On two Satrurdays in December, the 6th and 20th, #113 pulled trainloads of happy holidaymakers -- along with Santa and Mrs. Claus -- on the Reading & Northern between the Minersville Station and Landingville, southeast of Schuylkill Haven. An R. & N. diesel led the train on the southward legs, and 113 got a real workout when homeward bound, as she pulled the entire eight-car train plus the diesel uphill. On the straight and level stretch through Schuylkill Haven, the locomotive also demonstrated that a low-drivered switcher can move right along, close to the 30-miles-per-hour limit!
These trips marked the first time that our locomotive has operated "fully dressed" since her restoration: Our volunteer crew put in many hours this fall fabricating an entirely new jacket, the sheet metal that protects the also-new insulation surrounding the outside of the boiler, firebox, and steam chests. Not only does this metal give 113 a more finished appearance: By allowing the application of rock-wool insulation it helps conserve energy -- the energy of the coal that the engine burns, and the energy of the firemen who have to shovel coal into the firebox!
We look forward to having you and your family along for Easter trips on Saturday, the 19th of March; check back here for more information about them as the date nears, but mark your calendar now --