Monday, January 11, 2010

Reading Blue Mountain and Northern expands rail operations

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Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad has acquired a short-line between Towanda and Monroeton in northeastern Pennsylvania. RBMN, which currently operates more than 300 miles of railroad in Eastern Pennsylvania, purchased the assets of the approximately six-mile Towanda-Monroeton Shippers Lifeline Railroad Inc. from former owner, Joseph Zadrusky of Scranton, on Dec. 30, 2009. The line is approximately 40 miles north of RBMN's current terminus in Mehoopany, Pa. RBMN will be able to connect its two properties by working with Lehigh Railway L.L.C., which leases a Norfolk Southern line that connects to the Towanda-Monroeton line in Towanda. The line will become part of the RBMN system.

Andrew M. Muller Jr., CEO of Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad, said the acquisition is a big step in growing rail operations in the area.

Wayne A. Michel, president of Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad, added that the railroad plans to aggressively market the Towanda segment to natural gas producers.

"We know there are many railroad opportunities related to the Marcellus Shale and we will be pursuing them diligently in the weeks and months ahead," Michel said. "Already on our railroad, we recently opened the largest frac sand terminal in the region at our Pittston Yard near Scranton and we will be moving brine water this month out of Mehoopany."

Reading and Northern Railroad, with its corporate headquarters in Port Clinton, is a privately held railroad company serving major businesses in eight counties in Eastern Pennsylvania, including Carbon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, Northumberland, Lehigh, Lackawanna, Berks, and Wyoming counties.

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