By M.T. Burkhart
PORT CLINTON, Pa. — The Reading & Northern has been expanding its roster of EMDs recently, with the addition of several GP38-2, SD50 and SD40-2 locomotives. And now those locomotives are getting a fresh coat of paint. Late last week, the railroad’s first “Admiral Cab” locomotive, GP38-2 2013, appeared in green and yellow paint at the line’s shop in Port Clinton. The locomotive is one of four ex-Norfolk Southern GP38-2 locomotives recently picked up by R&N.
The 2013, formally 5070, was rebuilt in Altoona with the NS-designed “Admiral Cab.” The cabs meet FRA crashworthiness standards and differ from a typical EMD cab with sharper angles, raised number boards, and below floor air conditioning.
Prior to the arrival of the GP38-2 locomotives, R&N picked up four SD50’s from CSX in 2019. The locomotives, 5018 — 5021, were built in the mid-1980s and for the moment remain in CSX blue. Last week, R&N also announced that it had also acquired former NS SD40-2 3327, which was rebuilt from a high-hood and also has an “Admiral Cab.” It will be renumbered 3059 and be the tenth SD40-2 on the roster.
The Pennsylvania regional operates over more than 400 miles of track, much of it in the Anthracite Region, and handles about 34,000 carloads annually.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the R&N purchased four GP38-2 locomotives not three.