Planning Your Visit to the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum
The Reading Railroad Heritage Museum is located at:
500 S. Third Street, Hamburg PA.
Hours and Fares
The Museum will be open Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Sundays from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.
Yard Tours are held at the following times:
• Adults: $7.00
• Seniors (65+): $6.00
• Children (5–12 years): $3.00
• Children (under 5): Free!
• RCT&HS Members: Free! (For information about becoming an RCT&HS member, click here!)
• Groups of 10 or more $5 each- must be arranged at least two weeks in advance.
The Reading Railroad Heritage Museum is located at 500 South Third Street in Hamburg, PA, approximately 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
From Interstate 78 (north of Hamburg): Exit at the PA Route 61 Exit and go SOUTH on Route 61. At the first traffic light, (Grand St) turn LEFT, and continue to a few blocks. Turn right at South, 3rd Street and continue for a few blocks. The Museum is the complex of large brick factory buildings on the right. The entrance door is mid-block. Park anywhere along the street where you aren't blocking a driveway.
From Interstate 76, PA Turnpike (south of Hamburg): Take Exit 298 (Morgantown) to Interstate 176 North. From I-176, take Route 422 West to Route 222 North. From Route 222, take PA Route 61 heading NORTH from Reading. As you come into the outskirts of Hamburg, watch for the large green "Hamburg" highway sign and bear RIGHT onto the local street as Route 61 curves left just before the traffic light. There is an Arby's restaurant on the immediate right and a Ford dealership on the right the other side of the traffic light. Proceed on this local street, which becomes Fourth Street, a few blocks and at the Valero gas and convenience store, turn LEFT onto Maple Street. Go one block and turn RIGHT on Third Street. The Museum is the complex of large brick factory buildings on the left (west side of Third Street). The entrance door is mid-block. Park anywhere along the street where you aren't blocking a driveway.
What you'll see and experience during your visit to the Museum
Upon entry into the Museum, visitors will view a 15-minute video entitled "The Reading Shaped Communities." Professionally produced and including interviews with Museum personnel, the video provides an overview into the history of the Reading, as well as highlighting ways in which businesses, lives and culture were influenced by the existence of the railroad.
Outdoor Display Yard
Throughout its 30-year history, the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society has acquired the largest collection of railroad rolling stock dedicated to a single railroad in the United States. Comprised of over 70 freight and passenger cars and locomotives, the Society's collection includes several historically significant examples of rail equipment, including the first production model of the General Motors GP-30 diesel-electric locomotive, #5513, shown at left. When you visit the Museum, you will have the opportunity to take a walking tour of our outdoor display yard with a Museum docent, during which you will learn about how the Reading had a leading role in the development of railroad technology. You'll also gain an appreciation for the challenges faced by the men and women who worked for the railroad.
History Up Close
The Museum's main Exhibit Hall contains a variety of artifacts from the Reading Railroad that showcase the impact the Reading had on the communities it served. The highlight of the Exhibit Hall is our 1930s Station Agent's Office, shown at right. Before the paperwork and "business" aspects of railroading were taken over by computers and electronic technology, most stations along the Reading Railroad had an Agent who was responsible for keeping track of freight traffic and delivering orders from the dispatcher to passing train crews. Step back in time and see what life was like for railroad personnel outside of the locomotive cab - our replica office is a realistic depiction of a typical Reading station office from the early part of the 20th century, from the gate-arm telephone to the countless pieces of paperwork that had to be completed to keep the freight moving!
"I've been working on the railroad, all the live-long day!" Visitors will continue to learn what it was like to work on the Reading Railroad by viewing our sizable collection of railroad artifacts. From tools to signs to the bass drum from the Reading Shop Band, we have a broad variety of artifacts on display that tell the story of life on the railroad, and how the Reading influenced everyday life - whether by bringing coal to heat homes in the early part of the 20th century, to the famous Reading Terminal Market - built by the Reading under its main passenger terminal in Philadelphia in order to increase business for the railroad. After exploring the exhibits at the Museum, you'll begin to see that the Reading Railroad is so much more than a space on the MONOPOLY board!
And Much More!
We are happy to offer group tours (schools, scout troops, civic groups,
etc.) with a minimum of 10 individuals. The fare for a group tour is $5.00
per person, and tours can be accommodated on weekdays outside of normal
Museum operating hours. To request a group tour, please contact the Museum
Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at 610-562-5513. We look forward to hosting your group!