Muhlenberg Township, PA – The former mini mall at Rt. 61 and Bellevue Avenue is currently making way for a beneficial and exciting project in Muhlenberg Township. The new Reading Outer Station passenger rail will be erected on the property by the Reading and Northern Railroad Company.
The area was once home to several small shops and businesses as well as the original Perkins restaurant that later went on to become O’Grady’s Restaurant. While businesses have come and gone for several years, the upcoming transformation of the site will bring about something unique that will be here to stay. The upcoming Reading Outer Station is a located little over a mile from the original Reading Outer Station that was part of the Reading Railroad. The original station was built in 1874 and closed in 1969 and then burned to the ground in 1978.
The “new” station being planned will become a tourist rail facility with regular service scheduled for all day excursions to destinations like Jim Thorpe and other points of interest in the Schuylkill county area. The passenger cars will be powered by Rail Diesel Cars as the motive power. The brand new facility will feature beautiful 1930’s style railroad architecture buildings, a gazebo, ample parking areas as well as a steam locomotive display.
The Reading and Northern Railroad is investing over $2 million dollars into the new facility. Muhlenberg Township Officials are happy to welcome the Reading and Northern Railroad to our area and they are excited for what this means for the residents as well as the positive economic impact it will have in the township. According to Jamal Abodalo, Township Manager, the commissioners are “happy and excited to have the new Reading Outer Station become part of the Township.”
Reading and Northern Railroad’s tracks cover over 320 miles. The company began in 1983 with just 13 miles of track between Hamburg and Temple. Recently the company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to rehab and improve many areas of its track in an effort to improve train traffic and higher speeds. The company operates several existing excursion trains that carry over 120,000 passengers to locations such as the Lehigh Gorge, Jim Thorpe, and Christmas Holiday runs in the Scranton and Schuylkill county areas.