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Rail News: M&A

Genesee & Wyoming notes subsidiary's high federal security program status, lands lease to Ohio-owned line

On Friday, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) announced its St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (SL&A) obtained Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Level II validation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection unit — the C-TPAT program's highest accreditation.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection launched the C-TPAT program after Sept. 11, 2001, to foster a more secure supply chain for goods imported into the United States. After meeting a series of process, technology, infrastructure and security requirements over a two-year period, the SL&A became the first New England short line to achieve initial C-TPAT certification in March 2007. The railroad began to provide the region's only seamless, C-TPAT-approved double-stack service via Canadian National Railway Co. into Auburn, Maine, GWI said.

Now, after meeting continuous-improvement requirements for its processes and overall service design, SL&A has attained C-TPAT Level II validation.

"This validation aligns us with the major Class I carriers and is the result of much hard work and investment in procedures, technology, security and staff," said SL&A President Mario Brault in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Rail Development Commission last week approved the formal transfer of the state-owned Panhandle Line's operating lease to GWI. The five-year operating lease for the 161-mile line between Columbus and Mingo Junction previously was held by the Ohio Central Railroad System. Last month, GWI signed an agreement to acquire the Ohio Central Railroad System — which owns and operates nine short lines — for $219 million in cash.

GWI owns and operates 52 regionals and short lines in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, and owns a minority interest in a Bolivian railroad.

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More News from 9/15/2008