jr. to power tourist trains on his newly formed Blue Mountain & Reading Railroad. Then after nearly a decade of storage, rebuild work began to bring 425 back to service. Following two years of restoration, the Pacific made its first operation under steam in December 2007.

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