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11/5/2003



Rail News: M&A

Parkinson-led investment firm purchases RailAmerica short line


Nearly two years after RailAmerica Inc. acquired the short-line holding company he founded, Dave Parkinson is back in the short-line business — ironically by obtaining one of RailAmerica's small roads.

Parkinson's railroad investment company The Arizona Railroad Group (AZRRG) recently purchased the San Pedro & Southwestern Railway Co. Inc. (SPSR) from RailAmerica. Terms weren't disclosed.

"We believe the San Pedro & Southwestern has some significant upside potential and intend to grow the business … primarily [by] focusing on rail and industrial development opportunities in southeastern Arizona," said Parkinson in a prepared statement.

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., SPSR operates about 68 track miles between Union Pacific Railroad's mainline at Benson to Douglas, Ariz.

The short line primarily serves agricultural-chemical and copper-related product shippers, using cars supplied by UP and connecting railroads. SPSR's mainline includes 112- to 132-pound rail, which can accommodate 286,000-pound cars.

AZRRG has no plans to change the short line's train or office personnel, said Parkinson, who formerly served as president and chairman of ParkSierra Rail Group, which owned and operated current RailAmerica holdings Arizona & California, California Northern, and Puget Sound & Pacific railroads.


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