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 Friday, February 21, 2020. 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.
—via Press Release