Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania railroads’

R&N to Offer Diesel, Steam Fall Foliage Trips

July 11, 2017

Reading & Northern will offer fall foliage excursions from Reading, Pennsylvania, this year.

Diesel-powered trains will run Oct. 1, 21-22, and 28-29, while steam-powered trips with 4-6-2 No. 425 will operate Oct. 7-8 and 15.

All excursions will originate at the Reading Outer Station, leaving at 9 a.m. and travel to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, with an intermediate stop in Port Clinton.

Return trips depart from Jim Thorpe at 3:30 p.m. after a three-hour layover.

Tickets for the diesel trips are $39 with options available for Pullman or parlor car seating. Steam trip fares start at $69. All tickets include a meal.

A special will run on Oct. 14 that originates at Outer Station but does not stop at Port Clinton. It will offer an opportunity to ride in an open gondola car for $125. Coach tickets for that trip, which will not use an auxiliary tender or diesel helper, are $99.

Pennsylvania Awards $35M in Rail Grants

August 25, 2014


The Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission has approved $35.9 million for 39 freight-rail projects, including 26 through the Rail Freight Assistance Program and 13 through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program. The allocations through RTAP include:

• $5 million to the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad Co. to construct a bridge across the Lehigh River and 1,200 feet of new connecting track.
• $4.3 million to R. J. Corman Railroad Group to install cross and switch ties, renew several grade crossings, install bridge ties and perform other trackwork.
• $3.2 million to Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. to install 14.5 miles of continuous-welded rail in the Pittsburgh Subdivision.
• $2 million to Buffalo Pittsburgh Railroad Inc. to complete trackwork between Kittanning and New Castle to restore the Chewton and Mosgrove West sidings, and provide 11,400 feet of additional siding capacity.
• $1.9 million to the Allegheny Valley Railroad Co. to rehabilitate the 36th Street bridge to increase its weight capacity and reduce a curve.
• $713,020 to Pittsburgh Ohio Central Railroad to realign track, construct 4,460 feet of new track, build a turnout and create a second long track in Scully Yard.

• $701,960 to Union Railroad to repair the approaches on the north and south portals to the railroad’s North Bessemer Tunnel.
• $700,000 to Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway to install 60,800 feet of continuous-welded rail, 10,000 new ties and four turnouts.
• $634,106 to Conrail Corp. to install ties and timbers, and surface 27,081 feet of track in three Philadelphia-area locations.
• $489,636 to  the Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad to replace a turnout, ties and 8,960 feet of rail, and complete other track improvements.
• $448,078 to the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad L.L.C. to repair a railroad bridge, including timber repairs and replacements, and track approach work.
• $353,500 to Lehigh Railway L.L.C. to rehabilitate, raise, line and surface sidings at the Wyalusing Terminal.
• $295,942 to the Hollidaysburg & Roaring Spring Railroad to repair two bridges and improve public crossings.



Reading & Northern Gets Grant for Bridge

August 25, 2014


The Reading & Northern Railroad has landed a $10 million state grant to build a new railroad bridge over the Lehigh River near Nesquehoning in Carbon County, Pa. The R&N will contribute $4 million to the project.

The bridge will provide a route connecting the Philadelphia region to New England and eastern Canada. Reading & Northern will offer the use of this route to Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific railroads, both of which already use part of the short line’s network.

Andrew Muller, Jr., owner and CEO of the railroad, said that the bridge will enable Reading & Northern to provide improved service to dozens of its existing customers. It will be the fastest and route into the Marcellus Shale territory in northeast Pennsylvania and it will carry double-stack intermodal containers to flow in and out of the Port of Philadelphia to points in the northeastern U.S. and Canada.

“I have been working for almost two decades to bring this bridge and resulting new route to fruition,” Muller said in a news release. “This bridge will enable us to better serve our customers and it will bring economic development and jobs to northeastern Pennsylvania.”

It will take 18 months to construct the bridge. Under the terms of the grant, the state funds will be made available over two fiscal years with half of the funds released each year.



Operator Being Sought for 5 Penn. Short Lines

June 7, 2014

A new operator may be brought in to run five short-line railroads operating in central Pennsylvania that are now run by North Shore Railroad Co.

The five railroad lines total 200 miles of track and are located in Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, and Union counties.

The properties are owned by the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority. North Shore’s agreement to operate the lines will expire on June 30, 2017.

North Shore was selected through a request for proposals process in 1984 and has continued to serve as the operator through a series of contract renewals and continuations. The JRA has invited a proposal from North Shore as well as from other experienced railroad operators to assume operation of the five railroads.

Although the current agreement does not expire for three years, the JRA and North Shore “are anxious to expeditiously resolve matters relating to a new professional services agreement,” authority officials said in a news release. “Our customers, the shippers on the five rail lines, have expressed complete satisfaction with the current operator. We are using this RFP process to encourage competitive private service that provides affordable freight rates for the manufacturers and shippers served by our railroads,” said JRA Chairman Jerry Walls.

The request for proposals process will play out in phases with potential operators being asked to respond to a request for qualifications by Aug. 1

Those responses will be reviewed to narrow the list of operators who will then be interviewed by JRA officials as well as customers of the rail lines.

Discussions also will be held with representatives from Norfolk Southern, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and other entities the selected operator could potentially interact with.

“As we move forward with this process, our basic objective is to secure a level of service, maintenance, and marketing equal to that which we have received over the last 30 years,” said JRA Executive Director Jeff Stover. “[Our] overriding concerns will continue to be safety and the needs of our customers.”

Pennsylvania Doles Out Grants to Railroads

December 16, 2013

Several western and central Pennsylvania counties will receive a share of the $16.1 million in grants being handed out by the state of Pennsylvania to improve facilities, help businesses expand operations, and promote safety.

The grants were approved by the State Transportation Commission, a 15-member body appoint by the governor and state legislature.

The grants will be distributed through the Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program.
Authorized by the General Assembly, the grants are administered by PennDOT’s Bureau Rail Freight, Ports and Waterways.

The projects receiving funding include:

Allegheny County: Pittsburgh & Ohio Central Railroad — $525,000 to replace more than 12,000 feet of track, install a crossover, and improve nearly five miles of track.

Allegheny, Washington counties:

  • Allegheny Valley Railroad Co. — $1.3 million to make improvements to track between    Bruceton and Washington required for heavier freight traffic.
  • Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, Co. — $2.8 million to remove deteriorated rail,      install nearly 13 miles of new track, and improve additional track and      four public railroad crossings.

Cambria and Clearfield counties: RJ Corman Railroad Group — $3.9 million for track renewal in two tunnels, tie installation, and expanding an existing building in the Clearfield yard for equipment maintenance.

Erie County: Greater Erie Industrial Development Corp. — $2.6 million to acquire an existing spur from the Port of Erie and construct three new spurs (totaling about 2,250 track feet) to provide rail-car storage, active product unloading, and transfer and a locomotive run-around. This will support a new biomass terminal producing wooden pellets for export.

Venango County: Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad — $840,000 to install new crossties on 14.5 miles of the Oil City branch and replace nine grade crossings on railroad property.

Westmoreland County: Three Rivers Marine Rail Terminal — $1.1 million to build 8,000 feet of track and three switches to enhance storage tracks from the mainline, enabling the company to be a train destination for coal and sand for gas drilling.