FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 27, 2020
Contact: Kevin Steigerwalt, Borough Manager
Phone: 570-668-3444 or 570-668-0300
Reading & Northern Railroad supports Tamaqua
with platform project and more
Tamaqua, PA – Reading & Northern Railroad (R&N) recently finalized an agreement to bring back passenger trains to Tamaqua’s 146-year-old train station including the building of a new passenger platform that will improve walkability as well as safety.
Andy Muller, Jr, CEO of the Reading & Northern Railroad, met with members of Tamaqua Council and Senator David Argall and his staff last Friday. Mr. Muller and his family arrived by train to celebrate the event and brought along his own surprise.
While original terms were to provide the borough a discounted project cost of $36,000 payable over four years, Mr. Muller announced that the borough’s initial deposit of $20,000 served as payment in full. He added that his vision had expanded to include decorative finishes such as protective but attractive fencing and Victorian-style lights, and that the railroad would assume any and all additional costs for construction. Further, Mr. Muller went on to share that the railroad will donate $10,000 per year for the next two years ($20,000 total) to Tamaqua Borough Council to distribute to their local charities of choice.
After the announcement, Tamaqua Borough Council President and chairman of the Council’s railroad committee David Mace spoke about the railroad’s contribution to the borough’s downtown improvements.
“Mr. Muller’s generosity will have a highly visible and positive long-term effect on the entire downtown. We believe this platform is key to building out larger community festivals and attracting new business in the future, so it’s truly a win-win, and we look forward to working with the Reading & Northern Railroad for many years to come,” he said.
Muller explained to the group that it was ‘refreshing to have a community willingly and actively participate with the railroad in a positive role.’
“Our cooperative work on this worthwhile project will certainly benefit the community positively,” Mr. Muller added.
Work will begin this spring and be completed through a public-private partnership between the Borough of Tamaqua and the Reading & Northern Railroad. The first train rides will begin in time for Tamaqua’s Summerfest, which coincides with Fathers’ Day on Sunday, June 21. The railroad will also host several “Ride and Dine” trips from the Railroad’s new Reading Outer Station to Tamaqua using its Rail Diesel Cars (RDC). The trains will depart Reading mid-afternoon and de-train at the new Tamaqua train station platform where guests will dine at a local restaurant.
“We’re also excited that the railroad will bring back the Santa Claus Special train during the Christmas season,” Mace added. Santa train trips will depart at 10:30 AM, 1 PM, and 3:30 PM at a date to be announced and represent the first Santa train rides hosted by Tamaqua in more than two years.
For more information on Tamaqua train rides, and other future excursions, please visit the railroad at www.rbmnrr-passenger.com or call the passenger office at 610-562-2102.
Reading & Northern Railroad, with its corporate headquarters in Port Clinton, is a privately held railroad company serving over 70 customers in nine eastern Pennsylvania counties (Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Wyoming). It has expanded its operations over the last 30+ years and now handles well over 34,000 carloads of freight and 140,000 excursion train riders over 400 miles of track. Reading and Northern operates both freight services and steam and diesel-powered excursion passenger services, owns almost 1,300 freight cars, and employs nearly 300 dedicated employees. Reading & Northern has repeatedly been honored as one of the premier railroads in the nation.
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