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 Post subject: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 2:09 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:34 pm
Posts: 20
How many Reading water towers - like this one in Tuckahoe NJ are still existing?


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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 2:10 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:48 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Watchung, NJ
Are you sure the railroad had anything to do with the construction of the Tuckahoe water tower?

The shown water tower looks like a standard, municipality or utility-owned water tower. I'm not sure who the water supplier is for the area. The lack of a pump house in the immediate area tells me its likely refilled by means of a water main and pumping station from quite a distance away. No doubt that the water tank is still used to maintain water pressure in the immediate vicinity.....

Google Street-view showed no obvious signs as to who maintains the tank.

Railroad owned, steam-era water tanks were usually sized according to the railroad's needs and took into account the nearest location for collecting suitable water. The size of that tower clearly appears to have been designed to serve more customers than just a modest number of steam locomotive boilers.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 9:58 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:34 pm
Posts: 20
Originally the Reading had several small wood water tanks distributed through the Tuckahoe Jct. complex. In 1923 the Reading replaced them with this steel water tank and a network of pipe, to fill pipes located convenient to where locomotives would be making their station stop.
At the end of steam the PRSL sold the water tower to the local fire company.
Some time in the late 90s the fire company replace the RR pump house in favor of a pump at their fire house two blocks away.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 10:12 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:16 pm
Posts: 180
I was going to say... that tower isn't tall enough to be of any use to a municipal water system.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 1:12 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:48 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Watchung, NJ
Good evening all,

Bad Order wrote:
I was going to say... that tower isn't tall enough to be of any use to a municipal water system.


I might have said the same thing, but I was looking for a well location and pump station and couldn't find one in the immediate area. This lead me to believe the tower might have been used locally for some reason. The waterways around Tuckahoe contain a mixture of both fresh and saltwater bodies, so I presumed the only place to draw good clean freshwater would have been from an underground acquifer (hence the need for a well and pump station).

I did notice at least four fire hydrants on Reading Avenue between the railroad and Rt.50, and another 4 hydrants along Mt. Pleasant Road. The ones on Mt. Pleasant threw me for a loop because I could not find a single hydrant along Rt.50 or Rt.49 (which was where I looked first) I found all of the hydrants in front of the various public buildings along Mt. Pleasant Rd.

I did see in one of the Google Streetview images where the gas main for the area was marked out on the pavement in Rt. 50. (under the westbound side of the highway, near to the curb). I could find no indication that there was public sewers anywhere in the area. I did not find a single manhole cover anywhere in the downtown area, or along the few side streets that the Google car did make it down.

Based on the comments above, it appears the Fire Department bought the tank and used it to feed a small network of fire hydrants. The fire station on Rt.50 is certainly big enough to house a well (or two) and a large enough pump. In addition, it looks like there is a fairly significant number of electrical transformers on the power pole immediately in front of the Firehouse (Rt. 50 side) to support the electrical needs of a signficant well pump.

It appears that the tower is feeding a water main which is at least a mile long. I did not look to see what other branches the water system might have. The tower must be tall enough to be able to support the current system. I'm curious to know just how extensive the RR water distribution system was around the immediate area of the station.....

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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 10:35 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 1774
It occurs to me that, with high speed at least on the Atlantic City service remaining desirable into the 1920s, this tank might have been intended for track pans.

Here is a picture at Ancora of a PRSL train at speed -- note the tower in the background.

https://nrhs.com/gallery-item/pennsylvania-reading-seashore-line-prsl-ancora-new-jersey-pennsylvania-railroad-k4s-5455-track-pans-september-8-1953-r-l-long-photograph/

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Last edited by Overmod on Sat Oct 08, 2022 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 12:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 983
Location: NJ
Tuckahoe Is not anywhere near either the PRR or RDG AC line, though, so no high speed service needing track pans. This is on the Cape May line, a bit south, where the branch to Ocean City splits off.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 2:11 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:34 pm
Posts: 20
during the PRSL, the Ancora track pans were important for K4s on Wildwood express trains

Tuckahoe had at least three water fill pipes, feed from the tower; at the platform point where the two lines come together (for Philadelphia / Camden bound trains), on the Cape May branch & on the Ocean City branch next to the water tower - as a typical train to the shore would be stoping and likely dropping cars for Ocean City


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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 3:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 10882
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Then there are these:

https://www.railroadphotographer.com/Ra ... -Dm9Z24J/A


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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 11:08 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1206
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Tuckahoe was the junction between the Atlantic City RR (P&R/RDG/PRSL) Cape May line and the Ocean City Branch and the trains from Philadelphia or Camden set out cars for the OC Branch train (in the 1950's, power was usually a PRR E6s). Both the road engine, which was usually going to Wildwood with most of the cars, and the OC engine needed to load water there as there were no track troughs on the Cape May line. There was a wye to turn the OC engine and the combine that shuttled with it. Gave the crew cushioned seats while they waited for the next connection.

Since the road power loaded water where it stopped with the through train, they needed underground pipes to feed water columns at various points at the station.

It was an ongoing joke among those riding "down the shore" that Tuckahoe was where the Ocean City passengers got off the train and the mosquitos got on.

Phil Mulligan






Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2022 9:48 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:34 pm
Posts: 20
here is an internet photo of a loco taking water at the point where the Cape May & Ocean City lines meet, which is also the point of the station platform (6/24/1939)

back to my question - how many of this type of water tower exists?


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 Post subject: Re: Reading water towers
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2022 4:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1206
Location: Philadelphia, PA
6061 was PRSL's last E3sd and ran until 1948. She probably outlasted the E2/E3/E7 family on PRR, except 7002 II. She is likely working the Tuckahoe-OC shuttle. Note the car has two side bearings, indicating it is a PB70 combine with 6-wheel trucks.


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