The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has named Reading & Northern Railroad (R&N) the winner of its 2020 Short Line Marketing Award. This is the fifth time that R&N has been honored with the award, winning previously in 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
R&N—Railway Age’s 2020 Regional Railroad of the Year—was awarded the 2020 Short Line Marketing Award in recognition for two projects that occurred in 2019, which are related to its transloading and warehouse operations.
In late 2018, R&N purchased an 83,000-square-foot warehouse in Ransom, Penn. Within days of the purchase the railroad learned of a new customer who was looking to warehouse a large amount of raw material to supply its mills in the region. R&N went to work clearing the racking from the building, constructing a 400-foot-long interior boxcar dock, a new switch and 600 feet of track. All of this was accomplished in time for the customer to start shipping material into the warehouse in mid-January. The Ransom warehouse now features a six-car, 400-foot interior boxcar dock, both inside and outside storage space, and the ability to load/unload flatbed trucks and box trailers.
In late 2019 R&N went to work to secure new business to an off-rail customer in the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazleton, Penn. In a matter of weeks R&N built and made operational the new West Hazleton Transload terminal, which specializes in the handling of steel coils by rail. Those coils are then moved by truck by R&N’s new sister company, Reading Railroad Transfer LLC, which handles the trucking to the plant. The railroad made significant investment in the transload facility by building a 400-foot by 60-foot pad, a new switch and 850-foot-long siding, and purchased the necessary equipment to lift the steel coils. By handling the material in this way, the coils move hundreds of miles by rail, and then transfer to a Reading Railroad Transfer truck to travel the last few blocks to the plant. One truck is able to cycle between the transload terminal and the plant, making multiple deliveries in a single day.
“These projects reflect the entrepreneurial spirit of our Owner/CEO, Andy Muller, Jr,” said Wayne Michel, R&N President. “Andy encourages our team to take risks and to seize opportunities. That is why R&N is consistently honored for marketing initiatives. Whether it’s buying warehouses, building tracks or buying equipment for facilities on and off the railroad, R&N is working hard to develop new business and to keep our customers satisfied. We want to thank the Short Line Association for recognizing the achievements of all our team members because these projects clearly involve every segment of our company.”