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?


Francine, a post from Bill Lane over of the s-scale group:

Last summer I was promoting making more roofs for the S Helper Service/American Models coach to make them look ³more Reading² it sort of  faded because my urethane caster became unavailable.  I just got a somewhat  surprise box of new castings.  They are pretty good, but he has made better. They are the correct length. Some had some length shrinker some unknown reason.

 So I am just putting this out again. Things are possible again. If you were interested last year maybe you still are. I don¹t have any prices yet, but I think we are looking at about $25.00 per roof + some contribution to cover the new mold.

 With these new samples and a little TLC I am already more than covered for my modeling needs forever. This is for the rest that missed them years ago.  I know say my projects are one and done. This truly will be the last time I make more of these roofs.

 Reply with what you are thinking you want. No need to send money now.

 Thank You,

Bill Lane bill@lanestrains.com 

1 of 1 Photo(s) https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/g...tachments/1345809633

Hi Tom,

I received the same email last night from Bill and already answered to tentatively commit to two roofs.

My concerns: Bill states, "pretty good, but he has done better".  The price is now about $25 plus cost of mold, plus shipping, So in truth we don't know what we're getting and at what price.  I committed to two roofs (I actually need more) but until I see pricing and quality, I am holding back.

Also I was informed by Dave at Lbr enterprises that my Reading Decals will arrive this weekend.


Francine posted:

Hi Tom,

My concerns: Bill states, "pretty good, but he has done better".  The price is now about $25 plus cost of mold, plus shipping, So in truth we don't know what we're getting and at what price.  I committed to two roofs (I actually need more) but until I see pricing and quality, I am holding back.


Yeah, I hear you on this one.  Don’t forget the ones that have shrunk in length… Not to mention the price; I was quoted was $20.00+shipping.  I have written for a clarification from him.

I don’t care much for urethane and have made the mental jump to vacuum forming the roofs out of .04” styrene.  Nothing adheres all that well to urethane and that includes paint.  After seeing his roof vents, I am going to past on them – they really aren’t right.

My guess is I am on my own for this adventure.

Tom Stoltz

Hi Tom,

I'm indecisive on this, as people who know Bill swear he is a genuine Reading Master.  But the price is going from $20 to "about $25" plus asking for mold reimbursement and shipping - this is steep and as noted before the roofs are "shrunken" as well as "not the best".

I am not familiar with "urethane" - the stuff I use is either 2 part epoxy or polyester - I hope its not the pink/blue roofing stuff, that would be crap.  This is really starting to look like a "pig in a polk'.

I may go back to a balsa form and heat gun abs plastic over it.


I got the decals from LBR Enterprises last Friday, and they are very good.  My passenger cars look like Readings now, except for the roof.


Francine posted:

I got the decals from LBR Enterprises last Friday, and they are very good.  My passenger cars look like Readings now, except for the roof.


Great, how about some photos?  Are you going to do the roofs?

Tom Stoltz

Hi Tom,

Awaiting word on the roofs from Bill Lane.  Let me ask the experts, isn't urethane the material that stuffs chair cushions?  I don't know any other.

Photos - can I just copy and paste? Or is it one of those you have to post from a site?

But they look just like the photos above, just with the wrong roof.


Francine posted:

Hi Tom,

Awaiting word on the roofs from Bill Lane.  Let me ask the experts, isn't urethane the material that stuffs chair cushions?  I don't know any other.


Urethane is a two part casting resin you can do at home. It is pretty easy to do. The problem I have with urethane is it can warp, only CAs can adhere to it (it doesn’t even stick to itself on a second casting) and it doesn’t hold paint that well.


Tom Stoltz

Depending on your level of neurosis,the Reading coaches are, almost always, 72-ft cars. If you're working with plastic/urethane sides, you need to cut about 8 ft from each side; ditto if you're using someone else's roof.

Re the T-1..if you start with a Berkshire chassis you could "roll your own" superstructure from styrene.
Look at what this guy does:


FWIW, from the S-Scale group:

  1. [Ad] B.T.S. Passenger Car Parts Sale

   Posted by: "Bill & Diane Wade - B.T.S." wadepub@ix.netcom.com wadepub13

   Date: Fri May 27, 2016 8:18 am ((PDT))

Time to detail some passenger cars !!

And time to save !!

B.T.S./ Passenger cars parts (#02401-02449) are available with the

following discounts thru Monday afternoon May 30, 2016....

     Order $ 50.00 or more....   deduct *10%* from the total

     Order $ 100.00 or more.... deduct *15%* from the total

     Order $ 200.00 or more.... deduct*25%* from the total 

/And if you order 5 or more of any specific part and allow us to do bulk

packing (i.e., all the same parts in one bag), we will kno//ck off

another 5% from that part !!/


Standard shipping applies to all orders.

*The list of parts can be seen at.... http://www.btsrr.com/btsdet01.htm*

Thanks, and take care


== Scale Model Railroad Products ==

== Manufacturer - Retailer - Importer ==  

Bill & Diane Wade 


1782 Trinity Rd

Belington, WV 26250-7621

Phone: 304-823-3729

FAX: 304-823-2901


Francine posted:

Hi Tom,

Couldn't get into the site.  Tried I phone, home computer and work computer, no joy.



Try this link which should be the correct one:


Unfortunately, the sale might be over, but at least you will be able to see what parts are available.

Mike A.



How are you doing with the Reading coach roofs? From the S-trains & s-scale lists:


Harriman roofs

Mon May 15, 2017 12:58 pm (PDT) . Posted by:


I am offering a Harriman (Arch) roof, cast in resin and made to fit on American Models 72' heavyweights. The roof has rivet & seam detail. Also available are roof vents often used on Harriman roofs, both Utility and Globe types. Some google research reveals the following railroads used cars with Arch roofs: SP, UP, IC, C of G, RI, WP, D&RGW, Alton, CN, CP, and several Mexican roads. The SP used them from 1909 until 1980, and the IC until the 70's. I have found prototypes for coach, diner, observation, baggage, and a variety of combination baggage cars (coach, RPO, auto, horse, club) in this length or within a couple of feet. To see photos and order go to: http://www.pre-size.com/produc...ar_PartsPS514193.php

Steve Wolcott, Pre-Size Model Specialties


Harriman (Arch) Passenger Car Roof
Product ID:
The Harriman, or Arch, roof is designed to fit the American Models' 72-foot heavyweight passenger cars. The roof has rivet and seam detail, and is cast in high-quality resin. These roofs were used on cars of the following railroads: SP, UP, IC, C of G, RI, WP, D&RGW, Alton, CN, CP, and several Mexican roads. The SP used them from 1909 until 1980, and the IC until the 70s. Cars that had these types of roofs were coaches, diner cars, observation cars, baggage cars, and a variety of combination baggage cars (coach, RPO, auto, horse, club). Our free shipping policy applies to these roofs! Photos show example American Models car body installations (not included). Be sure to check out our Globe (PS519) and Utility Vents (PS518), available separately for detailing your roofs.

<form action="http://www.pre-size.com/products/SscaleCar_PartsPS514193.php" class="buttononly" method="post" name="addtocart"><input class="cartbutton" name="submit" src="http://www.pre-size.com/images/addtocart.gif" title="Add PS514 Harriman (Arch) Passenger Car Roof to your shopping cart" type="image" /> <input name="prod_name" type="hidden" value="Harriman (Arch) Passenger Car Roof" /><input name="prod_id" type="hidden" value="PS514" /><input name="prod_price" type="hidden" value="$34.00" /></form>

I have one and will be ordering more.


Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Lots of interest here for Reading, I put together an O gauge Ramble with an MTH Proto 2.0 T1 and 

K line cars all purchased on the forum. Judging from the response this looks like an opportunity for someone in S to make!

Hi Tom,

Looks like they would work, but $34 plus shipping for one roof?!  A little steep - since the cars are like $69 each.  Actually I haven't been too happy with the American Models Passenger Cars, as they have a bad tendency to uncouple - whereas the Flyonel don't. 

Working on a solution, but without my own layout - it is difficult.



As with anything S, either buy while you can or roll your own.  I what to try vacuum mold in styrene but can I make a master and set up the equipment for $34 a shot?  And when will I get to it?  Suddenly the cost isn't too much...

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653

Link copied to your clipboard.