Posts Tagged ‘Short line railroads’

G&W Says Shippers Invested $1.5B in 2021

March 24, 2022

Genesee & Wyoming said this week in a news release that its shippers had invested $1.5 billion in industrial development along its 103 U.S. railroads last year.

Those investments involved 69 projects that G&W said will generate more than 1,000 new jobs.

One of those projects is located in Delta, Ohio, which will receive from the Indiana & Ohio Railway inbound coils to make pipe.

G&W said it is the fourth steel customer to expand business along the I&O since 2015.

Another project includes a wind-turbine trans-loading site in Remington, Indiana, served by Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway.

G&W said it maintains a database of more than 600 potential industrial development properties across its U.S. railroads.

Pioneer Reports Injury Free Year

March 4, 2022

Short line operator Pioneer Line said this week it has achieved one year of operation without injuries at any of its 15 short lines.

In a news release, the company said its injury frequency rate is below the industry average of 2.18 per 200,000 employee on-duty hours.

In 2018 Pioneer companies had an injury rate of 15.96 in 2018. Railroad officials said changes in safety policies were made under new management that came onboard in 2019.

Pioneer Lines owns the Decatur Junction Railroad Elkhart & Western Railroad, Garden City Western Railway, Fort Smith Railroad, Georgia Southern Railroad, Gettysburg & Northern Railroad, Indiana Southwestern Railway, Kendallville Terminal Railway, Keokuk Junction Railway, Michigan Southern Railroad, Mississippi Central Railroad, Napoleon, Defiance and Western Railroad, Pioneer Industrial Railway Co., Ripley & New Albany Railroad, and Vandalia Railroad.

Watco to Take Over CN lines Jan. 29

January 26, 2022

Watco Company said it plans to assume control of several Canadian National branches in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario on Jan. 29.

Many of the branches were formerly operated by the Wisconsin Central, which CN acquired on Jan. 30, 2001.

All of the 142 miles of tackage in Michigan is located in the state’s upper peninsula and will be operated by Grand Elk Railroad, which already operates lines in the lower peninsula.

Grand Elk will base its operations in Newberry, Michigan, and use two GP38 locomotives. It will employ five workers.

In Wisconsin, the Fox Valley & Lake Superior will operate 329 miles of track, employ 27 and use eight locomotives, six SD40-2s and two GP40-3s.

In Ontario, Watco will operate on former Algoma Central track between Sault Ste. Marie and Oba.

Passengers excursion trains through the Agawa Canyon will be reinstated, the short line holding company said.

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.

P&L Names New CEO

December 29, 2021

P&L Transportation, which operates regional and short line railroads in Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, has named a new CEO.

Tom Garrett will replace the retiring Tony Reck on Jan. 1, 2022. Reck will continue to serve as chairman of the company and its subsidiaries.

Garrett is currently P&L’s president, a role he will continue to serve, the company said in a news release.

Reck joined P&L in 1986 as vice president of marketing and sales. He became its president and CEO in 1988.

Garrett has been with P&L since 1987 and held a number of management positions. He was named president in 2010.

P&L’s subsidiary railroads are the Paducah & Louisville; Evansville Western Railway; Appalachian & Ohio Railroad; and Midway Southern.

Crew Shortages Affect Short Lines, Too

November 24, 2021

Crew shortages spurred by employees leaving for other jobs and a dearth of applicants for the openings they leave behind have spread to short line railroads.

As reported by Trains magazine on its website, executives from a number of short line holding companies told an industry conference that in some instances short lines have been able to hire former Class 1 railroad workers despite the lower pay and benefits offered by short lines.

Short lines also offer more predictable working hours with operating personnel often able to return home at night once they complete their shift.

A Genesee & Wyoming executive told the conference the number of workers leaving G&W railroads doubled during the third quarter.

The article can be read at: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/train-crew-shortage-spreads-to-short-lines/

Shorts Urged to Make a Case on Crew Size

November 20, 2021

A key Federal Railroad Administration manager has invited short line and regional railroads to make the case for having crew sizes below the federal minimum.

As reported by Trains magazine, Amit Bose, FRA’s deputy administrator said during a speech to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association that the agency is considering creating a rule for minimum crew size that will allow for exceptions.

“If you make a safety case, you will be able to go below the crew size that is minimum,”  he said.

Noting that some short lines already operate below minimum crew sizes, Bose said, “If you have a safety case, make it. FRA will listen to it.”

Other rules that the FRA is considering, he said, will address locomotive recording devices, fatigue risk-management plans, and alcohol and drug testing for maintenance of way workers.

A Railroad Safety Advisory Committee may be revived

Indiana Short Line Starts Transload Facility

July 29, 2021

An Indiana Class III railroads working with a sister company has begun switching services and transloading at a northwest Indiana location.

The two companies are East Chicago Rail Terminal and East Chicago Transload. The terminal is located in East Chicago, Indiana.

The terminal now offers transloading of bulk, liquid and hazardous materials with 100 railcar spots, as well as a warehouse, storage for 200 railcars, railcar cleaning, and railcar repair.

East Chicago Rail Terminal provides 24/7/365 switching service at the facility, and interchanges with Indiana Harbor Felt for access to Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern.

Michigan Short Line Being Sold

June 4, 2021

A Michigan short line railroad is being sold.

Mark W. Dobronski, president of the Adrian & Blissfield Rail Road, recently informed employees that the sale will occur this summer, subject to regulatory approval.

The new operator of the 20-mile short line in Lenawee County will be a startup firm named Transportation Holdings and led by Christopher Bagwell.

The A&B will be this new company’s first acquisition. Dobronski said the jobs of current workers are secure. 

“ADBF will continue to be ADBF,” he told employees. “While there will be some inevitable changes, such as new officers and directors of ADBF, Holdings has made clear to me that they consider the existing ADBF employees to be essential to the continued operations of ADBF — indeed, ADBF’s employees are deemed to be one of its greatest assets.”

Shippers Express Support for Watco Acquisition of CN Lines in Michigan, Wisconsin

April 17, 2021

Even as some shippers are raising concerns others have expressed support for the sale by Canadian National of several lines in Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan.

The lines, many of which were once operated by Wisconsin Central, are being acquired by short line operator Watco.

The transaction involves 650 miles of what CN described as light density routes. Watco hopes to begin operating the routes on June. 30.

A major shipper group, a current shipper, railroad associations in Wisconsin and Michigan, a county economic development agency, and a Wisconsin business group are urging the U.S. Surface Transportation board to approve the deal.

“Access to reliable rail service is critically important to the viability of our agriculture, timber, and manufacturing sectors in the states of Wisconsin and Michigan. Having a company like Watco operating these important branch line segments is a great move towards the future of rail transportation in these regions,” wrote Kurt Bauer, who leads Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s chamber of commerce and largest business association.

Rail consultant William Schauer, a former vice president of marketing at Wisconsin Central, wrote in a letter to the STB that “the Wisconsin Central is gone and will not be coming back.”

He said the former WC main line remains vital to CN as a link between Western Canada and Chicago.