We’ve begun the process of repainting some of our Ex-SEPTA (nee RDG) power cars and coaches. Below are the results of our first car, #9115. “Reading Company” lettering has yet to be applied, but you can see what a difference a new coat of paint makes. Compare with the before SEPTA paint scheme. We hope to have a solid trainset of repainted coaches in the not too-distant future. Stay tuned!!!
When Wayne E. Collins retired from his position in the Tamaqua Train Station more than 20 years ago, the building he left was completely different from the one he returned to Wednesday evening.
“The last time I worked here, there was only one room fit to be in. Now look at it. It’s just like it was meant to be,” said Collins, Delano, with a sweeping glance around the pristine and fully restored historic station.
Collins attended a VIP event held in celebration of Friday’s upcoming grand opening of The Restaurant at the Station.
In his years with the railroad, Collins worked as an operator, train dispatcher, and most recently as a member of the extra board to distribute employees’ paychecks.
Because Collins is on record as the last employee of the Reading Railroad to work at the station, the owners of The Restaurant at the Station, Bill E. and Sheryl L. Beltz, thought it fitting that he participate in the opening events.
“He was the very last person to work at the train station, so now he’s the very first person to open it up again,” said Sheryl L. Beltz as she raised her glass in a toast to Collins, who then proceeded to open the restaurant’s double glass doors for its first night of service.
Beltz said Wednesday night’s festivities would essentially be the proving grounds for the restaurant, as they presented their service to an anticipated group of up to 100 invited guests, including local politicians, members and officers of Tamaqua Save Our Station (S.O.S.), and others who were instrumental in planning and restoring the train station.
Although most of their staff is working together for the first time, the Beltzes have been in the restaurant business for 15 years and they bring with them experience they’ve gained from running their other restaurant, Brookside Restaurant and Pub in Parkplace.
The Restaurant at the Station will feature a full line of fine dining cuisine, which has proved popular at Brookside.
Beltz added that a full seasonal selection of local Pennsylvania wines will also be served as a tribute to the area.
With the addition of the restaurant, the Tamaqua Train Station has added its final tenant, which completes the long-anticipated plans for the station’s occupation and use.
“The restaurant is really the anchor tenant here,” said Kenneth A. Smulligan of Tamaqua S.O.S. “When its in operation, the station will be open more hours, and the other businesses will see much more business.”
“The businesses really compliment each other. When customers have finished their meals, they’ll naturally visit Gertrude Hawk, the Weed Barn and the gift shop to round out their visit to the station,” Bill E. Betz said.
“Locally, if the people support it, it will be a success,” said Rose Kosch, who works in the station’s gift shop. “They have a lot to be proud of here. Everyone who’s connected with the restoration has done so much, and they deserve a good outcome.”
The Restaurant at the Station has slated its grand opening to the public for Friday.