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Don's Rail Photos

Reader Railroad

Some years ago Jud Powell sent me the photo shown below of Reader RR 1702 with a train of tank cars smoking it up at Waterloo, Ark., in the 1960s. I knew I had to do a page on the Reader to feature this example of short line railroading at its best.

About the 1st of October, 1965, I was transferred to Dallas from Peoria, Illinois, by Railway Express. I took the train from Chillicothe to Dallas for the first week on the job. A week later I took the train back and drove my then new Dodge Dart back to Dallas with my wife and 2 kids (Will 3 and Susan 3 months). We spent a week looking for a home, and then they went back on the train. I went back to Peoria on the train for Thanksgiving, and to bring the family back to Dallas with me in Nancy's old Chevy, which had a floor mat in front to keep the driver from putting his/her foot thru the salt rotted flooring. We left Peoria in a snow storm with the 2 kids and 2 dogs, and grandma griping in the back seat. On the way to Dallas, we made only one or two railfan stops, but one was at Reader, Arkansas. Since it was a holiday weekend, nothing was running. But to see the 11 and 1702 sitting out with the 108 in the engine house was a sight to remember. Here are photos of the last three locomotives owned by the Reader before it died and is making its fitful resurrection.

 

11 was built by Baldwin in February 1925, #58194, as Caddow & Choctaw 11.  It was sold as Reader 11. It went to the Hart County Scenic RR at Hartwell, Georgia, after abandonment. Steve Sandifer reports that it later went to the Kentucky Central at Paris, Ky.

108 was built by Baldwin in February 1920, #52820, as San Augustine County Lumber Co. 108. Later it became Angelina & Neches River RR 108 until 1956 when it came as Reader 108. It went to the Conway Scenic RR as 108 in 1976 and was sold to the Blacklands RR in 2000 where it is being restored.

1702 was built by Baldwin in September 1942, #64641, as U S Army 1702.  I worked on these locomotives at Fort Eustis and also in Korea in the 1950s. It was sold to Warren & Saline River RR as 1702 in 1946 and sold as Reader 1702 in June 1964. After abandonment, the 1702 went to the Fremont & Elkhorn Valley in Nebraska in August 1985 and the tender was replaced by an ex Rock Island crane.  The tender and the crane went to the Galveston Railroad Museum.  It now is on the Great Smoky Mountain RR as 1702 in North Carolina.

2 was built by Baldwin in January 1907. #29900, as Lufkin Land & Lumber Co 2.  It became Shreveport Houston & Gulf RR 2 and transferred as Carter-Kelley Lumber Co 2 in 1913 It was sold as W T Carter & Bro Lumber Co 2 in 1936 and donated to Grigsby Foundation in 1970.  It was leased as  Scott & Bearskin RR 2 and it was sold as Reader 2 in May 1978.  It does a few movie jobs.

4 was built by Baldwin in December 1913, #40958, as Laurel River Lumber Co. 22. It was sold as C-KLCo 4 and sold as Carter 4 in 1930.  It was then donated to Grigsby Foundation in 1970.  It was sold as Reader RR 4 in 1984 and leased to Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis RR with various identifications.  It was returned to Reader and does movie work.

7 was built by Baldwin in June 1907, #31063, as Victoria Fisher & Western RR 7.  It became Louisiana Longleaf Lumber Co 7 in 1917 and donated to Grigsby Foundation in August 1968.  It was donated as Reader RR 7 where it is in movie work.

 

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It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls.  Suffering, more than anything else makes present in the history of humanity the powers of the Redemption.

-- Pope St. John Paul II