Reading and Northern Railroad has announced that it has recorded another successful year of business despite the poor economy and to celebrate, the company is honoring its full-time employees.

Reflecting on the year, owner and CEO Andrew M. Muller Jr., said that business for the Eastern Pennsylvania railroad has been increasing steadily and credits his employees for this success.

"If it wasn't for our over 150 dedicated men and women, Reading and Northern would not be the successful railroad that it is today. As a way to celebrate, we are giving full-time employees an extra week of vacation; as well as a paid trip to either Disney World; Branson, MO; Williamsburg, VA; London, England; or a cruise. This is our way of saying thank you for a job well done."

Despite a poor national economy and the fact that numerous railroads across the country have seen business declines of over 25 percent, Reading and Northern has been able to overcome those odds and grow its business significantly in 2009. It has hired additional employees, purchased over 100 new rail cars and two locomotives, and spent millions to upgrade its infrastructure.

"We are investing for the future," said Muller. "Business is good and our customers have shown their confidence in us by continuing to expand their facilities on our railroad. With the addition of new traffic related to the Marcellus Shale, we are poised for a fantastic 2010 and we want to make sure our employees know how much we appreciate everything they do to make us successful."

This is not the first time Muller has rewarded his employees for their hard work. Three years ago, the company paid for all its employees to have a weekend in Disney World; and more recently it matched the federal government's economic stimulus checks dollar for dollar.

"I am proud that in the worst economy since the Great Depression we did not layoff any employees, we had no furloughs or reductions in hours, we kept our excellent health benefits and we continued our profit sharing program. We have shown faith in our employees and they have shown faith in our company. That is the secret to our success," said Muller.

Reading and Northern Railroad, with its corporate headquarters in Port Clinton, is a privately held railroad company serving major businesses in eight counties in Eastern Pennsylvania, including Carbon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, Northumberland, Lehigh, Lackawanna, Berks, and Wyoming counties. It has expanded its operations over the last 26 years and has grown into one of the premier railroads in the state, with both freight services and passenger excursion operations. Reading and Northern continues to grow and currently employs 150 employees.