Passenger trains could return to Tamaqua
The return of passenger trains to Tamaqua was discussed at a Tamaqua Borough Council meeting. Two local business owners are in talks with railroad officials concerning the need for a platform to make it safer for passengers to disembark. FILE PHOTO
Two local business owners have been working to expand the opportunities for Tamaqua businesses and other community endeavors.
Larry Padora, owner and operator of Padora’s Italian Bakery, and John Ross from the Restaurant at the Tamaqua Station, approached borough council Tuesday night about possibly installing a train platform at the Tamaqua Train Station. The platform would enable passenger trains to offload passengers who might come to Tamaqua to partake in the many dining experiences available in the downtown or take in a show at the Tamaqua Community Art Center.
Padora said he had spoken to Andrew Muller, the CEO of the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad, and the company is looking to expand its passenger service; however, they need a platform, or otherwise smooth, level surface in order to disembark passengers.
“I want Tamaqua to be involved in this,” Padora said. “He’s talking about bringing the Budd cars up at night, for a dinner run.”
Padora said there has recently been more interest in the historic nature of his bakery.
“We’ve had 70-80 people show up for a walking tour,” he said. He also cited other activities offered by both the Tamaqua Historical Society and the Community Art Center. He indicated that walking tours could be combined with vouchers to be used at local restaurants to create an “experience” for visitors.
Muller has said he would contribute to the project, which is estimated to run between $15,000-$25,000.
“This is something that’s positive and it could help every business in Tamaqua,” said Padora.
Council President David Mace and other council members were intrigued by the idea.
“There are a lot of logistics to be worked out,” said Mace, “but having a private match for some of the funding is a step in the right direction. Mace suggested that the borough start by discussing it with council’s railroad committee and any other interested parties to see where they can go from here.
“This is a lot of bang for the buck,” concluded Ross.