Turning power at Reading Terminal

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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Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby theWatusi » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:36 pm

How was power turned at the Reading Terminal in the steam days? Was there a turntable or a wye close by?
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby ex Budd man » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:34 pm

Once a train arrived the engine was cut off and run backwards up to Green Street engine house to be serviced and turned before backing down for its next train. If you look at pictures of Reading passenger locos you will see a GS stenciled on the pilot. Reading freight engines based in Philadelphia were serviced at Erie Avenue, hence the EA on their pilot.
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:27 am

In older days, there was a turntable next to the signal tower. At the end in 1984, you could still see where the diagonal lead to it was, heading NorthEast from the Easternmost track on the embankment, but the table's site was now a private building. There were no other tracks to it.
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby theWatusi » Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:51 am

So I assume this was the Green St Facility (in 1940):

http://www.historicaerials.com/?poi=3537

Is that the turntable and services on the West side of the main and a small coach yard on the east side?
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby CarterB » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:09 pm

JimBoylan

You mean in 'olden days' there was a turntable by the Race Street Tower?
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby ex Budd man » Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:50 pm

There was a coach yard at Hunington Street, I believe Schibe Park was there too. Now its an empty fenced in lot, no tracks, just weeds and trash.
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:58 pm

A coach yard was on the East side of Broad St., between Lehigh Ave. and about Huntingdon St., by Huntingdon St. Station, later North Broad St. Station. The Baker Bowl, home of the Phillies, who used Lifebouy Soap ("and they still stink"), was on the West side of Broad St., with the Main Entrance at 15th & Huntingdon Sts. Shibe Park, home of Connie Mack's Athletics, was at 21st St. & Lehigh Ave. It was renamed Connie Mack Stadium after the A's moved to Kansas City.
Maybe the coach yard was more of a commissary for sleeping and dining cars. Some of the part nearest North Broad St. Station is now used by S.E.P.T.A. as a Maintenance of Way Material yard.
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby delvyrails » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:39 pm

North of Vine Street, there was an elevated wye which connected the Ninth Street Line with the down-ramp which led westward toward Broad Street and the Pennsylvania Avenue Subway. I don't know whether this wye was used for turning individual locomotives, but it was used by through B&O passenger trains which backed into (or out of) Reading Terminal during a short period after B&O rails reached Park Junction.

Maybe someone knows that full story.
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby theWatusi » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:35 pm

From what I can see in historic photos and maps, where the line diverged to the PA subway and the main, was a "Y" and not a "wye", therefore no turning around.
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:01 pm

There was also a turntable at the roundhouse at 2601 Pennsylvania Ave., near what is now the West end of the "Subway".
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby CarterB » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:50 pm

How long ago since the roundhouse/turntable @ 2601 Penn Ave.??
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby JimBoylan » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:34 pm

Late 1920s. My source was the 20 volume collection of Aero Surveys aerial photos in the Map Collection, Social Science & History Department, 2nd floor of the Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, on Logan Square. There were enough photos to show the demolition of the roundhouse, building of the 2601 Pa. Ave. apartments, and roofing over the 2600 block of the Subway. There were railroad shops at 2701 Pennsylvania Ave., the leads started in the 2800 block. In 1965 and some years later, there was still a curved retaining wall to keep the backs of the Brown St. row houses from falling onto them.
Another shot showed the turntable near Race Tower, Reading Terminal.
The oldest of these photos was taken in 1893 from a balloon and shows the Junction Rwy., which the Reading used, at Zoo Tower.
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby CarterB » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:41 pm

Jim

Are any of those aerials or photos online anywhere?
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby JimBoylan » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:21 pm

Sorry, I don't know. Historical Aerials goes back only to 1970 at 2601and 1958 at 2801 Pennsylvania Ave.
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Re: Turning power at Reading Terminal

Postby CarterB » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:47 pm

I found this tt photo from 1895, says it was at North 20th and Hamilton?
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