HAMBURG, Pa. – A former Reading GP-39-2, one of the last new locomotives delivered to that railroad just months before the Conrail takeover, has arrived at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum. CSX Transportation donated No. 4317, built as Reading’s No. 3412, which is in full CSX paint but will be repainted in the Reading green and yellow as soon as time and funds permit.
In reality, the locomotive, built in December 1974, was owned by CSX predecessor Chessie System and leased to the Reading. When Conrail came into existence, the 20 Reading locomotives were allocated to the Delaware & Hudson, which eventually purchased them from the Reading estate. When Canadian Pacific bought the D&H, the locomotives were returned to CSX, which held the financing paper.
The units were well-liked on the Reading. In addition to their usual freight duties, some were used in passenger service during transit strikes and snowstorms. They would pull SEPTA electric multiple unit trailers, with one or two with pantographs raised to provide lighting and heat to the train.
The Reading Railroad Heritage Museum is an activity of the Reading Co. Technical & Historical Society. The museum houses a comprehensive collection of Reading rolling stock and locomotives as well as an extensive archive of Reading photographs, corporate records, and technical drawings. For more information, go to www.readingrailroad.org