Watco Seeks STB OK to Lease NS Routes

Watco’s Kanawha River Railroad has submitted to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, a Notice of Exemption as part of its plans to lease Norfolk Southern’s West Virginia Secondary and a portion of its Princeton-Deepwater District.

WatcoWatco wants STB approval to lease and operate nearly 300 miles of NS trackage of which 100 miles has been dormant since early this year. Most of the West Virginia Secondary within Ohio is currently out of service.

The filing said NS sought bidders willing to lease the West Virginia Secondary because carloads on the line have dropped more than 50 percent since 2011.

The Kanawha River Railroad is currently seeking to hire for 29 positions, including 25 in train service, mechanical and track maintenance.

If approved by the STB, the Kanawha River said it would begin operations in late July.

The railroad is expected to operate six days a week using six EMD six-axle SD-type locomotives and three four-axle EMD GP-type locomotives.

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