Freight trains rolling faster through Berks, Lehigh counties

Norfolk Southern boosted speed along Reading Line

NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk Southern trains are now rolling faster through parts of Berks and Lehigh counties.

The company on Wednesday increased the speed of its trains along nearly 30 miles of its Reading Line between Muhlenberg Township and Allentown.

The stretch includes 36 public highway-rail grade crossings, most of which now see speeds of 60 miles per hour instead of 50 miles per hour. Speeds at three of the crossings went from 45 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour.

The goal of the increase, officials said, is to enhance the efficiency of rail operations in Pennsylvania while improving the flow of vehicular traffic at the crossings.

Norfolk Southern said it adjusted the warning devices at the crossings to properly activate when the faster trains approach. Those changes, officials said, involved installing new digital track circuitry to activate the signals.

The following crossings changed from 50 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour:

  • Muhlenberg Township: Tuckerton Road
  • Blandon: Main Street, Wesner Road, Guldin Road, and Hill Road
  • Richmond Township: Keller Road
  • Fleetwood: Walnuttown Road, Richmond Street, Franklin Street, and Willow Street
  • Lyons: Deka Road, Kemp Street, Main Street, Bowers Road, and Kohler Road
  • Topton: Home Avenue, Main Street, Haas Street, Park Avenue, and Chestnut Street
  • Shamrock Station: Kennedy Avenue
  • Alburtis: Schlossburg Street, Smith Lane, Penn Avenue, Main Street, and Church Street
  • Macungie: Schoeneck Road, Gehman Road, and Main Street
  • Emmaus: Seventh Street, Sixth Street, Third Street, and Second Street

The following crossings changed from 45 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour:

  • Emmaus: Kline's Lane and Harrison Street
  • Allentown: 12th and Vultee streets

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