The data contained within these documents has been compiled from Reading Company files by John W. Hall. Most classes of freight and passenger cars are represented here. Included in most of these files is information such as built dates and builder, retirement or conversion dates, as well as details pertaining to betterments and the like. Many of the files for newer equipment have less data, as files for those cars have not yet been uncovered. There is not a file for every class of rolling stock, especially the newer cars, but most are represented here from the early 1900s through the early 1960s.
The intent of this information is to provide the reader with an educational tool to broaden ones knowledge of Reading Company rolling stock and motive power. It is by no means a complete list of Reading Company equipment, but rather a reference point where one can begin to learn more about it. Some classes of equipment had a rather colorful history, having served the Reading in several different capacities during their lifespan.
To begin your search, download and review the appropriate INDEX (Freight or Passenger). Under each Index is a list of classes, sorted by car type. Click on the appropriate class to open that file. Centered at the top of the first page of each document is the class and number series. Other information provided on the first page includes:
Inside Length (I.L.)
Capacity (in tons)
Capacity (in cubic feet)
Average light Weight
TERMINOLOGY: Certain abbreviations are used within these documents, such as DOFL, which means "Damaged On Foreign Lines." This indicates a car that was involved in a wreck on a railroad other than the Reading. Other common terms include RETIRED, SCRAPPED and CONVERTED. The words RETIRED and SCRAPPED are not interchangeable. Retired is when a car was removed from service. Scrapped is when a car was dismantled. In many cases a car was retired long before it was scrapped. In some cases, a car was retired and later converted for another type of service or sold. The CONVERTED date listed is the date it was released for service at the completion of the conversion. RENOVATED or RENOV are also used in some cases indicating when a car was renovated.
BUILT DATES are not always the actual day the car was completed, but more often the date that the car was accepted by the Reading. There may be times when an earlier date may be on record, but as far as the Reading Company is concerned it is the day they accepted the car from the manufacturer.
AFE = Authority for Expenditure: Where known, the AFE number has been included for rebuilds, conversions, betterments, etc.
S/O = Sales Order Number: Where known, the Sales Order number has been included when equipment was sold for scrap or to a second-hand owner.
In some cases there has been conflicting data about the disposition of a given car.