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12/26/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RailAmerica sells Minnesota short line


RailAmerica Inc. continues to tweak its short-line portfolio.

The short-line and regional-railroad holding company Dec. 26 announced it had entered into an agreement to sell its 44-mile Dakota Rail Railroad to Hennepin County (Minn.) Regional Rail Authority for $7.6 million.

More than a year ago, RailAmerica suspended regular freight service on the line, which runs between Wayzata and Hutchinson, Minn., due to insufficient shipper demand. But Hennepin County officials believe the line has potential, said RailAmerica President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Marino in a prepared statement.

The sale follows a recent RailAmerica buying binge, which included acquisitions of ParkSierra Rail Group’s three short lines and StatesRail’s eight. RailAmerica also has been active outside the United States. Last week, Empressa de Transporte Ferroviario S.A. (Ferronor) — majority owned and operated by RailAmerica — reached a 15-year agreement with Chilean copper producer Codelco, under which Ferronor will operate Codelco's 57-mile Potrerillos Railway.


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