Digitized from the videotapes of the Ed Heck Collection, Narrated with commentary by Mike Bednar. Color and sound; approximately 70 minutes runtime
The Blue Mountain & Reading began operations in 1983 as a 13 mile short line, operating state-owned rail line between Hamburg and Temple, Pennsylvania. They provided service to freight customers as well as developed a passenger excursion business.
In 1990, Conrail was looking to sell roughly 150 miles of branch lines in the Anthracite Coal Regions. The Blue Mountain & Reading purchased the Reading cluster of trackage from Conrail, expanding the company and changing the name to Reading Blue Mountain and Northern. Operations on the former Reading trackage began on December 15, 1990.
The Reading Blue Mountain & Northern inherited badly neglected trackage, with much of it being 10 mph or slower. The beginning of operations in the coal regions were challenging to say the least, but with a regular repair and maintenance schedule, conditions began to slowly improve.
In volume one, we view the beginning of freight service on the Reading cluster from December 1990 through September 1991, as well as passenger excursion operations.