Railroad thanks Tamaqua for agreeing to platform
Exactly 20 years after building a crosswalk to allow guests to reach the Tamaqua depot and its restaurant and shops, Tamaqua is toying with the idea of teaming with the Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad to install a concourse deck to allow train passengers to safely disembark, a move needed to restore passenger service. DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS
The Reading and Northern Railroad posted on Facebook Thursday morning to thank the Borough of Tamaqua “for beginning a cooperation which will lead to passenger train events for Tamaqua.”
The borough on Tuesday night agreed to join with the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad to construct a concourse deck, or platform, enabling visitors and tourists to easily disembark train coaches at Tamaqua’s 1874 Philadelphia and Reading Railroad depot.
“We have the opportunity to make an improvement to allow passenger service to return to Tamaqua,” said Mace, chairman of the railroad committee.
The borough would pay $36,000 toward the $51,000 project.
Both parties — the town and railroad — have agreed to terms, according to a Jan. 14 letter sent by Mace to Andy Muller, railroad president and CEO:
“As presented by members of your staff, the total cost of the project will be approximately $51,000. The Borough of Tamaqua understands that our portion of the cost will be $36,000. The borough will place an initial deposit of $20,000 to start the project and agrees that the remaining balance will be paid at a minimum of $4,000 per year for the next four years, if not paid sooner. This letter also gives the railroad permission to access the job site via the Railroad Street parking lot,” according to the letter from the borough to the railroad.
The railroad will begin construction on a new platform this spring.
“The platform will span the distance between the station and the tracks making the train more easily accessible for our passengers. Tamaqua has a very long-standing history with the railroad and is situated along the mainline of the Reading and Northern Railroad. This platform offers Tamaqua a great opportunity for passenger train excursions,” the railroad posted.
The railroad also thanked Sen. Dave Argall and his staff for arranging meetings between Tamaqua Borough Council and railroad management.