The Reading's King Coal at Shamokin, led by No. 863, an F-M Trainmaster, ca. late 1950s.

(W. Lenheim Collection)



The King Coal was a passenger train operated by the Reading Railroad between Philadelphia and Shamokin, Pennsylvania. The train was launched in the late 1930s, as part of Reading's introduction of streamlined trains, with equipment rebuilt by the railroad specifically for the service.

In its latter years it was truncated to Pottsville on weekends. Due to declining demand for passenger rail travel as automobiles became more prevalent, the King Coal was discontinued on June 28, 1963.


A Retro-Look Train Travel Poster featuring the Reading Railroad's King Coal passenger train.

(W. Lenheim Collection)


King Coal Overview

Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Pennsylvania
First service: Late 1930s
Last service: June 28, 1963
Former operator: Reading Railroad
Route Termini: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Shamokin, Pennsylvania


The marker at Shamokin, PA.

(Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)