RBMN Promotes two in Communications & Signals Department

July 25, 2019 - Reading & Northern announces the promotions of Jonathan Barket to Vice President Communications and Signals and Matthew Collins to Assistant Vice President of Communications and Signals.

Jonathan Barket started working for the Reading and Northern Railroad sixteen years ago in 2003, working as a signal assistant within the Communications and Signal department.  In 2007, Barket was named manager of Communications and Signals.  In 2010, he received the title of Assistant Vice President of Communications and Signals. During his career, the C&S Department expanded from just three employees to nine, and adding over one hundred additional locations.  While working with team members and RBMN, he continues to help design, engineer, and help install an aggressive plan to re-signal over one hundred miles adding to the safety and efficiency to RBMN.  Additionally, he continues to update safety and technology at both crossings and signal locations throughout the RBMN system.  Barket also oversees the communication system from the dispatching center, to radio bases, to handheld radios keeping the RBMN system running safely and efficiently.

Jonathan was born and raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Lebanon High School.  Jonathan is married to Angela Barket and has one daughter, Lucy, and one stepson, Cole.  Jonathan’s interests include camping, hiking, and model railroading.

Jonathan reports to Executive Vice President of Operations Tyler Glass.

Matthew Collins hired on to Reading & Northern (RBMN) in 2008, as a Signal Maintainer on the Lehigh Divison. In 2015 Matthew was named Signal Communications Manager in recognition of his dedication and redesigning work of the signal and radio communications networks.  Then in 2018, he was appointed Director of Communications and Signals in recognition of his hard work and dedication to improving and building out the signal and communications systems across the railroad.  In his tenure, he has overseen the construction of 10 interlockings and 23 signal and crossing locations.

Before coming to Reading & Northern Matthew served three and a half years in the US Army and reached the rank of Sergeant.  After his enlistment, he attained a degree in Computer Information Systems at Luzerne County Community College.  Matt is married to Noreen Collins and has one son, Ryan Collins.  Outside of work, he spends as much time as possible with his family and actively supports his son with his Civil Air Patrol commitment.

Matthew report to Jonathan Barket

In announcing their recent promotions, President Wayne Michel  said, “Both individuals have shown tremendous growth since joining our organization. They continue to innovate and blend the newest technology into our systems in order to provide a safer and more efficient system for our operations as well as the public. The list of projects is never ending and they have a fine team to lead as we move forward in this growing company.”

Reading & Northern Railroad, with its corporate headquarters in Port Clinton, is a privately held railroad company serving over 70 customers in nine eastern Pennsylvania counties (Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Wyoming). It has expanded its operations over the last 30+ years and now handles well over 30,000 carloads of freight and 120,000 excursion train riders over 340 miles of track. Reading and Northern operates both freight services and steam and diesel-powered excursion passenger services, owns almost 1,300 freight cars, and employs over 200 dedicated employees. Reading & Northern has repeatedly been honored as one of the premier railroads in the nation

Matthew Collins - Left  Jonathan Barket - Right

Matthew Collins - Left

Jonathan Barket - Right

RBMN Making a Difference in the Local Animal Community

Kyle Barrell, HR Director

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir.”

The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”

The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”

            We’ve all heard this story and it rings true each and every time the Reading and Northern Railroad is so generous to sponsor the “Free Adoption Weekends” at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.  According to aspca.org, an estimated 6.5 million animals enter shelters in the U.S. each year.  The number of deserving animals the railroad has sponsored (135 total animals between November and February events) may seem small in proportion to the overall number of animals in shelters, but it has meant the world to the animals we have connected with their new families.

            During the most recent adoption weekend on February 15th – 17th, the total number of animals joining a new family was 53- 33 cats, 8 kittens and 12 dogs.  This was a lower number of adoptions then our event in November due to time of year, weather and many animals being fostered and adopted out over the holidays.  Typically, the ARL will see an influx of animals in the beginning of Spring due to many baby animals being born and families maybe realizing that the animal they fostered or adopted, is too much work and responsibility or isn’t necessarily for them.

            With that being said, each and every animal that is fostered or adopted, positively impacts the ARL, the family, and most importantly, the animal.  A lot goes into choosing the right animal and the railroad’s generosity allows families to take that final step in opening their doors to a new, four-legged family member.

            Again, this time, we had some RBMN employees spending some time assisting families and staff at the ARL.  Sabine Fidler, Human Resources Assistant, and her niece, Gabi, and nephew, Alex, volunteered on Saturday, and it was very evident, very quickly that the families coming to the ARL, were on a mission.  “The anticipation on the visitors’ faces was palpable as it was apparent, they were hoping to find a new family member,” quipped Sabine.    

Tom Hubric, Executive Director, and his staff are kind-hearted, passionate individuals who take the time to match families and the perfect pet through understanding the families’ needs, wants and experience with caring for an animal.  The entire experience of being part of an adoption weekend at the Animal Rescue League is a rewarding experience and truly does make a world of difference to each animal that is taken into their new home.

Sabine Fidler (orange shirt), HR Assistant, and her niece, Gabi, and nephew, Alex, having some fun during our ARL event.

Sabine Fidler (orange shirt), HR Assistant, and her niece, Gabi, and nephew, Alex, having some fun during our ARL event.

Tammy Debkowski, Finance Assistant, and Tyler Glass, Executive VP of Operations, ready to assist families and the ARL staff.

Tammy Debkowski, Finance Assistant, and Tyler Glass, Executive VP of Operations, ready to assist families and the ARL staff.