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8/4/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Truck diversion: CSXT, Florida Central team up to serve Sunshine State auto auctioneer




On Aug. 6, CSX Transportation and Florida Central Railroad Co. Inc. (FCEN) plan to begin a joint rail service for Florida Auto Auction, which annually transports more than 300,000 automobiles and other vehicles by truck to and from its Winter Garden, Fla., resale facility.


The 150-mile short line will move vehicles from the auto auction to CSXT's Taft Yard in Orlando, from which the Class I will either deliver vehicles in the East or interchange with other railroads for western deliveries.


Owned and operated by holding company Pinsly Railroad Co. — which acquired the short line from CSXT in 1986 — FCEN worked with local and state officials to obtain funding after the automotive auctioneer approached several railroads seeking rail transportation for its fleet.


"Florida Auto Auction's operations are based near our lines, so it was a logical extension to have it use our rail line," said FCEN Vice President and General Manager Ben Biscan in a prepared statement.


Florida Department of Transportation provided a $1.2 million grant, helping fund construction of a $3 million, one-mile spur from the short line's mainline to the resale facility.


"This was a real team effort involving the state, local communities, businesses and the railroads," said Andy Strok, CSXT vice president-Automotive Service Group. "The rail service should benefit the local community by decreasing truck traffic to and from the site, and should enable Florida Auto Auction's operations to become more efficient and productive."



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