Posts Tagged ‘OmniTRAX’

OmniTRAX Donates to Local Non-Profits

January 30, 2023

Short line operator OmniTRAX said it is donating $430,000 to support local nonprofits spanning its system as part of its 2022 Good Neighbor community outreach program.

Recipients of the grants will include food banks, fire departments, women’s advocacy services, youth and family services, and the United Way.

In a news release, OmniTRAX said that each year its network of railroads collaborate with local officials in the communities they serve to identify local non-profits with the greatest need, the company said.

These include the Ohio properties of Cleveland Port Railway; Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railway; Northern Ohio & Western Railway; and Newburgh & South Shore Railroad.

OmniTRAX is affiliated with The Broe Group.

Short Line Holding Companies Describe Capital Spending Plans for 2023

January 21, 2023

Executives of three short line holding companies that do business in Ohio and its surrounding states outlined their respective capital spending plans for this year during a conference of the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association.

The executives noted in their remarks that fueling their plans has been the availability of new federal grants for infrastructure projects.

Kristine Storm, Genesee & Wyoming’s vice president, procurement, said plans include replacement of 875,000 ties and 437 miles of rail.

G&W infrastructure spending for 2023 is $473 million, up from $410 million in 2022. The distribution of the engineering and mechanical funds will see 31 percent go to ties, 22 percent to rail, 12 percent to mechanical, 10 percent to surfacing, 8 percent to bridges, and the remainder to six other categories.

Other work to be done this year includes more than, 2,000 miles of track surfacing, $45 million in bridge work, replacement of 90 turnouts, rebuilding more than 300 grade crossings, and more than 100 new grade crossing signals.

G&W plans to install 54,000 feet of new track in six sidings and two yard projects.

Watco expects to increase spending on maintenance capital from $97.2 million in 2022 to $132 million in 2023.

Tom Holmes, Watco’s vice president, purchasing and materials, said that will include $42.1 million for ties and surfacing, and $12.5 million for bridges.

Watco has been awarded $155 million in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grants with five of those grants devoted to rail infrasture projects. The other grant is for a battery locomotive project.

OmniTRAX plans to allot 80 percent of its capital budget to track, crossings, and signals. Bridges will receive half of the remaining funds, with 6 percent for buildings, 3 percent for locomotives and 1 percent for other items.

Cleveland Rail Executive Honored by ASLRRA

May 4, 2022

A Cleveland railroad executive was recently honored at the annual conference of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association held in St. Louis.

Nathaniel Mazo received the organization’s Safety Person of the Year award.

Mazo is general manager for four OmniTRAX properties in Ohio, including the Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railroad, Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad, Northern Ohio & Western Railroad, and the Newburg & South Shore Railroad.

He was recognized for instituting regional safety programs designed to ensure that employees understand the safety goals of the company, including training employees on work rules compliance, defining and implementing new employee training, supporting locomotive engineer certification and training, and expanding operational testing for all employees. 

In nominating Mazo, OmniTRAX CEO Dean Piacente said Mazo developed an operating philosophy of open and constant communications in the workplace including conducting daily safety meetings.

Piacente notd that Mazo established a regional safety committee that focuses on maintaining safe operations and looking for ways to improve on an already safe environment.

As a result, the railroads that Mazo oversees exceeded OmniTRAX’s key metrics in operations, safety, and finance.

Two Pennsylvania railroad were honored at the ALSRRA conference with business development awards.

The Allegheny Valley Railroad created a transload facility in Pittsburgh to serve the local steel industry.

The facility was created in Glenwood Yard with work beginning in the first quarter of 2021. AVR moved 500 carloads into this facility that year.

The Union County Industrial Railroad was recognized for creating new and innovative ways of providing customer service.

The short line serves eight shippers over 18.2 miles of track but grew its carload traffic by 300 percent over a 10-year period.

It reopened the Delta Place transload siding to serve agricultural shippers during the COVID-19 pandemic, rehabilitated an unused siding for Winfield Storage, and worked with two new customers to locate along the UCIR.

N&SS to get Battery-Powered Switcher

March 3, 2022

A short line railroad based in Cleveland has purchased its first all-battery electric locomotive.

The Newburgh & South Shore acquired an AMPS Traction GP9-based battery electric switching locomotive.

It weighs 250,000 pounds and has 1,700 in gross horsepower and an 80,000-pound dispatch said officials with OmniTRAX, the parent company of the N&SS.

The news release said the N&SS is the first Ohio short line to deploy AMPS’ emission-reducing locomotive, which is designed to reduce fuel consumption by half and cut nitrogen oxide emissions and particulate matter by 77 percent.

The locomotive was purchased in part through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund, which awards funding that supports a demonstrated improvement of air quality.

N&SS was one of seven recipients of grants for projects that reduce emissions from aging diesel vehicles and equipment.

OmniTRAX Affiliates Help Local Food Banks

January 13, 2022

The Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railway was one of 14 OmniTRAX short line railroads that provided 1 million meals to local food banks in 2021.

Also participating was the Northern Ohio & Western. The carriers were part of the short line holding company’s Good Neighbor Program that provided food bank donations and local employee volunteers to support community meal pledges.

The Broe Group, which is the parent company of OmniTRAX, matched each food bank commitment.

OmniTRAX Now Serving Indiana Business Park

November 4, 2021

Rail service to an industrial park in Jeffersonville, Indiana, is now being provided by OmniTRAX.

The short line operator began serving the River Ridge Commerce Center, a 6,000-acre industrial and business development park, on Nov. 1.

The facility is located without the Louisville, Kentucky, metropolitan region and hosts companies in the aerospace, automotive, food and beverage, information technology, life sciences and pharmaceutical industries.

In a news release, officials said OmniTRAX will work with state and local officials to attract new park projects that increase the economic development of both rail and non-rail served industries.

OmniTRAX to Serve Indiana Port

September 24, 2021

The River Ridge Development Authority of Jeffersonville, Indiana, will terminate its lease with Mid-America Rail Storage and Leasing on Oct. 31.

The action is a result of the settlement of a lawsuit that Mid-America filed in July regarding the appraisal of rail assets at River Ridge Commerce Center.

The lease was due to expire in 2027 but the settlement will allow an earlier termination. Mid-America is currently leasing the rail assets of the River Ridge facility.

River Ridge is poised to enter into a new partnership with short line operator OmniTRAX.

OmniTRAX will assume operation of the assets at River Ridge next month. It has agreed to further develop the rail infrastructure at the commerce center.

Officials said 4,000 acres of River Ridge are still available for development with the facility able to accommodate projects ranging from 1 acre to 1,400 acres.

OmniTRAX Expands Program to NEO Short Line

May 20, 2021

Short line holding company OmniTRAX is working with Team NEO to expand its Rail-Ready Sites program to the Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railroad.

In a news release, OmniTRAX said the program is designed to connect companies with rail-served properties to help support industrial development.

OmniTRAX and Team NEO are marketing four new sites that include 40 acres of greenfield space and two rail-served facilities totaling 254,000 square feet on the CCRL.

The 35-mile short line offers transload and multimodal services with connections to Norfolk Southern and Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway.

OmniTRAX said the program complements JobsOhio’s SiteOhio authenticated sites and NEO RightSites initiatives, which aim to market shovel-ready and highly competitive sites in the region.

OmniTRAX To Assist Indiana Business Center

April 21, 2021

A short line hold company will join a partnership to help develop a business park in Southern Indiana.

OmniTRAX will work with the River Ridge Development Authority on the rail infrastructure at the agency’s River Ridge Commerce Center.

The center is served by CSX and located in Jeffersonville, Indiana, across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.

In a news release, the agency said the center is close to three interstates highways and the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville.

The center is home to several manufacturing and distribution facilities, including those managed by Amazon, A&R Logistics, GE Appliances, Medline and Bose.

OmniTRAX Promoting Development Along NW Ohio Line

March 13, 2021

Short line holding company OmniTRAX has extended an economic development program to its rail line in Northwest Ohio.

Known as the Rail-Ready Sites program, it seeks to link shippers who want rail service with its various rail lines.

In this instance, OmniTRAX has established a partnership with the Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation to market two two properties along its 25-mile Northern Ohio & Western between Woodville and Tiffin, which offers interchanges with CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Principal commodities that are handled on that line include limestone, lime and pressed board.