Headlights on Reading RS-3's

Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

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Headlights on Reading RS-3's

Postby gawlikfj » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:21 pm

I noticed that some RS-3's have their lights vertical and some horizontal . Was this up to the railroad which way they wanted their headlights ? or did this happen while being rebuilt ?
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Re: Headlights on Reading RS-3's

Postby geep39 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:54 pm

A subject close to my heart! There are a number of other unique details to the groups of RS-3s on the Reading, but we'll start with the headlights.
You have to realize that the order that they were DELIVERED was not the number series! It seems that the Reading was trying to figure out its roster, especially around the time the RS's were delivered. In fact, there was a note from E. P. Gangewere, head of MP&RE, stating that there was sufficient room in the roster for units being delivered. Such was not the case! They were starting to run out of RS-3 numbers, and would be bumping into the AS-16s numerically. Here's how they were delivered, and the headlight configuration:

500-509 (4/51) old style, single-beam headlight
510-524 (7,8/51) twin sealed beam, horizontal
496-499 (4/52) " " " " " "
473-475 (4,5/52) " " " " " "
460-472 (5/52) " " " " " "
484-485 (6/52) " " " " " "
486-495 (6,7/52) " " " " " "
481-483 (8/53) Twin sealed beam, VERTICAL! AHA!
444-450 (12/53) Twin sealed beam, vertical--these also had larger fuel tanks, and were used on the Grace Mine Runs mostly
Pretty wild, huh?

AT LEAST one (maybe others) exception: 519 had horizontal twin sealed beams, but possibly a headlight plate from a Baldwin AS-16, probably after it was scrapped.
Apparently, it had to do with when the units were built, and what was in fashion at the factory. The Reading was very conservative about changing things around.
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Re: Headlights on Reading RS-3's

Postby gawlikfj » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:47 am

Could the Railroad specify which way they wanted the headlights or was that still up to the factory ?
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Re: Headlights on Reading RS-3's

Postby arjay3 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:05 pm

Could the Railroad specify which way they wanted the headlights or was that still up to the factory ?


The Pyle-National twin sealed beam casting in later production was installed at the factory but could also very easily be used to upgrade the older "golden glow" parabolic mirrors. The are mounted with eight 9/16" machine screws arrange in a symetrical pattern so it is pretty easy to mount in any one of those 4 positions. Even to change from horizontal to vertical can be done in less than a half hour with small hand tools.

Rich J
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