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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Reading and Northern carried record carloads, expanded operations in 2011


Last year, the Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad Co. (RBMN) handled about 24,000 carloads, the most annual carloadings in the company’s 20-plus-year history.

The 300-mile regional also expanded operations to accommodate natural gas supplies for the Marcellus Shale and growing anthracite coal business. Pittston Yards, which the railroad previously developed into a regional frac sand terminal with D&I Silica, handled more than 1,000 carloads in 2011. In addition, RBMN invested in port facilities along the Delaware River near Philadelphia, where the Port of Fairless Hills could export anthracite coal to international customers. The railroad partnered with Kinder Morgan to invest in a coal facility and transport hundreds of carloads of anthracite to the new port.

“After Reading and Northern was faced with the loss of the Port of Baltimore as an outlet for our Pennsylvania anthracite business, we embarked on an extensive search for a port that would be able to meet our needs, with the option of expansion,” said RBMN President Wayne Michel in a prepared statement. “The development of this port with Kinder Morgan will provide our anthracite customers with access to international markets for years to come.”

Late last year, the railroad also secured a long-term coal contract from Rio Tinto. And in the fourth quarter, RBMN purchased 180 aluminum rapid-discharge rail cars for about $4 million to support coal traffic.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/27/2012