Watco to Acquire W.Va. Secondary From NS

Watco will acquire more than 300 miles of the West Virginia Secondary from Norfolk Southern and expects to begin operating it by late July.

The short line operator said it will hire 29 employees, including 25 positions in train service, mechanical, and track.

The track in question extends from milepost RR 7.0 in Refugee, Ohio, to milepost RR 116.5 at Hobson Yard near Middleport, Ohio, and from milepost WV 125.6 at Conco, Ohio, to milepost WV 253.4 in Cornelia, West Virginia.

The transaction does not include a 9-mile segment owned by CSX in southeast Ohio.

WatcoAs part of the acquisition, Watco will acquire a portion of the Princeton-Deepwater District on the former Virginian Railway between milepost V435 in Alloy, West Virginia, and milepost V382 in Maban, West Virginia.

The newly acquired properties will operate as the Kanawha River Railroad. Watco will have the use of supporting facilities owned by NS.

Watco plans to focus initially on re-opening the West Virginia Secondary to Columbus.

Until NS idled the route in February, it had handled chemical traffic and served some local industries.

Watco will assign nine of its own locomotives to the West Virginia Secondary.

The operating plan calls for a scheduled Monday, Wednesday, and Friday manifest freight to operate between Columbus and Dickinson Yard, south of Charleston, West Virginia. That train will operate northward the following day.

Two local jobs will operate out of Dickinson Yard on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to serve nearby industries.
Under an agreement with NS, Watco will forward coal from mines near Charleston over the former Virginian to NS, which will then take the trains to customers in Virginia and the Carolinas.

These trains will have Watco crews and NS run-through equipment.

Watco is eyeing returning coal traffic to the north end of the West Virginia Secondary via Columbus, but expects that 70 percent of the outbound coal that it handles will move via the former Virginia route.

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