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Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern Railroad 6/20/2010

by Chris Guenzler

I pulled into the Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern Railroad parking lot and walked to the ticket office to pick up my ticket. Now I will look around this railroad.

This view looks back towards Kempton.

Road crossing sign.

The Station.

The Gift Shop.

C&O 5504.

S&L Model RR 72.

Reading 1474.

Reading 1404 and 408.

A Kempton scene.

Kempton Timetable Board.

WK&S 65.

WK&S Shop.

A tender.

WK&S 602.

This engine is being repainted.

Lehigh Valley 7473.

Coaling area.

Trackside views.

Northampton & Bath track car.

WK&S 2.

Two former open air cars.

Unknown coach.

LNE flat car 19.

Lehigh & New England caboose 512.

Reading caboose 92830.

View looking north to where I will be going at 4 PM.

Trainorder signal.

The 3 PM Train returning to Kempton.

WK&S 7258.

Lackawanna Coach 582.

LN&E Open Air Car 10389.

Reading caboose 92936.

The train is ready for passengers so I boarded.

The engine runs around the train.

A Brief History The Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern began in 1962 when the railroad was chartered Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern, Inc. The tracks were part of the Reading Railroad that originally ran from Reading to Slatington and connected with the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The Reading sold the line south of Kempton to Evansville to a salvage dealer. An effort was made to keep 1.2 miles of track making the railroad 4.2 miles. The passing siding at Wanamaker was re-installed. The company operated its first steam excursion on Memorial Day 1963. Trains were run during the summer tourist season until November, 1968 when the railroad was temporarily closed due to mounting debt and poor ridership. In 1970 the railroad was reorganized under new, volunteer management. The pit track at Kempton was installed in 1971. The latest track expansion started in 2004 which added a new track to the Shop building. Many of the buildings located at the WK&S are not originally from Kempton or Wanamaker. The Kempton Station was moved here in 1963 from the Village of Joanna. The Rigelweg Gift Shop was a freight station that was located in Catasauqua. The Refreshment Stand was a trackside maintenance shed for the Reading Railroad located at Chapmans. The Maintenance Shop was constructed new here and completed in 1997. The track expansion project which started in 2004 put tracks into the shop in 2006. The locomotives and rolling stock that operate at the railroad each have their own story on how they became part of the WK&S. The oldest piece is our newly acquired locomotive #4 which was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1914. The newest piece of rolling stock is the C & O Box car which was built in 1960. All of the rolling stock acquired since 1972 has been trucked into Kempton, with the original equipment being delivered by rail.

The Trip

The train is ready to go.

The train left Kempton.

The view to the east.

Looking back to the picnic area under a grove of trees.

Semaphore signal.

Two views of an old barn at Trexler.


Curving into the forest.

Ontelaunee Creek also known as Maiden Creek.

Curving through the forest.

Another semaphore signal.

Two more curves.

Pasture land.

The bridge over Ontelaunee Creek.

Ontelaunee Creek.

The two bridges here are known as "The Bridges".

Beautiful views along this railroad.

A grade crossing.


The Endless Hills.

The train run past the Wanamaker Station.

Wanamaker siding.

Another farm.

Running along a highway.

They took us to the end of track. From here we backed to the Wanamaker siding where the engine will run around the train.

The engine cuts off.

The Wanamaker Station.

The engine ran around the train.

The engine returning to the train.

The train at the Wanamaker Station.

Leaving Wanamaker for Kempton.

Baby horses. I relaxed the whole way back to Kempton.

The train returned to Kempton and I thanked the crew for the excellent trip on the Wanamaker, Kempton and Southern Railroad.

From Kempton I drove back west and made a side trip to the Reading and Northern Railroad in Port Clinton.

Reading and Northern 3052.

Reading and Northern 1548.

Reading and Northern 3053.

Reading and Northern 2004.

Reading and Northern in Port Clinton. From here it was back onto Interstate 78 for the quick trip back to the Comfort Inn at Bethel for the night.