What do you know about the town of Minersville, Pennsylvania?
Some of you are saying, “Duh! It is the home of miners.”
That could be true considering that it is in the eastern central part of the state surrounded by anthracite coal mines, and it was the access to the mines that helped this town grow. For the rail fan, coal mines usually meant railroads, and a railroad was built to transport the coal through the region. There is another great reason the visit the town of Minersville. What is that reason? It is the home of the Central Railroad of New Jersey Locomotive Number 113.
What is special about the Number 113? It is an old switcher locomotive original built for the Central Railroad of New Jersey to be used in the freight yards as switcher locomotives were normally used for. It is a 0-6-0 locomotive that was very powerful locomotive, and it was one of the heaviest locomotives with that type of wheel-base ever built. (0-6-0 is the wheelbase of the steam locomotive with no guiding wheels, six driving wheels and no rear wheels.) It went through many hands until a man by the name of Robert Kimmel, Sr. bought the locomotive and had it moved to the town of Minersville where it sits next to the old Minersville depot today.
Now some of you are saying, “That is nice that it is now in Minersville sitting and rotting and sitting and rotting just like those old locomotives.”
It was sitting and rotting until a restoration project began. For years they had to work to find some of the original parks to include a bell that was removed.
Now some of you are saying, “I bet that they cannot find all the parts, and it will never run again.”
Well, it was taken to the Schuylkill Haven Borough Day in September of 2019, and it did pull a full trains in 2019, and the volunteers hope to see more excursions, but as for now, it rests near the old Minersville depot in Minersville, Pennsylvania. (The depot is also under a restoration project. It is owned by the Reading and Northern Railroad and is leased from them.) You can read more into the history of the CRRNJ Number 113 and more into the restoration project at https://www.rrproject113.org/. You can also click this link to donate to the project, to buy merchandise, to see the restoration work, to see a YouTube video of the locomotive in action and to see when possible future excursions with the 113 will take place.
The old Minersville depot is located at 113 East Sunbury Road in Minersville, Pennsylvania just east of Pennsylvania Route 901 next to the bridge crossing the Schuylkill River. Although you can see the CRRNJ 113 and the depot, the depot itself is not open to the public. Parking is on the street.