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9/4/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF leases track to Texas short line to foster feeder traffic


Burlington Northern Santa Fe Sept. 3 announced it leased about 100 track miles between Kirbyville and Tenaha, Texas, to Timber Rock Railroad Co. Inc. (TIBR), which assumed operations over the line after midnight (CDT) Sept. 3.


Under terms of the 10-year deal, TIBR will lease all connecting sidings, spurs, sidetracks, and yard, industrial, team and switching tracks. The 45-mile short line also will interchange traffic with BNSF at Kirbyville, and receive rights to about 2.5 track miles to interchange traffic with BNSF at Tenaha.


"Short-line operators can provide valuable and efficient service that can support our growth plans by feeding us traffic through service offerings closely tailored to their shippers' needs," said Pete Rickershauser, BNSF vice president, network development, in a prepared statement.


BNSF in 1998 sold its Kirbyville-to-DeRidder, La., line to Watco Cos. Inc., which owns and operates TIBR.


"By working together, I know that the partnership between BNSF and Watco will bring added value to our customers in east Texas," said Rick Webb, president and chief executive officer of Watco, which owns eight short lines operating in nine states.


TIBR annually moves 15,000 carloads — mostly comprising lumber and coal, but also minerals and agricultural products.


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