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Towanda-Monroeton Shippers Lifeline

Transportation Company - Towanda-Monroeton Shippers Lifeline - Railroad
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Company NameTowanda-Monroeton Shippers Lifeline
Year Founded1975
Final Year of Operation2010
Successor/ParentReading Blue Mountain & Northern (Details)
CountryUnited States (Details)
Source of TextBluford Shops
Text Credit URLLink
Transportation Company - Towanda-Monroeton Shippers Lifeline - Railroad

Company History: The TMSL was established in 1975 with hopes to restore service to a 6 mile line between Towanda and Monroeton, Pennsylvania. The line had been part of the Lehigh Valley but was wrecked during Hurricane Agnes in 1972. LV was already operating in bankruptcy and was in no condition to restore it. After two years, the line was cleared but no one was interested in becoming the designated operator so TMSL, with the blessing of the ICC, began running it themselves. An SW1 (built in 1939) was acquired and painted in Lehigh Valley heritage colors. Traffic was light and included farm products and forest products. By 2010, traffic was building to more than the owner could handle thanks to natural gas drilling in the area. The owner sold the railroad to Reading & Northern and TMSL was merged into the RBMN system.
Successor/Parent History:
The RBMN was the result of the 1990 expansion and re-organization of the Blue Mountain & Reading Railroad. At first, locomotives were lettered for Reading Blue Mountain & Northern but this was later simplified to Reading & Northern. For most purposes, the company uses the two names interchangeably. Today the RBMN operates 300 miles of line in eastern Pennsylvania (it’s about the length of the Clinchfield or Toledo Peoria & Western.)

The mainline runs north from Reading through Port Clinton, Tamaqua, Jim Thorpe, to Pittston. Branches from Pittston reach Scranton and Mehoopany. There is also a dense network of branches to the west of the mainline in Schuykill County. This is Pennsylvania’s anthracite region and while the golden age of anthracite for home heating is well behind us, it still has important industrial uses and RBMN proudly calls themselves the Road of Anthracite on their Reading influenced black diamond logo.

RBMN has continued the tradition of tourist operations begun by their predecessor and continues to roster the ex-GM&N Pacific and ex-Reading Northern. A former Canadian Pacific 4-6-0 has also been added to the roster. As of this writing, the freight locomotive fleet includes two SD50M’s, two SW8’s, two SW8m’s, an SW7, two SW1500’s, three SD38’s, four GP39RN’s, nine SD40-2’s, and three SD50’s. We will have more Reading & Northern photos with tomorrow's Railroad of the Day.
Brief History:
The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the northwest and Hawaii extending the nation’s presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major Atlantic Coast cities are New York, a global finance and culture center, and capital Washington, DC. Midwestern metropolis Chicago is known for influential architecture and on the west coast, Los Angeles' Hollywood is famed for filmmaking.
Item created by: gdm on 2022-03-31 08:50:24

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