Posts Tagged ‘Reading & Blue Mountain Northern Railroad’

Pa. High Court Spurns R&N Appeal

February 14, 2021

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern over the selection process used to choose an operator of five short line rail routes in central Pennsylvania.

R&N had commenced litigation to overturn a decision of the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority that favored an operator other than R&N to operate the lines.

A lower court had ruled that SEDA-COG was within its rights to eliminate R&N from proposals to operate the five lines.

In its legal briefs, R&N contended that although its bid had been ranked the lowest of those received by SEDA-COG, the process used to rank the bidder had been designed to eliminate R&N from consideration.

R&N Plans Excursion With Ex-NS F Units on April 18

January 8, 2020

The former Norfolk Southern F units that Reading & Northern acquired will pull their first public excursion on April 18.

The railfan-oriented trip will operate 230 miles on a roundtrip between Reading Outer Station in Muhlenberg Township and Pittston.

R&N said the locomotives, former NS F9 No. 270 and F7B No. 275, will be adorned in their new livery for the excursion.

The excursion will be the first public trip to cross the railroad’s new bridge at Jim Thorpe Junction.

Tickets for excursion are on sale and cost $99 for coach with premium seating priced at $110. Open-air car seating costs $125, and “observation dome car seating” aboard R&N’s former Milwaukee Road full-length dome costs $150.

Two café cars in the consist will offer snacks and a light lunch. The excursion will take 12 hours and two photo runbys are planned.

For more information and reservations, go to or call 610-562-2102.

Reading & Northern Buys 2 NS F Units

November 25, 2019

Reading & Northern has purchased two of the four Norfolk Southern F units that were put up for auction last week.

The Pennsylvania regional railroad and tourist line operator bought F9A No. 270 and F7B No. 275 and plans to use them in special passenger service.

The fate of the other two NS F units has not yet been revealed. Bids on the locomotives were due on Nov. 20.

NS acquired the F units in 2006 to pull is executive fleet of passengers cars. The Class 1 carrier has rebuilt them to GP38-2 standards.

They have been based at the Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

R&N owner and chairman Andrew M. Mueller Jr. told Trains magazine that he was surprised to win the bidding on two of the NS F units because he expected a larger railroad to buy all four of them.

Mueller said tentative plans are to the replace the NS light gray paint with R&N Tuscan red on the streamlined units and keep the NS roster numbers.

R&N already owns two former Bessemer & Lake Erie F7s that are in the process of being restored to operating condition.

The NS A-B set will be combined with one of the former B&LE units to form a matched A-B-A consist, Muller said.

He said the NS F units will be moved from Altoona to the R&N’s interchange with NS at Reading, Pennsylvania, soon.

R&N plans to display the NS F units at its Outer Station Christmas-light display.

Muller said the NS units will be used to lead the first train over a new bridge connecting the railroad’s Lehigh and Reading divisions that is being constructed at Nesquehoning Junction and expected to open shortly before Christmas.

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.

RBM&N Broke Freight, Revenue Records in 2014

January 13, 2015

Pennsylvania-based Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad had a banner year in 2014 for hauling freight, breaking records for carloads hauled and revenue earned.

The railroad handled 24,365 carloads, a 3.2 percent increase over that handled in 2013 and besting the record set 2011.

At the same time, the railroad’s anthracite coal unit-train business declined 21 percent due to price competition from foreign coal producers RBM&N said in a news release. The falling anthracite coal business was offset by 7 percent increases in domestic coal and merchandise carloads.

The merchandise business, which accounts for nearly 80 percent of total traffic, includes a such commodities as wood pulp, paper, metals, food products, plastics, forest products, chemicals and minerals.

The railroad also developed new transloading facilities in Cressona and Penobscot, Pa., that have generated substantial business growth, said RBMN President Wayne Michel.

“As a result of our local ownership, we are able to invest quickly in new facilities for ourselves and new customers to the railroad,” he said. “These new facilities and new customers enable our company to grow our business.”

Pa. Tourist RR Sets Ridership Mark in 2014

January 11, 2015

A Pennsylvania tourist railroad reported record ridership last year after it expanded service to seven additional cities.

The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway carried 72,295 passengers in 2014 after service expanded to Tunkhannock, Pottsville, Minersville, Schuylkill Haven, Duryea and White Haven. Also helping to boost patronage were a Bike Train and Santa Claus Train services.

“We are thrilled to announce we are gearing up for another busy schedule in 2015,” said Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Chief Executive Officer Andy Mueller.

The RBM&N operates the Lehigh Gorge Scenic. RBMN serves freight customers in nine eastern Pennsylvania counties.