RDG Co. GE U30C, Class RSG-14, #6300

#6300 at Leesport yard, April 2003. (photo courtesy Mike Shirk)

Background & History

During the Fall and Summer of 1967 the Reading took delivery of fifteen six-axle locomotives. This order for high-horsepower was split equally among ALCO, EMD and General Electric. Favorably impressed with tests conducted using GE’s U25B locomotives in 1962, the Reading ordered five 3,000-horsepower U30C units. These 16 cylinder locomotives would be the only General Electric units owned and operated by the Reading.

The U30C was the biggest seller of its U-Series; General Electric produced 592 U30C (U-Universal, 30-3,000-horsepower, C-six-axles) locomotives between 1967 and 1976. The carbody of the early U30C model locomotives was nearly identical to that of the late production model U28C. Because the five Reading U30C were among the earliest of that model produced, they shared some of the features of the later U28C models.

The Reading’s U30C’s were assigned Class RSG-14 and road numbers 6300–6304. The locomotives were delivered with snowplow pilots and were the very first Reading locomotives to carry the “Bee LIne Service” slogan on the sides of the long hood. Built at GE’s Erie, PA plant, each U30C cost $261,201. The big GE’s were used on most parts of the Reading System with the exception of the Wilmington & Northern or Perkiomen Branches. The U30C’s were the heaviest single-unit diesel locomotives ever operated by the Reading.

In April 1976, the five Reading GE’s became part of Conrail’s locomotive roster. The Reading U30C’s joined five ex-PRR U30C’s on the Conrail roster and were numbered 6579–6583. All five locomotives were retired July 28, 1982. After retirement, they were sold to the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad which did not operate any of them and were used for trade-in credit when CN&W sent them to GE in October 1989. Our unit (ex-Conrail #6840) was rescued in 1991 and has been partially restored to stabilize the locomotive from further deterioration. A full cosmetic and mechanical restoration is planned for the future to return #6300 to operating status.*


1. We purchased #6300 disguised as Conrail #6840 in 1991. This picture shows it soon after arrival.

2. Here the frame rail of #6300 receives some attention.

3. Conrail blue disappears under the busy hands of John and Rick. Because the carbody is pretty rough, our initial restoration of #6300 will be painted with brush and roller. Eventually it may be sprayed, but our priority is to stabilize it and improve its appearance.

4. This photo, taken in January 2002, shows the result of many volunteer hours of hard work. However after sitting outside in the elements for the last 5 years, #6300 is showing some signs of fading and weathering.

Archival Photos

Sister #6303 at Philadelphia, PA, October 1967. (photo courtesy M. S. Zak, Gary Stuebben Collection)

GE U30C Specifications (as-built):
Builder: General Electric, Erie, PA Engine model: FDL-16
Date built: June 1967 Type: 4-stroke diesel
Builder’s #: 36318 Aspiration: Turbocharger
Horsepower: 3000 Cylinders: 16 (Vee)
Top speed: 70 m.p.h. Bore x Stroke: 9" x 10.5"
Weight: 405,850 lbs. Displacement: 10,688 c.i.
Tractive effort: 101,462 lbs. Idle Speed: 350 r.p.m.
Length: 67' 3" Max. speed: 1025 r.p.m.
Fuel: 4,000 gallons Transmission: AC alternator, silicon rectifiers, DC traction motors
Lube oil: 380 gallons Brake system: 26-L
Water: 340 gallons Braking: Air and dynamic
*(info courtesy Reading Diesels, Volume II, The Second Generation by Dale Woodland (last updated: 4/03)