8245 Reading T1 4-8-4, 1976 American Freedom Train #1, No-Sound / DCC-Ready, N
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As WWII was drawing to a close in 1945, the Reading Railroad examined their existing roster of motive power and realized they did not own any of the super-power steam locomotives that most other railroads owned and operated. The decision to obtain some of these locomotives was paramount, but with wartime restrictions still in place, the Reading had to look to their existing fleet for conversion. The I10-sa Class 2-10-0 locomotive fit the bill, and Reading started the in-house conversion of 30 of these I10 locomotives to the new class T-1 Northern.
The new T-1's entered service between 1945 and 1947 and were used primarily in fast freight service. Their operating territory included most of the Reading system, and they were also used in pool service with the Western Maryland Railway. The first 20 units were equipped for freight service. The last 10 were equipped for passenger service, but still primarily used for freight service.
The Reading T-1's did not last long in service. All 30 were in storage by 1954, with a few returning briefly in 1955 due to a surge in traffic. Most were sold or permanently retired and scrapped by 1958. The Reading Railroad kept four of the T-1's for an excursion service that they called the Iron Horse Rambles. The plans were for 2100 and 2124 to pull the excursion trains, and they would keep 2101 as a back-up and 2123 as a source of parts. 2123 was scrapped in 1966, and 2124 was replaced by the recently purchased 2102 in 1962. The Iron Horse Ramble excursions last until 1964, and the remaining locomotives were sold in 1965.
The four T-1's used in the Iron Horse Rambles still survive today. 2101 was famously restored and used to pull the American Freedom Train in the mid-1970's. It was then repainted into the Chessie System livery in 1977 to pull the Chessie Steam Special, an excursion train running to celebrate the 150th birthday of the B&O Railroad. 2102 ran various fan trips for several decades, and is currently owned by the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad and is occasionally brought outside for display. 2124 is currently on display at Steamtown USA in Scranton, PA.
In 2023, Broadway Limited is building our first production of Reading T-1 4-8-4 steam locomotives in N scale. We are building three in-service Reading models and three "Iron Horse Ramble" models. We are offering 2101 in the Chessie Steam Special livery and also its later Reading & Northern paint scheme. We are offering one model in the 1976 American Freedom Train paint, and one model decorated like the Delaware & Hudson #302 locomotive. Finally, we are offering two fantasy paint schemes: one with a unique Christmas theme and a second with a United States Independence Day theme. The Paragon4 version of the two fantasy models will have unique soundsets, and the others will have prototypically accurate Reading T1 Northern sounds. In addition to the Paragon4 Series models, we are offering most of the models in our Stealth Series. The Stealth Series models are No-Sound / DCC-Ready models that operate on DC out of the box, or a modeler can easily install their DCC decoder of choice. Out of the box, front and rear lights are directional, and other lights are always ON with track power. Additionally some lighting functions may be missing depending on selected aftermarket decoder the modeler installs.
Broadway Limited Imports is proud to re-introduce our Stealth Series. Our Stealth Series provides customers with the ability to purchase highly detailed steam and diesel locomotives at a lower price. Stealth Series models are DCC-Ready with a standard MTC21 pin on the DC Motherboard. For more information about Stealth Series models, please see our Products Page or click here.
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