Philadelphia & Reading Coach #1055

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Composite coach #1055 was built in 1910 by Harlan & Hollingsworth for the Philadelphia & Reading and classed PBf. It had a steel frame and ends but was sheathed in wood. Following its formal service life the car was placed at Wayne Junction and used as a women's washroom. The Reading Company donated the car to the WK&S in the early 1970s. It replaced CNJ #98 on the back track behind Kempton Station. The back track was home to collection of attractions and static equipment including 0-4-0 Cooke locomotive #3, LNE caboose #512, model railroad car #72 and a B&O coach. Car #1055 may have been intended to house some sort of attraction, but I'm not sure that it ever did. The car was in bad shape. It was still fitted with washroom plumbing fixtures and had been damaged by a burst steam pipe. The back track attractions were gone by the late 1970s. Around the mid or late 1980s car #1055 was moved to the upper passing track. It continued to deteriorate at the mercy of weather and even suffered some minor fires from passing steam trains. There was some talk of converting #1055 to a roofed open observation car, but that was deemed too much work and the plans never materialized. Around 1990 the car was offered to the Strasburg Railroad as a donation and they took it. Once at Strasburg the old P&R coach was torn down to the frame and rebuilt as Strasburg's "Susquehanna". The pictures below depict #1055 making its final move on the WK&S. A newly acquired Whitcomb shoves #1055 the short distance south from Kempton yard to downtown Kempton in preparation to be trucked to the Strasburg Railroad.

The following picture is not great, but it's the earliest shot I have of #1055. The view is from the summer of 1970 and looks down the backside of the shuttered Museum Train. Number 1055 sits in the background on the hole track. The car is red and still lettered "READING COMPANY".

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June or July 1970.

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Close-up from the previous shot.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Mike Hartman.

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Photo by Ethan Bond.

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Photo by Ethan Bond.

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This picture shows #1055 in its current life at the Stasburg Railroad on August 10, 2008. What a come back! I believe this picture was taken soon after the car was refurbished for the second time since its arrival at Strasburg. Photo by Jeff Slupski.