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Hoppers

RDG 40107 HTz

Many of the 90-ton class HTz hoppers survived on Conrail into the early nineties, although most showed severe signs of weathering by the end. These cars were originally intended for iron ore service from the Bethlehem Steel mines at Cornwall and Joanna and were built in the early 1960's. RDG 40107 was photographed in a coal drag making a slow run through Belt Line Junction, as maintenance crews were working on the track following the derailment of another train.

Reading, PA (Belt Line Jct)
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 40107

RDG 40217 HTz

RDG 40217 had been restenciled and had lost most of its Reading markings when it was viewed on the Blue Mountain and Reading at Temple in 1987.

August 1987, Temple, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 40217

CR 479441 HR1A (former HTz)

Members of class HTz that were renumbered by Conrail were officially assigned class HR1A. This car had the 'Reading' name painted out and CR reporting marks appear to have been hastily added along with a new number.

November 18, 1997, Altoona, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

CR 479441

RDG 41635 HTe

In 1971, Reading purchased 200 class HTe hoppers for dedicated iron ore service between Grace Mine at Joanna and Bethlehem Steel's plant in its namesake city. 125 of these cars went to Conrail, and 75 went to the Delaware and Hudson. Here, restenciled 41635 shows severe signs of rust and weathering. Compare this car to 41694 below, which was photographed on the same day.

May 1998, Lackawanna, NY
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 41635

RDG 41694 HTe

Other than the chalking of the lettering, the appearance of this car has changed very little since it was new. It retains the "ore service" marking in the upper left corner and even has the original "New 7-71" scale date 28 years after it was built. The car must have suffered a mishap at some point, as evidenced by the damage to the ribs.

May 1998, Lackawanna, NY
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 41694

RDG 66418 HTss

The cars in class HTss began life as wood composite-side hoppers, due to a steel shortage during World War II. They were classed HTs. Following the war, the wood panels were gradually replaced. This car was temporarily numbered RDG 60097 when acquired by the Reading Company Technical and Historical Society because the original number was unknown at the time. The correct number was later determined to be RDG 66418.

1998, Temple, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 66418

RDG 78847 HTh

Class HTh consisted of a fleet of 4,500 55-ton rib-side cars built by Reading shops that were numbered 74500-78999. All of these hoppers were retired by the early 1960's. RDG 78847 was sold to the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company (PP&L) who donated it to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in June, 1969. Although it had been restored by the museum, many years of storage in the museum's outside yard have given the car a chalked, weathered appearance.

September 14, 2007, Strasburg, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 78847

RDG 78847 HTh

Another view of the opposite end of car 78847. This car was built by the Reading shops in St. Clair, Pa. The markings on the car show that it was built in April, 1916, however the exact built date is uncertain. RDG 78847 is now located inside the museum, where it was photographed in 2007.

September 14, 2007, Strasburg, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 78847

RDG 483514 HTg

Reading's last hoppers came in 1975, consisting of 1100 examples of class HTg, numbered 483501-484600. These hoppers would only serve the Reading for a few short months before the Conrail takeover. They were a common sight in Conrail coal drags through the late 1990's. As of March, 2009, only one HTg is shown to be on the NS roster with Reading reporting marks. RDG 483514 was photographed on the Blue Mountain and Reading, just south of the station in Temple. Former Canadian Pacific steam locomotive 2839 can be glimpsed between the cars to the left.

Temple, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 483514

RDG 483798 HTg

RDG 483798 has been loaded with coal, and is awaiting pickup to be shipped to its final destination.

Tamaqua, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 483798

RDG 484072 HTg

Even though these cars carried on the basic RDG reporting marks, chalking of the lettering was very common in the Conrail era. The HTg hoppers were assigned the same numbering series under Conrail with CR reporting marks, however Conrail did not always follow this procedure, as non-HTg cars have been observed in this series and other HTg cars have been spotted with different numbers.

Tamaqua, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 484072

RDG 484548 HTg

Another example of class HTg.

Temple, PA
Photo credit: Josh Musser

RDG 484548

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