News & Reviews News Wire News photos: CNJ 0-6-0 makes holiday appearance

News photos: CNJ 0-6-0 makes holiday appearance

By Dan Cupper | December 12, 2022

Non-profit group’s restored Alco operates infrequently

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Steam locomotive and passenger train across bridge
CNJ 0-6-0 engine No. 113 (Alco, 1923) crosses the West Branch of the Schuylkill River between Minersville and Schuylkill Haven, Pa., on the first of three Santa Claus trips on Saturday, Dec. 10, over Reading & Northern track. Dan Cupper

MINERSVILLE, Pa. — A largely overlooked steam locomotive in Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region is Central Railroad of New Jersey 0-6-0 switcher No. 113 (American Locomotive Co., 1923), owned and operated by the nonprofit Railway Restoration Project 113 of Minersville, Pa.  The engine runs only a few times a year, mostly for Santa Claus trains, pulling coaches of host railroad Reading & Northern, widely known for its own steam program. CNJ retired No. 113 about 1953 and sold it to Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co. for use at a colliery at Locust Summit, Pa., where it ran until 1960. It was rescued by Robert Kimmel Sr., who, with his son, RRP-113 President Robert E. Kimmel Jr., restored it to operation in 2013.

No. 113 is a large and heavy switcher, weighing 197,000 pounds, almost as much as nearby Strasburg Rail Road’s 2-10-0 engine No. 90 (Baldwin Locomotive Works, 1924) at 212,000 pounds. This year’s holiday trains traveled ex-Reading R&N tracks between Minersville, where the engine is based at an ex-Reading station, and Schuylkill Haven, where the headquarters of R&N’s passenger department is situated in another ex-Reading station. Pulling eight R&N coaches, a baggage car, and a caboose, the engine ran three trips on Saturday, Dec. 10, and three more on Sunday, Dec. 11.

Steam locomotive and vintage passenger cars at station
CNJ 0-6-0 engine No. 113 passes the ex-Reading Co. Schuyllkill Haven, Pa., station with a train of eight Reading & Northern coaches, a baggage car, and a caboose. Dan Cupper.

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