APRIL/2006: Reading Railroad Heritage Museum Frequently Asked Questions
We have been asked many questions about our museum and our plans for expanding our museum activities. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions:
When will the Museum open?
The Reading Company Technical & Historical Society (RCT&HS) currently operates its museum at Temple Station located on Tuckerton Road in Muhlenberg Township. Rolling stock displayed there includes the 250-ton crane formerly used by the Reading Company to clear derailments. The Temple Station was formerly the Reading Railroad freight building in Frackville, PA. Displays of railroad artifacts, a model train display and gift shop are also featured. The museum and gift shop are open on Saturday and Sunday from noon5 p.m. Equipment displayed outdoors can be viewed any time. Norfolk Southern trains operate on tracks adjacent to the property.
Additional RCT&HS rolling stock is displayed at Leesport at Canal and Wall Streets.
Isn’t there a plan to expand?
Yes, our vision of the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum System includes four main parts:
- A Scenic Railroad Excursion: Passenger excursions between Temple and Hamburg will be operated at first. Service is envisioned to expand to a full schedule between Reading and Southern Schuylkill County. The excursion will carry visitors in historic Reading Railroad cars through scenic Northern Berks and Southern Schuylkill Counties, allowing passengers to enjoy the Schuylkill River and the many recreational and cultural attractions of the communities along the line.
- Interpretive Centers: Exhibits and events telling the story of the Reading Railroad are planned for Temple and Hamburg. Planning for these centers will begin soon.
- Economic Development Initiative (Communities along the Rail Line): A comprehensive plan for tourism will encourage development of visitor attractions all along the line. These may include opportunities to enjoy the Schuylkill River (fishing, hiking, etc.), interesting shops (antiques, local products), cultural activities (architectural tours, canal information, special events), and so much more.
- Excursion Route Conservation: Efforts to preserve the scenic beauty along the rail line will be developed.
How far are the Museum plans now?
- Temple and Leesport: The RCT&HS has leases property at Temple Station and Leesport.
- Hamburg: The RCT&HS owns the former Pennsylvania Steel Foundry property in Hamburg and is renovating it for museum use. The property is located on the west side of South Third St. in Hamburg. See the Museum Progress Report for details.
What’s next? How will the next steps be funded?
The RCT&HS has completed the Museum Development Study. The study was funded by a grant from the Schuylkill River Greenway Association, the Pennsylvania Heritage Parks Program, and the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program of Berks County. Several grants have been obtained to fund initial renovations of the Hamburg museum site. See the Museum Progress Report for updates.
Isn’t there a capital campaign, too?
Yes, a Capital Campaign among the membership is now drawing to a close. Support has been strong for the Founders Club. The money will be used as matching money for grants and to continue museum development efforts. We know that a strong effort among our membership to fund the museum will show other potential supporters that the RCT&HS believes that this project is important! There is still time to join the effort and have your name registered as a Founder of the Museum.
How can I be a part of the Museum project?
- Sign up as an RCT&HS member. Click here for membership information.
- Encourage others to sign up as RCT&HS members. Our new membership option, Corporate Membership, is an excellent opportunity for businesses to join in.
- Contribute to the Capital Campaign. Click here for donation information.
- Join a committee. We need help in many areas: museum operation, sales, archive preservation, equipment restoration, writing articles for the “Bee Line”, mailing, public relations, fund raising, modeling and train meet set-up, excursion planning, and more. Don’t forget: The Society has no paid staff. Volunteers do everything!
- Talk about the museum plan with everyone! Keep the message clear and accurate. We are always looking for more partners as we move forward.
- Talk about the museum with the RCT&HS leaders. Your input is important.
When will the museum be finished?
We hope that we will never finish improving the way we tell the story of the importance of the Reading Railroad. The project, as we see it so far, will take time. The Society has spent 25 years assembling its wonderful collection. It will take time to bring the plans to reality.
|For more info:|
|• contact Carol Adams, Long-Range Planning Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org|