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Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern details?

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  • Member since
    December 2001
  • 102 posts
Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern details?
Posted by motor on Saturday, June 16, 2007 2:41 PM

I plan to ride it on July 7.  I've never been in that part of Berks County, PA.  What's the experience?  What are the amenities?  Is there a place in Kempton to get a good lunch?  Is there a RR-oriented bookstore in Kempton, or perhaps closer to Reading?

Thanks in advance.

 motor

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 228 posts
Posted by RDG467 on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 8:43 AM

It's been a few years since I've been to the WK&S, so some of the amenities may have changed, but the area itself is pretty rural, considering it's only a half-hour from Allentown.
The ride is about 5 miles each way and the speed is about 15 mph or so.  The steamers are small (0-4-0), as are the diesels, but it's still an interesting experience.

They've recently built a loco shop. I don't know if it's open for tours, but you could probably get permission to take a look inside.

Kempton only has about 20 buildings,  so the gift shop at the WK&S is the only place to buy RR books in the immediate vicinity.  Check their website for more details.

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 60 posts
Posted by mccannt on Friday, July 6, 2007 1:43 PM

If you have the opportunity to railfan in the area, here are some other locations to visit:

The Reading & Northern RR has its heqdquarters and shop complex at Port Clinton. To get there, take PA Hwy 143 south from Kempton and go west on Interstate 78 to Hamburg. At Hamburg, take PA Hwy 61 north into Port Clinton; you'll cross the R&N tracks and the Schuylkill River on the way into town. The first left in Port Clinton will take you to trackside. Before crossing the tracks (this is the R&N, ex-Reading line to Tamaqua), turn left at the access road that parallels the tracks. This road will take you into the R&N complex. You may see a variety of R&N diesels and, if their office car train is there, a former MILW full-length "Super Dome".

Going east from Kempton, you can take I-78 to PA Hwy 100. Go south on Route 100 to Macungie and you'll find a small railfan park built on the site of the old Reading depot (the rail line is the ex-RDG East Penn Branch, now the Norfolk Southern Reading Line. Lots of freight trains, run-through power, even NS/Triple Crown  RoadRailer trains 

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