Obscure Newtown Branch schedule question

Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

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Obscure Newtown Branch schedule question

Postby RDGAndrew » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:38 pm

I recently bought a 1961 Philadelphia Division ETT, and there's a pair of trains that I can't figure out. Both were daily ex. Sat/Sun/holidays. It was a non-passenger-carrying run both ways, and covered just under a mile in each direction. Train 831 left Newtown 6:10am and arrived George School 6:15. Then it would "spin" and become 832, lv George School 6:38 and ar Newtown 6:43. It's gone by my next ETT from 1963. Anyone have any idea what this run could have been for? I thought perhaps a literal "milk run" to collect milk to put on the first passenger train out. There was a freight house at George School, but why not just bring the milk right to Newtown? Another thought was that it was to polish up the rails for an adequate shunt for crossing protection at State St., but that's also just a guess. Anybody have other ideas or know what this "dinky" did?
"Am Gleis drei bitte einsteigen - Türen schliessen selbsttätig. Vorsicht bei der Abfahrt!"
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Re: Obscure Newtown Branch schedule question

Postby JimBoylan » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:26 am

That was how to run the engine around a 7 car train on a 5 car wye.
An evening 7 car train from Reading terminal would drop the last 2 cars at George School, on a passing siding there. The remaining 5 cars would fit between the switches at the Newtown station platform while the engine used the wye to run around them. In the morning, the engine, or maybe the entire 5 car train, would run to George School, the next station down the line, to get the 2 more cars and return to Newtown to start the rush hour trip to Reading Terminal.
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Re: Obscure Newtown Branch schedule question

Postby RDGAndrew » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:01 pm

Jim, thanks - that makes perfect sense. I went back to the timetable and found the extra time in the evening schedule where they would set those two cars out. The other trains were allowed 3 minutes between George School and Newtown, but 846 had 13 minutes. I thought I would be tight on space for the runaround/wye in my layout plan, but I see the actual Reading was under the same constraints! Interestingly, they could have had an additional runaround with the side track at State St., but the east end didn't connect back to the main, so it just functioned as a switching lead for the Kenderdine spur.

Thanks again for the info!
"Am Gleis drei bitte einsteigen - Türen schliessen selbsttätig. Vorsicht bei der Abfahrt!"
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Re: Obscure Newtown Branch schedule question

Postby RDG467 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:51 pm

Somewhere in my files I have some Dave Augsburger pix of passenger cars sitting on the GS siding (ca '64).
I'm looking at the printouts now, but will have to search for the electronic files.
This would explain why the cars were sitting there instead of Newtown!
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