Posts Tagged ‘Reading & Northern’

R&N Acquires 11 Passenger Cars

July 24, 2021

Pennsylvania regional carrier Reading & Northern Railroad has acquired 11 passenger cars to be used in its excursion services.

The cars were most recently operated by Colorado tourist railroad San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad.

The Colorado railroad closed in the wake of the bankrupty of its parent owner, Iowa Pacific Holdings.

R&N now has a fleet of 41 cars to be used for steam and diesel excursions.

Notable cars that R&N acquired from the SL&RG include former Southern Railway steam program open-air coach Lookout Mountain and former Illinois Central streamlined observation-lounge car Mardi Gras.

Also included in the acquisition was a full-length super dome once operated by the Milwaukee Road. That will bring to two the number of ex-Milwaukee Road full-length domes in the R&N fleet.

Other cars acquired include Calumet Club, a former IC streamlined flat-end parlor-observation-lounge car; a former IC heavyweight coach; Chuchara Valley, a former Canadian National heavyweight coach; a former Southern heavyweight coach,; Gila Valley, a former Southern heavyweight coach; San Luis Valley, a former Southern heavyweight coach; Ellerslie, a sformefr CN streamlined sleeper; and a former New York Central diner.

R&N said adding the cars will enable R&N to expand excursion n service to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, region.

Steam Excursion Helped R&N Engineer Pay Medical Bills

July 20, 2021

A Reading & Northern locomotive engineer who has been a mainstay behind the throttle of a former Central of New Jersey 0-6-0 steam locomotive was the beneficiary of a special excursion featuring the steamer.

Chris Bost is battling the autoimmune disease chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy.

Bost received a check for $12,000 to help pay his medical expenses. The fund-raising was led by the Railway Restoration Project 113 of Minersville, Pennsylvania.

The non-profit group restored the CNJ Alco-built locomotive and has operated it on the R&N since 2012..

It ran a June 19 trips whose proceeds went to Bost for his medical expenses.

Bost is reported to be making slow but steady progress in recovering from the disease through courses of immunoglobulin therapy and physical therapy.

He is not expected to return to work at the R&N until sometime next year.

R&N workers have donated at least 60 vacation days so Bost can continue to draw full pay instead of disability.

Those who worked on the excursion donated their time.

R&N Buys 19-mile Rail Line

June 28, 2021

Pennsylvania short line Reading & Northern has purchased a 19-mile line from Carbon County, Pennsylvania.

The route gives R&N a continuous mainline between Reading and Scranton.

In a news release, R&N said it paid $4.7 million for the track, which it now uses under a trackage rights agreement.

The route links R&N’s Reading and Lehigh divisions. R&N said it will honor a lease with the current freight operator of the line, the C&S Railroad.

The latter provides service to three shippers. R&N will use the line for overhead freight traffic and its passenger excursion trains.

The acquisition fulfills a 30-year desire of R&N owner and CEO Andy Muller, Jr. of having a continuous main line railroad between Reading and Scranton.

R&N in a news release said the Reading-Scranton route “never before [was] owned by any railroad.

Mueller reportedly sought several times over the years to purchase the track from Carbon County.

Last year the R&N completed construction of a $14 million railroad bridge over the Lehigh River as part of a plan to provide a more efficient, direct route between Reading and Scranton.

R&N said it plans to spend more than a million to rebuild the track of the Carbon County line.

R&N to Buy Pennsylvania Rail Line

May 8, 2021

Pennsylvania-based Reading & Northern will buy a 19.5-mile rail line from Carbon County, Pennsylvania, for $4.7 million.

The county has owned the line since 1981, buying it from Conrail for $991,500 to prevent it from being abandoned.

The line was operated by the Carbon & Schuylkill Railroad starting in 1990. That railroad is now overseen by Reading & Northern owner Andy Muller.

R&N plans to rebuild the line in a $1 million project.

CNJ Steamer to Run on R&N

May 4, 2021

A restored Central Railroad of New Jersey steam locomotive will pull an excursion on June 19 on the Reading & Northern in Pennsylvania.

The 0-6-0 No. 113 will face south en route from Minersville to Port Clinton, Pennsylvania, and be turned at the latter so it will face north on the return leg.

The train will have an open gondola behind the locomotive and five open-window coaches.

The event also includes a pig roast upon the return to Minersville.

The 37-mile round excursion is a fundraising event for R&N engineer Chris Bost, who is suffering from a nerve disease and presently undergoing therapy.

For additional information call 570-544-8300 or visit the Project 113 Facebook page.

R&N Plans RDC Mainline Trips in 2021

April 24, 2021

Pennsylvania-based Reading & Northern Railroad plans to offer a series of mainline excursions with its Budd RDC cars between May and November.

The trips will operate between “Outer Station” along Route 61 north of Reading and Jim Thorpe with intermediate stops in Port Clinton and Tamaqua.

The first trip will be May 8 and the last is scheduled for Nov. 21.

Passengers will have a three-and-a-half hour layover in Jim Thorpe with the opportunity to ride the Lehigh Gorge Scenic during that time.

Trips depart Reading at 9 a.m. and return by 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $39 per person if traveling the entire route or $24 if boarding at an intermediate station.

More information and ticket purchase information is available at

The R&N’s RDC fleet includes cars built between 1951 and 1958 for the Boston & Maine, New Haven, and New York Central.

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 Test Fires Reading T-1 2102

January 14, 2021

Former Reading Company 4-8-4 No. 2102 underwent steam testing this week in Port Clinton, Pennsylvania.

Owned by regional carrier Reading & Northern, CEO Andy Muller, Jr. blew the whistle of the T-1 at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

“The engine is like new,” Muller said following the testing, adding that the boiler, injectors, feed water heater and stoker tested fine.

Workers did find a leaks and will repair those after the locomotive cools down.

Shop forces had lighted a fire inside the firebox of the locomotive on Saturday. By Tuesday the engine has reached 240 psi working pressure

Restoration work on the locomotive, which was built by the Reading in 1945 will continue.

The 2102’s cab is still not attached and the tender needs to be rebuilt.

However, Mueller hopes to have the locomotive operating by spring when he wants to have it pull a freight train.

The restoration work has cost $1 million to date and Muller said completion of the work will cost another $100,000.

Muller bought the 2102 in 1987 and it pulled excursion trains on the 13-mile Blue Mountain & Reading from 1987 to 1992. 

Its first assignment in revenue service is expected to be pulling the North Reading Fast Freight, between North Reading and Pittston, Pennsylvania.

R&N Says it Gained Traffic in 2020

January 12, 2021

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern said it managed to post gains in revenue in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which generally depressed rail freight traffic in North  America.

R&N said in a news release that it moved more than 34,000 carloads and had a revenue increase of almost than 4 percent.

The railroad said its coal business increased in tonnage and revenues. Its warehouse in Ransom, Pennsylvania, saw a 54 percent increase in carloads.

R&N handled 91,000 people in passenger operations that were limited by the pandemic, and purchased 17 locomotives, 143 coal hoppers, a welded rail train, and 34,000 ties.

Corman Completes Deal for Short Lines

December 9, 2020

R. J. Corman has completed its acquisition of three short line railroads that operate in Pennsylvania and New York.

Corman now owns 17 short lines in its R.J. Corman Railroad Group with the latest members being the Owego and Harford Railway, Lehigh Railway, and Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway.

All three companies were founded by Steve May and handle 14,000 annual carloads that include sand, scrap, feed products, plastic, propane and wood products.

Traffic is interchanged with Norfolk Southern and the Reading & Northern.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in a Corman announcement.