RDG Co. EMD GP35, Class RSE-14, #3640

#3640 at Leesport yard, April 2003. (photo courtesy Mike Shirk)

Background & History

#3640, built in 1964, was the last locomotive rebuilt in the Reading Locomotive Shops before their takeover by Conrail in 1976. It was in the largest group of second generation units operated by the Reading. This group of 37 units was built using components salvaged and rebuilt from older F3 and F7 model locomotives traded in to the builder.

The GP35 locomotives were used on all parts of the Reading, in all types of assignments, including emergency passenger service. #3640 is unique for being the only GP35 repainted into the railroad’s last paint scheme of solid bright green with safety striping and a number on the roof of the cab. The unit was also the last to be overhauled in the Reading Locomotive Shop while it was operated by the Reading railroad.

When Conrail assumed operations of the Reading in April of 1976, the large group of ex-Reading GP35’s kept their original numbers. The units were scattered about Conrail and assigned various duties. While Conrail made plans to rebuild their many GP35’s, only one was actually done. Many were traded in on new locomotives or scrapped (click here for the disposition of these units*). #3640 was stored out of service at Conway Yard near Pittsburgh for several years, then donated to our organization in September of 1994. This locomotive was started for testing in 2001 and as of 2003 is operational. We hope to have it painted in the solid green scheme in the near future. For updated photos of #3640’s progress (as of 2007), click here.


1. The locomotive arrived looking like this. What a Reading line-up! GP35 #3640, with C424 #5204 and C630 #5308 behind it.

2. Before long, the Conrail decals were forever removed! (photo courtesy Butch Mielke)

3. Rear views show an interesting detail. Between the marker lights, midway up the rear of the locomotive, are two access doors for filling the sanders. They are not rectangular like on most GP35’s. They are instead triangular. Reading GP35’s had these doors modified to allow a diamond shaped area for... what else? The Reading diamond emblem!

4. Although not quite there yet, #3640 still shows signs of steady progress. As of Spring 2002, the prime mover has been started and the unit is once again operational. (photo courtesy Mike Shirk)

Archival Photos

#3640 in solid green, date and location unknown. (photo courtesy Troy Smith)

EMD GP35 Specifications (as-built):
Builder: Electro-Motive Division, LaGrange, IL Engine model: 16V-567D3
Date built: ? Type: 2-stroke diesel
Builder’s #: 29573 Aspiration: Mechanically-assisted turbocharger
Horsepower: 2500 Cylinders: 16 (Vee)
Top speed: 71 m.p.h. Bore x Stroke: 8.5" x 10"
Weight: 262,130 lbs. Displacement: 9,072 c.i.
Tractive effort: 65,532 lbs. Idle Speed: 315 r.p.m.
Length: 56' 2" Max. speed: 900 r.p.m.
Fuel: 2,600 gallons Transmission: DC generator, DC traction motor
Lube oil: 275 gallons Brake system: 26-L
Water: 275 gallons Braking: Air and dynamic
*(info courtesy Josh Musser, Reading Railroad Page) (last updated: 4/03)