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The Reading Railroad

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Posted by Eric White on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 12:07 PM

There was once a letter to the editor in Car & Driver magazine that asked:

Is it pronounced "porch" or "porsha"?

Ed. replied:

It is pronounced "It."

And the railroad is Redding.

The big city to the east of it is Fulluffia.

Must be something in the wooder.

Eric

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 7:01 PM

 Oh I've HEARD it pronounced "reeding" MANY times - that doesn't mean the person doing the pronouncing was right.

 No one says the whole name - it's just Philly. ANd it's definitely something in the wooder. Or maybe it's the hoagies.

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 10:58 PM

rrinker
Oh I've HEARD it pronounced "reeding" MANY times - that doesn't mean the person doing the pronouncing was right.

I call it the Reeding around die hard Reading fans.  Gives half of a second of amusement. 

 

And there is no "w" in Jag-u-ar.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, November 29, 2018 8:40 AM

Back in the early days of St.Paul's Bandana Square shopping mall (originally Northern Pacific's Como Shops - where the Twin City Model RR Club had it's O scale layout for many years) there was a bookstore called "Reading Railroad" (pronounced of course like 'reading a book'). As it happens, the owner was my older brother's best friend going back to their schooldays.

Stix
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Posted by maxman on Saturday, December 01, 2018 10:27 PM

rrinker
No one says the whole name - it's just Philly. ANd it's definitely something in the wooder. Or maybe it's the hoagies.

Youse wants dem wif or wif out?

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Posted by maxman on Saturday, December 01, 2018 10:29 PM

Eric White
The big city to the east of it is Fulluffia.

No.  We surburban locals call it Filthydelphia.

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, December 03, 2018 8:03 AM

Ah sure, the Surekill Crawlway.

Dave H.

Drexel U class of '79

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, December 03, 2018 8:48 AM

 There's one to try and get people not familiar with the area to pronounce: Schuylkill.

 And this is also why 1981 is a year I hate - the year they ended rail service between Reading and Philadelphia. Now my only practical option is to drive it. On a good day, I can get almost there in the same amount of time it would take me to drive to Exton which is the furthest SEPTA comes out on a regular basis.

                      --Randy

Amtrak 656 tonight to NYC again

 

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by maxman on Monday, December 03, 2018 4:43 PM

rrinker
to Exton which is the furthest SEPTA comes out on a regular basis.

Nah.  That would be Downingtown, would it not?

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Posted by wojosa31 on Monday, December 03, 2018 6:28 PM

maxman

 

 
rrinker
to Exton which is the furthest SEPTA comes out on a regular basis.
 

 
Nah, Thorndale. Wouldn't Norristown be closer? If you're riding Amtrak to NYC, Exton is a good place to catch the train.
 
FWIW, in the early days of Conrail, the former Reading people derisively referred to the railroad as "Penn Rail". Penn people derisively refered to the Reading as the  *@$! "Reed-ing".
 
Wid or widout applies to Steak Sandwiches, not Subs.
 
Boris
 
 
 
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, December 07, 2018 2:46 PM

 No, with 422 traffic it takes me alot longer to get to Norristown than it does to get to Exton. Our office is right off the turnpike and I can get there in about 30 minutes flat (with a 'little' bending of the speed limits), not a whole lot longer to get down 100 to the train station.

 But pointless, it's a half hour or less to the Lancaster station for Amtrak. Maybe someday I'll be able to go from Reading to 30th Street, but I'm not holding my breath. Just like a run from Bethlehem down (would have been able to hook in at Lansdale) was fought against by Bieber bus company until now it is too late, all the track much north of Quakertown has been ripped up on the former Bethlehem Branch of the Reading. Pretty much all gone and it ain't comin' back. So now you sit on 422 and watch a lone jogger or bicyclist ride along what used to be a perfectly good rail line that could have removed half or more of those cars from the road.

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by wojosa31 on Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:32 PM

That's always been a problem in Pennsylvania, priorities are somewhat misdirected.

I never understood why the powers were in such a hurry to eliminate diesel services to Bethlehem, Reading and Pottsville once the SEPTA Market East station opened. Connections and Transfers at Lansdale and Norristown would not have been an operational problem. 

I never realized how "popular" Exton was until I worked one of the Keystone Service couplets between Philly and Harrisburg. 

Boris

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 10:34 PM

Was one of Reading's nicknames "Dreading?"

or RDG: Really Dead Gone?

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 2:50 PM

 Not sure I ever heard either of those, but at the formation of Conrail, Reading equipment was generally in better shape than that of a lot of the other component railroads. Not in some small part due to the quality of the Reading Shops - Conrail made a big mistake in keeping Altoona and shutting down Reading.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Sunday, December 30, 2018 7:41 PM

Was Reading a better interchange point?

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, December 30, 2018 9:04 PM

 Neither is much of an interchange, although today, Reading almost certainly is, since former Reading and PRR branches in the are are operated by multiple short lines and regionals, in addition to the main NS mainline. Beofre those lines were spun off, they were all Contrail operated. There's the Crossline from Harrisburg to Allentown and thence on to LV trackage to NJ, there's the old Reading main line to Philadelphia, the other side of the main up to coal country, and several other branches. Trains enter and leave Reading on Reading trackage in all directions. PRR from Reading to Philadelphia is defunct, now a trail, PRR North out of Reading was the original Blue Mountain and Reading line when Conrail sold it off, the S&L branch out of Reading is operated up to the cement plant in Evansville,a nd then is mostly ripped up up to Kempton where the WK&S tourist railroad operates a segment. 

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, December 31, 2018 6:31 AM

Reading never was a major interchange point.  After about 1900 only the RDG and the PRR went to Reading.  The PRR was a branch that paralleled the RDG virtually the whole way and was a secondary.  The only interchange would be local stuff.  

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Monday, December 31, 2018 11:34 PM

What I'd like to know is how RDG went under.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 01, 2019 12:09 PM

 Penn Central cut off a huge amount of bridge traffic between the NYC and PRR. The switch to fuel oil for home heating killed the anthracite coal industry. 

 There's more, but those are the two big ones.

                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, January 01, 2019 12:54 PM

rrinker
Penn Central cut off a huge amount of bridge traffic between the NYC and PRR. The switch to fuel oil for home heating killed the anthracite coal industry.

In additon when the PC went under the PC became bad about paying car hire and revenue, so the cash flow into the Reading decreased.  The Reading had a heavy enough traffic base that it could have survived teh PC, if the PC had been solvent.

While the RDG was hit hard by the decrease of the anthracite industry, the LV and LNE were absolutely devastated.  The CNJ was also hurt bad but the CNJ was sort of an also ran that (while a very cool RR) was in and out of bankruptcy many times.  The LV carried 90% of its tonnage on 10% of its mileage.  What finally killed the LNE was labor problems at the coal mines killed the last few operating mines.

Other big problems for the railroads in the north east was the decline of the steel industry, or at least the switch to smaller mills that were fed by electric furnances and used scrap metal, and another huge problem was redundancy, too many parallel lines, vying for a smaller number of car loads.

One thing to look at is that the majority of the RDG main routes survived into Conrail and then into the NS/CSXT split.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 01, 2019 2:08 PM

 Very true - the crossline route is still the major NS east-west route, sections to the north that none of the successor roads wanted to deal with are a viable going concern with the R&N, etc. 

                            --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by PRR8259 on Wednesday, January 02, 2019 6:47 PM

Pennsylvania had more miles of Class 1 railroad than any other state.  Some of the mileage was redundant.  Anthracite traffic plummeted by more than 90 percent from WW2 to the late 1960's.  Additionally, the opening of the PA Turnpike NE Extension, financed with essentially public money (tolls), on essentially parallel alignment to both LV and Central Railroad of PA (CNJ), resulted in Lehigh Valley never making a profit again after the PA Turnpike NE Extension was opened in 1956-1957.  The Turnpike immediately took some boxcar traffic away, and it never came back.

Railroads own and pay taxes on their right-of-way; trucks hardly pay a tiny percentage of the pavement damage they are responsible for, certainly nowhere near their actual fair share.  I design and build roads for a living--the public actually supports the trucking industry through gas taxes and car registration fees.  Cars are virtually insignificant where pavement life and pavement damage are concerned.  It is all from the trucks, whose actual paid registration fees are a joke relative to the cost paid by the public.  The highways were sold to America as being for national defense, which was partly true, but it's not the whole truth.

Reading, in particular, had a decent business going as a bridge line connecting to New York Central--until the Penn Central merger.  Then that all went away.  They lost at least one whole train a day.  After the merger, there were far too many days when no train at all was needed between Reading and Newberry Junction on the west end.  "Unintended" or "unforeseen" merger consequences...hurt many railroads not just Reading.

During the anthracite era, tiny 200-mile Reading was actually fourth in the entire nation in gross ton miles at one point in time!  That's what got it onto the Monopoly game board.

However, they fell about as hard as LV, LNE, CNJ, and the others.

Respectfully submitted--

John

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