I searched for Reading Passenger cars, but they didn't seem to be made.  I found some old Flyer red plastic ones that look right, but are too short.  Unless any one knows of a company that makes Reading, it's buy, surgery and custom painting.


Original Post


 Reading coaches are relatively easy to come by if you are willing to do a little work. The American Models heavyweight coaches, undecorated in Pullman green, are a great start. You could just add decals and call it good if you like the earlier clerestory roof.clerestory cafe

If you prefer the rounded roof, Bill Lane is having some made that fit the AM coaches.


coach 16 vent

He also is offering battery boxes and the Reading roof vents:

  1. Reading Roofs Redeaux

   Posted by: "Bill Lane" bill@lanestrains.com Wdlane

   Date: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:07 pm ((PDT)


I needed a few more roofs for my Reading passenger car project so I contacted my urethane caster about making more. The mold was old and dead so a new mold is being made.

I was not going to make a big deal out of it all but yesterday I got a bomb dropped email - he is closing his business - truly to pursue other endeavors. In a slight reversal of my "one and done" project sale rule I am going to put it out here for what will be 1 last time for sure. He is selling the equipment to make my roofs cast as hollow. They would easily weigh a pound each if cast solid. 

$20.00 per roof + shipping. Proof is in the photos as to what they look like when they are done.

Contact me directly with your orders.

 Thank You,

Bill Lane

Modeling the Mighty Pennsy, PRSL & Reading in 1957 in S Scale since 1988

See my finished models at:

<http://www.lanestrains.com/> http://www.lanestrains.com Look at what has been made in PRR in S Scale! 


3 of 3 Photo(s)  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/g...tachments/1411585836  




 You can copy/paste the link to see some of his coaches

I hope this is of some help.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

-- formerly from midway between the Ardsley and North Hills stations on the Reading



Images (3)

WowakT-1 003

I rode the renowned Iron Horse Rambles and Reading passenger trains, so the Reading is #1 for me as well. I rode RDC's to Valley Forge to watch the final stop of the Bicentennial Wagon Train in 1976. Good times, good times . . .

This Lionel Reading T-1 (6-18006; 1989) has been custom painted and detailed as #2124 by Reading Steam Guru and Wowak. J.D.S. Limited Productions installed a fan-driven smoke unit and (as long as he was in there) and LED headlight.

In gratitude to our Webmaster, I'll add photos I took when I rode an excursion with 765 from Steamtown to East Stroudsburg. East Stroudsburg Tower was open for us. Volunteers explained how those 33 tall manual levers aligned switches, signals and locks. When 765 returned from a wye south of town, I was standing in the right spot to frame her between windows of the tower.765EaStrouds 003

She was moving slowly. I aimed through the open window below and got a "rods down" pose.765EaStrouds 004

East Stroudsburg Tower and 765 side by side. The short gate by the sidewalk is operated from the tower.

765EaStrouds 005











Images (4)

Hi Reading Fan,

My neighbor Herbie Hurt was the engineer on 2100 for the rambles.  He invited me to go along, but I didn't know what an "excursion" was.  About 8 years ago, a member of an HO club gave me some photos of 2100 at Jenkintown.  One had Herbie hanging out the window.  He was also the engineer for the Ambler Switcher.



Yes, I want the rounded roofs.  I have both HO & O scale passenger car decals, but no S for Reading.

Are the American Model Passenger Coaches roofs part of the shell like Flyer/Lionel?

Also, saw a T1 at the Ambler station circa 1957-58.  It pulled the Santa Claus Special into Philly.  There was a T1, a flat car with Santa and his elves, a passenger car and a caboose.

  My grandfather told me everything the living, breathing monster was going to do.  I remember looking up at the wheels, smelling the smells, hearing all the sounds.  And when she took off, it was like a rocket.  Memories like that are forever.

Unfortunately I've never been able to find out which engine it was, though I met Reading employees who verified the event.







Yes, the AM roofs are separate.  I have yet to do one myself, but I have the undecorated cars (8 of them) and decals.  I am waiting on the roofs, vents and battery boxes form Bill.   In my last communication with him he mentioned that the caster he uses won’t get to the roofs for some time. That, I would hope, stills leaves the door opened for more orders. My suggestion is to get in touch with Bill ASAP regarding the roofs. The battery boxes and vents, Bill makes using 3D printing so they shouldn’t be a problem in the future.  AM has plenty on undecorated heavyweights – sets as well as individual coaches – but get the roofs lined up first. 

I remember seeing Santa at North Hills station, though I’m going to guess a bit earlier than 1957. My memory of the event is vague, so I’m thinking something like 1953.  If there had been steam, I’m sure I would remember that.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Happy New Year to all!


Hi Tom,

Since I purchased a junk Northern at Allentown last Saturday, I ordered two passenger coaches for the Ramble from American Models.  So far, I haven't been able to find S scale decals for Reading (but do have both HO & O scale decals). 

I communicated with Bill Lane yesterday, and he informed me that he can't get his molds back from his caster.  I asked him to keep me in the loop in case he resumes production or gets his molds back.

Finally, since I am doing major modifications on the Northern, which will take time,  I am not a rush to have the good roofs.  I may be able to scratch built the roofs by making  template out of balsa, then putting a sheet of ABS plastic over it and heating it until it contours to the template.  Then I would have to make internal ribbing for support and a way to attach the roof to the car.  Then I can detail the roof - if all goes well.



You are on the right track, so to speak.  However it is doubtful if you will get the compound curves required for the roof ends by heating styrene.  Hence my posting asking about vacuum forming.

I am in the middle of the only book I could find on VF and will say that it is all very doable at the home hobbyist level.  There are also a ton of uTubes showing various homemade setups.  I am headed in that direction.  I plan on using .06” styrene for the roofs.

John Hall (former Reading S scale decal man) was kind enough to send me a Reading construction drawing of the coach roof.  It has all the correct contours for shaping the end.  John is a vast source of Reading knowledge. I am still searching for some roof vent details, but they seem to be allusive… I probably should try Bill.

If you are not a member of the Reading Modeler forum ( http://www.readingmodeler.com ) I would recommend joining just to see what and how others are modeling in the Reading format.  One fellow, in particular, is a marvel of scratch building Reading engines.  He has step by step pictures so you can see hos whole process.  His picture site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60361449@N02   You won’t believe what he does.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Hi Tom,

I have 1/48 scale plans from the Reading Historical Society (Ed Wiswesser) that I reduced to 1/64 scale, from that I can make a mold in balsa, then lay the plastic over it, using wire around it to secure it to the mold, then heat with a heat gun.  I agree that the end pieces would be difficult, but if everything else works, I can cut the part and use plastic to get the correct shape. 

Hi Mark,

I already contacted LBR.  I may have to send them copies of my HO scale decals to be enlarged to S scale.  The Red lines are not correct for Reading, yellow/gold yes.


Hey Francine,

What is the vintage of your drawing? Mine is Nov 21, 1922.  I attached it as a .pdf, don't know what to expect.  I also just got a blueprint of the roof vent and another drawing from John Hall for the battery box.  email me off forum if you would like copies.


it will open if you double click the pdf



Files (1)
Last edited by Tom Stoltz

Thanks Tom,

Believe it or not, there are 2 Reading coaches at the end of my street (former Coach Inn).  Maybe next weekend I'll go down there and photograph them and add them to the site.


Hi Tom,

I was surprised that I received the American Models Passenger Cars this weekend.  I thought they would be at least another week, but it was a welcome surprise.

Also found out that the Flyer Northern is too big for the Reading T1, the Polar Express Berk is much closer in look, size etc as stated by Harry Henning.  The tender is the correct tender but about 3/4 of an inch too short.  I may cancel my new flyer chief Northern for a Flyer chief  C & O Berk.  The problem being that the Polar Express because of the over size cow catcher has room for a four wheel pilot truck, while the prototypical C & O doesn't - but can run flyer chief at the same time.

Do you think anyone will notice the Northern is too big.  My guess is that if you letter it for a Reading nobody will get out a measuring tape to see if it is exact.  

You may have trouble finding that Berk.  I think Scenery Unlimited has two C&Os when I talked with Don Heimburger last.

Hi Mark & Bill,

Not ready to purchase yet, just threw away $195 on the Northern.  I had the scale blue prints with me at Allentown, I don't know why I didn't see it.  The trouble with the FlyerChief C & O Berk is that there's not enough room for the front pilot truck (the Polar Express engine has a bigger cow catcher that has enough space for a 4 wheel pilot truck).  But, if another Polar Express Berk is used, they can't be controlled separately.

On the flyer northern, it's about an inch too long and the back of the cab roof is wrong and unfixable, the ledge along the boiler is wrong, no wooten fire boiler (correctable) all the dome on the top are wrong (fixable), light is wrong, (fixable) and the wheels are spaced differently (not fixable).  The flyerchief berk is much closer.

I was with North Penn S Gaugers and one of our members has a scratch built S scale T1  that matches the drawing precisely built by Frank Titman. 



The Northern is probably a better place to start even though the wheel base is too long (as is the AM Santa Fe 4-8-4).  I just compared my Berk to the T-1 drawing from Ed Wiswesser and there is no way you are going to get the rear pilot wheel between the drivers and cylinders.  Extending the pilot toward the front (assuming the PE Berk) will not result in the look of a T-1.  The Berk tender isn’t so bad though.

Do you plan on adding the streamline skirting?  Do you have access to the Wiswesser drawing?

From what I’ve seen of Casey’s work (form the Reading Modeler), I would say tackling the cab roof is no big deal.  It’s nothing but grinding, cutting and adding a bit of plastic.  You will have to do the same to achieve the Wootten firebox.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Hi Tom,

I have all the Wiswesser drawings (except for the American Freedom Train).  I am thinking of calling him, but he wasn't in good shape the last time I spoke to him.  No matter which way I go, it's going to be a bear!


P.S.  How do you remove the tops on the passenger cars?  I see tabs that seem to need to be pushed in (toward the center) but nothing happens.

The earliest American Models heavy weight passenger cars required pushing the tabs both inward and upward to release the roof. The fit is very tight, so I usually by pushing in/up on each of the three pairs enough to get them started, then concentrated on trying to lift up one end of the car slightly so that--little by little--the rest would follow. It does take some time. Although it may take a couple of minutes for each car, I spent almost half an hour on one NASG Pullman sleeper before I realized this one had screws holding down each end. If you have problems, check to see if there are screws below the vestibule floors.


Thanks, I'll look for any screws.  Next move to to photograph the Reading Coaches at the end of my street, then I'll try to post them.  Do you need a service to post?


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