Reading & Northern building new 'Outer Station' near Reading

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Satellite image of the new Reading & Northern "Outer Station" site.
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READING, Pa. — A new Outer Station will rise on a 2-1/2 acre site near Reading's city limits as the Reading & Northern ramps up its passenger services. The $2-million project includes a siding off the railroad's main line as well as a station, water tank, and a display locomotive.

Andy Muller Jr., CEO of the Reading & Northern, bought adjacent properties along state Route 61 in Muhlenberg Township for $895,000 in 2016. He tore down a former strip mall and a restaurant on the site, but kept their parking spaces. The site is north of the railroad's connection with Norfolk Southern. A railroad contractor is building the station track.

Mueller tells local news media that the site is to include Victorian-style buildings, a water tank, and a display track for No. 225, a former Canadian Pacific 4-6-0 previously owned by the late George M. Hart.

The original Outer Station was located a few miles south of the new station, closer to the center of the city of Reading. It was a Victorian structure built in 1874 that housed division offices and once featured wooden trainsheds on three sides. It was in the middle of a wye connecting lines from Allentown, Pa.; Pottsville, Pa.; Philadelphia; and Harrisburg, Pa. It closed in 1969 and burned in 1978. A second station, known as Franklin Street, was in the center of the city.

Starting Memorial Day weekend, the Reading & Northern will offer regular Saturday passenger trains between the new station and Jim Thorpe, Pa. Former Reading rail diesel cars will provide the service. Trains will follow the former Reading route from Reading to Haucks, Pa., on the Catawissa Branch, then turn onto the former Jersey Central Nesquehoning Valley Branch to Jim Thorpe, Pa., about 60 miles each way. Tickets will go on sale on March 15.

More information is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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