Shortline: Anthracite unit trains for Ukraine to start soon

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PORT CLINTON, Pa. — Reading & Northern Railroad is participating in a move of coal to Ukraine that was announced by White House officials on Monday.
Xcoal Energy & Resources made the deal to ship 700,000 tons of coal for energy production to Ukraine by the end of the year. Half of that tonnage will be made up of Pennsylvania anthracite shipped from mines served by Reading & Northern Railroad. Reading Anthracite Coal of Pottsville, Pa., has handled the acquisition of the 350,000 tons of anthracite.

In Ukraine for the announcement Xcoal President Ernie Thrasher said, “The U.S. coal will replace Russian origin coal at existing thermal power plants, i.e., energy security and diversification.”

Reading & Northern will be supplying all of the coal cars used to handle the anthracite. In order to build the 100-plus car unit trains that Norfolk Southern will pick up at Reading, Pa., and deliver to CNX Terminal in Baltimore, Md., Reading & Northern will serve as many as six different loading points.

“Reading & Northern is delighted to be partnering with Xcoal and Norfolk Southern on this wonderful opportunity. We have long been known as 'The Road of Anthracite' and here is our chance to show the world how good our service is and how good Pennsylvania anthracite is. Our years of investment in coal cars and our branch line rail system pays off with our ability to turn on a dime and handle the movement of 30-plus unit trains in 5 months. Credit goes to the men and women of Reading & Northern for being up to the challenge,” said Reading & Northern CEO Andrew Muller, Jr.

Reading & Northern Railroad, with its corporate headquarters in Port Clinton, is a privately held railroad company serving over 70 customers in nine eastern Pennsylvania counties. It has expanded its operations over the last 20 years and has grown into one of the premier railroads in Pennsylvania. Reading and Northern operates both freight services and steam and diesel powered excursion passenger services through its Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. It owns almost 1,200 freight cars and employs over 200 dedicated employees.

— A Reading & Northern news release. Aug. 1, 2017

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