The Reading Company usually called the Reading Railroad, officially the Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road
and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway until 1924, operated in southeast Pennsylvania and neighboring
states. Until the decline in anthracite loadings in the Coal Region after World War II, it was one of the
most prosperous corporations in the United States. Reduced coal traffic coupled with highway competition and
short hauls forced it into bankruptcy in the 1970s. The railroad was merged into Conrail in 1976, but the
corporation lasted into 2000, disposing of real estate holdings.
As of December 31, 1929, 1460.3 route-miles and 3643.9 track-miles plus 163.9/321.7 on the Atlantic City RR;
as of 31 Dec 1970, 1210 route-miles, 2772 track-miles not including PRSL.
Since the railroad served Atlantic City, New Jersey (via subsidiary The Atlantic City Railroad), the Reading
Railroad is a property in the American version of the board game Monopoly.
This Logo was inspired by the proud traditions of the 1960's Reading Lines Service. The idea for the title,
Bee Line Service, came from a slogan the Reading used to tout a new direct service offered its customers in
On April 1, 1976, the Reading Company sold its current railroad interests to the newly formed Consolidated
Railroad Corporation (Conrail), leaving it with 650 real estate assets, some coal properties, and 52
abandoned rights-of-way. As of 1999, most former Reading lines are now part of Norfolk Southern Railway (NS),
as a result of the Conrail split between NS and CSX Transportation. It had sold 350 of the real estate tracts
by the time it left bankruptcy in 1980.
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