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Rail News: M&A

Watco starts up Mississippi short line

On Jan. 8, The Watco Cos. began operating the Vicksburg Southern Railroad Inc. (VSOR), the holding company’s 17th short line.

VSOR operates 21 track miles between Redwood and Cedars, Miss., that Watco leased from the Kansas City Southern Railway Co. (KCSR) in November.

Watco salesmen met with shippers along the line prior to the start up to understand their transportation requirements.

“We believe communication is the most important way to learn our customers’ needs, and we want to ensure we start off on the right foot and continue in the right direction,” said Amy Parady, Watco assistant vice president of marketing-Gulf Region, in the company’s January newsletter.

Last year, Watco launched the Mississippi Southern Railroad — the company’s first short line in the state — after leasing track from KCSR. Watco also leased five branch lines from the Class I in Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama, and launched the Louisiana Southern, Arkansas Southern and Alabama Southern railroads to operate the lines.

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More News from 1/19/2006