• West Reading Branch

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by zack1978
I have always been intrigued by the "West Reading Branch" of the Reading Co. in Reading. Mainly the section of track running up 3rd street. Most of the track is ripped up these days but I am just old enough to remember when it was still complete, although I never did see a train running on it.

I found an old Reading Eagle article (circa 1910) that claims the branch was very busy at that time. So busy in fact that the Reading Co was considering adding a connection with the belt line south of the city. I wonder if this was the origin of the old railroad bridge that used to stand at the foot of Canal Street in Reading? Old maps do seem to have that track meeting up with the Belt Line over near Fritz's Island...

I found another old Eagle article (circa 1920) that said several passenger trains had to be routed up along 3rd Street once due to a derailment along the main line south of Reading. That would have been a sight to see.

The only section of this branch that still seems to be in operation is down near RACC and southward to Bingaman Street, but I think there is only one customer down there anymore. And it seems like the only way to get a train down there anymore is to go the extremely long way around past the Reading Phillies stadium and down through Car Tech along the river. Seems like a lot of trouble to go through for just one customer.

I'm just wondering what sort of memories/pics/info that others have about this branch? For instance, does anyone know when the last train ran down 3rd street?
  by zack1978
It looks like the train goes by on the tracks next to RACC on Tuesday mornings about 7am. Seems fairly consistent.