Reading Railroad Heritage Museum
The Reading Company Technical & Historical Society (RCT&HS), was incorporated July 16, 1976 to preserve the rich history of a pioneering railroad. As an all-volunteer, non-profit, educational corporation, the RCT&HS is a repository for knowledge, artifacts, and memorabilia related to keeping alive the memory of one of America's greatest transportation institutions. Now over 30 years old, the Society is composed of about 1000 members in many areas of the USA and even abroad.
The seed for the Society was planted by Bill Whitman in an advertisement he placed in the January/February 1975 issue of the Extra 2200 South Locomotive Newsmagazine. About a dozen members began meeting in a home in Reading, Pa. and started collecting Reading Company memorabilia. The group more or less adopted the Outer Station in Reading as theirs until the station was destroyed by fire in February 1978. Meetings were discontinued until Norman Rhoades of Morgantown brought the Society back to life. The new group, which met in the Elverson, Pa. Passenger and Freight Station, began publishing a magazine called the Bee Line. The idea for the title, Bee Line, came from a slogan the Reading used to tout a new service offered its customers in the mid-1960’s. The group also began removing Reading Company paper and photographs from the company offices on Sixth Street in Reading. In 1982 the Society helped with restoration work on Reading equipment at the State Railroad Museum at East Strasburg. The groups first modular HO scale layout was constructed in 1983, the same year it held its first banquet to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad.
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