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Operations Information

Written by Conductor

Part of the Reading Company's Port Richmond facilitiesThe objective of The Reading Modeler is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information related to the Reading for use in modeling the railroad and its operations. In an ongoing effort to share knowledge regarding "the prototype," we will be transcribing and presenting official Reading Company information from our collection as well as material contributed by others. Since space does not permit us to include everything we would desire (there are several archives and museums that currently maintain excellent Reading Company archives), we will focus primarily on information that is of use in planning and operating a Reading-themed model railroad.


Reading Company Listings in the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER)

The Official Railway Equipment Register is an incredibly useful tool in learning more about the Reading's fleet of rolling stock, including the number of cars in certain classes (as well as their road numbers), freight car dimensions, etc.  It is also interesting to see the change in composition of the freight car fleet over time as the traffic base moved away from coal loading and toward other commodities.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1935:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1935.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1944:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1944.  Courtesy Mitch Kennedy.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1946:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1946.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1953:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1953.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1955:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1955.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1959:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1959.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1960: This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Compay Official Railway Equipment Register entry for 1960. Info courtesy Contributing Editor John Caples.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1965:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1965.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1966:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1966.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1969:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1969.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1970:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1970.  Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1971:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1971. Source material provided by Mitch Kennedy.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1972:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1972. Courtesy William Dale.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1974:  This PDF file is a scan of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1974. Courtesy of Contributing Editor John Caples.

Reading Company - Official Railway Equipment Register - 1975:  This PDF file is a photocopy of the Reading Company entry in the Official Railway Equipment Register from 1975.  Courtesy of Contributing Editor John Caples.


Additional Operations-Related Information

Reading / CNJ Freight Classification Guide - 1942:  This document shows how cars were to be blocked in the Reading's symbol and extra freight trains.  This information can be useful when combined with additional material such as the Freight Shippers' Guide and Freight Schedule to have a full picture of how traffic should be routed over your model Reading railroad.  Courtesy AlphabetRoute.com.

Diagram of the Reading's Port Richmond Facilities:  Mitch Kennedy has provided this scan of a diagram of the Reading's facilities at Port Richmond in Philadelphia, taken from a Reading Company sales publication. This would be useful for individuals modeling the waterfront, as well as helping with yard design, as one can visualize the flow of rail traffic based on the layout of the trackage.

Information on the Reading's Winter Operations:  Member Hugh Sinn has contributed these two PDF files outlining the Reading's preparations for cold-weather operations during the winter of 1967-68 along with a related roster and details on the Reading's snow-fighting equipment. This material provides some interesting insight into what it takes to get a railroad ready for winter operations.

Iron Horse Rambles - Excursion Details:  This is a PDF file including details from ALL the Reading Company Iron Horse Ramble excursions from 1959 - 1964, including points of origin and destination, total trip mileage, and number of passengers. Courtesy Rob Danner.

Locomotive Adjusted Tonnage Ratings - 1972:  A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet containing tonnage rating information for the Reading Company locomotive fleet in 1972. The spreadsheet has 3 tabs: Westbound, Eastbound, and Fast Freight. The data outlines the tonnage that a single unit of each class of locomotive could haul on a particular grade while maintaining the speed indicated. To increase the rate of speed or the tonnage of the train, additional units would be required. You will note that the ratings for similar classes of locomotives are significantly lower in fast freight service, this is in order to maintain a higher rate of speed for this class of train. Regarding the left-hand column labeled "Factor Tons per Car": This rating was a method of taking into account the number of grades and curves on a particular line. Curves can cause resistance just as grades do. Another issue that the "Factor Tons" rating takes into account is the proximity of grades to one another. In other words, the topograhy of some lines allowed trains to get a "running start" when tackling a grade, and this momentum would help to mitigate the weight resistance of the trains, as opposed to some other lines where the train encountered more of a "direct assault" on a grade. This data can be used on your layout to allocate sufficient motive power, in both number and horsepower, to haul your trains. You could "selectively compress" the weight of the cars to be hauled based on the train lengths you're using, so that for example, a 20-car train would weigh 6000 tons and thus require either multiple units or higher-horsepower locomotives to capture a more prototypical feel (even though one of today's higher-end model locomotives could likely haul the 20-car train unassisted). In addition, if the line you're modeling has a high "Factor Tons" rating, that would be indicative of either a somewhat shorter train or more motive power.

Reading Company Summary of Equipment - 1967:  The Reading, like many other railroads, published a "Summary of Equipment" document on an annual basis, listing all motive power and rolling equipment owned by the railroad, for both freight and passenger service. From these documents, one can ascertain the mix of different types of equipment - for example, the mix of 40' vs 50' boxcars, etc. They're also useful for developing your locomotive fleet on a proportional basis to get the right mix of manufacturers, road vs yard units, etc.

List of Reading Company Interlocking Towers:  This Excel sheet, courtesy of the Yahoo! "All Time Interlocking Tower" group, provides details on Reading Company interlocking towers in the states in which the Reading operated.  Thanks to Contributing Editor John Caples for finding this list.

Reading Company Mechanical Drawings ListReading Railroad Heritage Museum Archivist Rick Bates, and noted Reading author John W. Hall have compiled this attached list of Reading Railroad Mechanical Drawings that are archived at the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg. This information may be useful to modelers looking for information regarding particular details of locomotives, cars, etc.

Today's Image

Fact for the Day

June 20-23, 1972
The Reading is devastated by Hurricane Agnes; washouts and damage across the system require significant effort to repair, and also hasten the abandonment of marginal branches.

Downloads

Operations Information

Click Here!A variety of Reading Company operations related documents, etc. that may be of use in your modeling efforts.

Operations Paperwork

Click Here!A variety of Reading Company operations paperwork, such as train orders, clearance forms, etc. that will help you operate your Reading layout in a prototypical manner.

Timetables, Rulebooks, Etc.

Click Here!Public Timetables, Employe Timetables, and Rulebooks that provide much useful operational information.

Modeling Goodies

Click Here!Signs, billboards, and other FREE goodies for your use.  We ask only that you help spread the word about The Reading Modeler!

Rolling Stock Reference

Click Here!Downloadable reference documents on the various classes of Reading Company Freight and Passenger rolling stock.

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