The Reading "Black Diamond" Steam Engine
The Reading "Black Diamond" is a steam powered inspection engine. Though an oddity in the railroad business, several lines had such examples, the Reading itself, had no less then twelve. It is a combination of passenger coach body on a steam engine chassis utilized by company officers, managers and road foreman to inspect road work and construction projects.
This engine was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1889. It was completely restored by the Reading shops in the mid 1930's and loaned to the Museum of Transportation in 1948. When the Reading Railroad went into receivership in the 1970's, a letter was sent requesting its return for placement at the RR Museum of PA. While the exact details become somewhat vague at this point, the Reading Company and Museum came to an agreement on Dec21st, 1979 and the engine was sold to the Museum for the sum of $5,000.00.
This is the only surviving steam powered inspection engine in existence and is perhaps the least known of 10 surviving Reading steam engines. The museum did an excellent job restoring her between 2011 and 2012 to her as delivered appearance.