RBM&N rail­road earns high award

The Republican Herald - - BUSINESS -

PORT CLIN­TON — The Amer­i­can Short­line and Re­gional Rail­road As­so­ci­a­tion has given the in­dus­try’s high­est award for mar­ket­ing achieve­ment to the lo­cally based Read­ing, Blue Moun­tain & North­ern Rail­road.

This is the fourth time, ac­cord­ing to an RBM&N re­lease, that the rail­road has won “this pres­ti­gious award” in the last eight years.

Bill Clark, se­nior vice pres­i­dent-coal, re­cently ac­cepted the award at a cer­e­mony in Nashville, Ten­nessee.

The as­so­ci­a­tion rec­og­nized RBM&N for its ef­forts to con­nect a large an­thracite coal pro­ducer, At­lantic Coal, Ha­zle­ton, to the in­ter­state rail­road sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, which added the project was made more com­pli­cated be­cause the fa­cil­ity was along the lines of Nor­folk South­ern Rail­road. RBM&N had rights to travel over the Nor­folk South­ern line and with the sup­port of the Nor­folk South­ern Coal Busi­ness Group, RBM&N was able to get per­mis­sion to con­nect to the At­lantic Coal fa­cil­ity.

“This co­op­er­a­tive ef­fort was an ac­knowl­edg­ment of the unique role Read­ing & North­ern holds in trans­port­ing Penn­syl­va­nia an­thracite,” rail­road of­fi­cials said in the re­lease.

RBM&N has ac­quired more than 1,200 coal cars and a weigh-in-mo­tion scale in North Read­ing to fa­cil­i­tate the move­ment of Penn­syl­va­nia an­thracite. At Read­ing, the rail cars filled with an­thracite are in­ter­changed to Nor­folk South­ern. In 2017 more than 7,300 cars were in­ter­changed to Nor­folk South­ern.

“This close work­ing re­la­tion­ship caused Nor­folk South­ern to green­light the Read­ing & North­ern plan to con­nect with At­lantic Coal,” ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, which added, “Even af­ter that ap­proval it took al­most seven years of hard work and per­sis­tence for Read­ing & North­ern and At­lantic Coal to com­plete the project. At­lantic Coal had to ac­quire gov­ern­ment ap­provals to build the track and ul­ti­mately Read­ing & North­ern com­pleted the con­struc­tion in 2017.”

It is an­tic­i­pated that At­lantic Coal will soon be ship­ping more than 2,000 car­loads a year, thus re­mov­ing more than 8,000 trucks from lo­cal roads and high­ways.

Over the last 5 years, Read­ing & North­ern’s car­load­ings in­creased 50 per­cent; in 2017, it broke all its freight records and han­dled more than 31,000 car­loads.

In ad­di­tion, Read­ing & North­ern’s pas­sen­ger oper­a­tion, the Le­high Gorge Scenic Rail­way, also broke all pre­vi­ous rid­er­ship records as more than 120,000 vis­i­tors boarded its trains.

RBM&N, with cor­po­rate head­quar­ters in Port Clin­ton, is a pri­vately held rail­road com­pany serv­ing more than 70 cus­tomers in nine eastern Penn­syl­va­nia coun­ties — Berks, Brad­ford, Car­bon, Columbia, Lack­awanna, Luzerne, Northum­ber­land, Schuylkill and Wy­oming. It op­er­ates freight ser­vices and steam and diesel-pow­ered ex­cur­sion pas­sen­ger ser­vices. It owns, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, nearly 1,300 freight cars and em­ploys

more than 200 em­ploy­ees.

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