Posts Tagged ‘Reading & Northern’

April Rare Mileage Trip Set on R&N

January 11, 2023

A rare mileage excursion with rail diesel cars has been set for April 23 on the Reading & Northern.

The trip will traverse several R&N lines including the P&R mainline, and the Mine Hill and Schuylkill branch lines.

Also planned are visits to Good Spring and Minersville, and a stop to see restored Central Railroad of New Jersey 0-6-0 No. 113 in Minersville.

Tickets are $119 per person and include lunch. Photo runbys are planned. The excursion will depart from Port Clinton at 9 a.m.

Tickets may be ordered by mailing a check with a stamped self-addressed envelope to Kermit Geary, Jr., 1266 Riverview Drive, Walnutport, PA 18088. Information or questions may be directed to Geary at KGJR@earthlink.net.

The outing is being sponsored by the Railroad Historians of the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Chapter, National Railway Historical Society.

R&N Freight Volume Up 15.4% in 2022

January 11, 2023

Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern, also known as Reading & Northern, said this week that it gained additional freight traffic in 2022.

The Northeast Pennsylvania-based regional railroad said its revenue freight traffic increased by more than 4,000 carloads, or 15.4 percent, compared with 2021 traffic.

On the passenger side, ridership of R&N’s excursion trains increased by 10 percent to more than 250,000 passengers.

In a news release, R&N officials attributed the increase in freight traffic to increased shipping of anthracite coal and the opening of its Tunkhannock frac sand terminal.

The war in Ukraine helped boost coal traffic as buyers affected by an embargo on Russian goods and raw materials turned to other markets. R&N officials said eastern Ukraine is a major international source of anthracite that has been disrupted by the war.

Coal traffic at R&N rose by 2,624 carloads, almost 40 percent, with much of this additional traffic going to international markets.

R&N said it has begun moving some coal via manifest freights instead of traditional unit trains. That has ended the need for Norfolk Southern to provide motive power for unit trains bound to and from export terminals.

To help make coal shipping more efficient, R&N has acquired more than 550 rapid discharge cars for the export market.

Also driving R&N’s coal business has been an increase in domestic coal shipments as more electric arc furnace facilities expanded and/or began operations. That included plants in Texas and Ontario,

The war in Ukraine also has stimulated demand for Marcellus Shale gas, which the Tunkhannock Marcellus Shale terminal has been able to meet. That facility opened in 2021.

Other commodities that R&N moves include forest products, plastics, food products, metals and chemicals.

On the passenger said, R&N said it will expand its excursion train operations this year.

There will be more trains operating out of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, and that operation has become year around. Excursions from the Wilkes Barre/Scranton area will launch from a station in Pittston.

In 2022, R&N acquired three additional additional rail diesel cars and one passenger coach.

Santa Trains Set Behind Steam in Pennsylvania

November 16, 2022

Santa Claus will be coming to town in December behind steam in Pennsylvania.

Former Central Railroad of New Jersey 0-6-0 No. 113 will pull Santa trains on the Reading & Northern, Railfan and Railroad magazine reported on its website.

The Santa trains will run on Dec. 10 and 11 from Minnersville, Pennsylvania. Trains will depart at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

No. 113 was built by American Locomotive Company 100 years ago. It is the only operating ex-CNJ steam locomotive in existence.

More information can be found at https://railfan.com/on-eve-of-100th-birthday-cnj-0-6-0-to-power-santa-trains/

R&N 2102 Repaired in Time for Next Excursion

October 13, 2022

A mechanical issue with Reading & Northern Railroad Class 4-8-4 No. 2102 has been repaired in time to pull an excursion on Oct. 29.

Trains magazine reported on its website that a malfunctioning component inside the Class T-1 locomotive’s firebox caused it to be removed from service during an Oct. 8 excursion.

Up until now the 2102 had been performing without any issues since returning to revenue service in late May after completion of a six-year, $2.4 million restoration.

The mechanical problem that knocked the 2102 out of service last weekend during a fall-foliage excursion in Northeastern Pennsylvania was reported to be clogged ports in the firing table in the firebox.

After putting the steam locomotive in a siding, a pair of SD50 diesels completed the excursion. The malfunction occurred about 17 miles into the excursion.

The R&N said passengers who had paid premium fares to ride behind steam would receive compensation although it was not immediately clear what that would be.

The story can be read at https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/reading-northern-4-8-4-repaired-set-for-next-excursion/

Another Person Implicated in R&N Tampering

September 12, 2022

Pennsylvania authorities say a man who sought to tamper with grade crossing signal equipment on the Reading & Northern had hoped to slow vehicular traffic which in turn could lead to a slow night at the fast food restaurant where he worked.

Police said a second employee of the Wendy’s restaurant was also apparently involved in the scheme, which occurred last month.

Ryan Boria, 34, of Tilden Township was arrested earlier and charged in connection with a plan to use a shunt to disrupt crossing gate-signals.

He was arrested after coworkers identified him by his work uniform. Boria was shown on video walking along the R&N tracks.

News reports identified the second Wendy’s worker allegedly involved in the scheme as Amy Schaner.

Police said Schaner dropped Boria off when he placed the shunt on the tracks and then picked him up and drove him to work.

Police said the two workers told them in interviews that they hoped this would prevent would-be customers from reaching their restaurant that night, thus resulting in a slow night.

Pa. Man Charged in Signal Tampering Incident

September 4, 2022

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with alleged tampering with grade crossing signal equipment on the Reading & Northern Railroad.

The suspect, Ryan M. Boria, 34, of Tilden Township, was identified by the fast food uniform that he was wearing at the time of the incident.

Several of his co-workers at a Wendy’s restaurant were able to recognize Boria after viewing video footage of him made by a security camera and posted on Facebook by police.

After obtaining a search warrant, police found in Boria’s home a shunt that could short-circuit the crossing signal.

Railroad officials said that could have created the possibility of a collision between vehicles and freight or passenger trains. The crossing in question is on a route used by R&N excursion trains.

Authorities said Boria was on his way to work at the restaurant when the alleged tampering occurred.

He faces felony counts of risking a catastrophe and criminal mischief, along with misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment; disrupting, delaying, or preventing operation of a train; and disorderly conduct.

R&N 2102 to Haul Freight on Friday

August 18, 2022

The Reading & Northern plans to have 4-8-4 No. 2102 pull a freight train on Friday (Aug. 19).

The announcement was made on the carrier’s social media sites although details were sparse.

 “Take off this Friday and chase 2102 in revenue freight service,” the announcement said. The announcement also said 2102 was expected to depart from Port Clinton around mid-morning.

Earlier this year the 2102 operated in freight service with empty and loaded coal train as it prepared for its first revenue service passenger trip in late May.

R&N Runs Steam Doubleheader

August 16, 2022

In part to celebrate the 75th birthday of its owner Andy Muller, Jr., the Reading & Northern operated a steam doubleheader on Saturday featuring 4-8-4 No. 2102 and 4-6-2 No. 425.

The doubleheader was part of a scheduled Iron Horse Rambles excursion that already had been sold out.

Trains magazine reported that it was the first R&N steam doubleheader since 1988. The magazine said in a report on its website that Muller received applause from passengers as he walked through the train.

The 19-car excursion ran for 67 miles from the Reading Outer Station to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.

The train returned to Reading behind two SD50 locomotives that were adorned in a special livery to promote the railroad’s North Reading Fast Freight service.

At Nesquehoning Junction in Jim Thorpe, the steam locomotives were removed from the train and passengers were invited to visit their cabs.

R&N Offering New Class of Service

August 12, 2022

The interior of the new Crown Class coach on the Reading & Norther. (R&N photo)

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern has added a new class of seating for its tourist train operations.

It has converted a former Illinois Central Railroad heavyweight passenger car into “Crown Class” service for its Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway excursions.

Car No. 450 has been named the Pagoda after the seven-story Reading Pagoda near Reading, Pennsylvania, that was built in the early 20th century.

In a news release, R&N said it acquired the car at an auction of the assets of the bankrupt Iowa Pacific and its shop workers have given it a thorough cleaning and installed new seat upholstering.

Most R&N passenger cars feature open air seating, but the Pagoda has air conditioning, added this year by railroad contractors and employees.

R&N Planning Steam Double Header Aug. 13

July 22, 2022

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern plans to run a steam locomotive double header on Aug. 13.

The Iron Horse Rambles train will feature 4-8-4 No. 2102 and 4-6-2 No. 425 and is already sold out.

R&N said it will be its first steam doubleheader since 1988 and the third of four scheduled steam excursions between Reading and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, this year.

All three of the remaining trips are sold out. Some fall foliage excursions are expected to operate with steam power.