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4/14/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

RailAmerica's Washington state, Nova Scotia roads land contracts that create, preserve rail service


On April 11, RailAmerica Inc. announced new transportation contracts for two of its short lines totaling more than $26 million.


Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad Co. (PSAP) reached transportation agreements with the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, Wash., and Ag Processing Inc. to move grain products from the Midwest to the port. With terms up to 30 years, the contracts are valued at more than $25 million.


In conjunction with Ag Processing, the port is developing an export elevator and deepwater, 600-foot long berth dedicated to the move. The 149-mile short line and port also expect the enhanced facilities to attract new customers.


Meanwhile, Cape Breton & Nova Scotia Railway Ltd. (CBNS) signed a transportation agreement with American Metals & Coal Inc. (AMCI) to move 4,000 carloads of coal from Sydney, Nova Scotia to the Nova Scotia Power's Trenton plant. RailAmerica expects the one-year contract to generate about $1 million in revenue next year.


The 245-mile short line also agreed to continue operating a portion of its line that previously was set for abandonment, guaranteeing rail service (at least until the end of 2004) for 18 CBNS customers.


In return, Canadian National Railway Co., VIA Rail Canada, Nova Scotia Power, AMCI, the province of Nova Scotia and Canadian federal government agreed to fund CBNS nearly $1 million for capital improvements during the next two years.


"These projects are two fine examples of public-private partnerships," said Gary Marino, RailAmerica chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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