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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
South Carolina Public Railways becomes Palmetto Railways

South Carolina Public Railways has changed its name to Palmetto Railways. Under the new name, the company will operate and market its three short lines: the Port Utilities Commission of Charleston (PUCC), Port Terminal Railroad (PTR) and East Cooper & Berkeley Railroad (ECBR).

A state-owned company, Palmetto Railways is a division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce. The name change will streamline administrative and marketing functions and clarify vagaries regarding the regulatory status of the railroad, Palmetto Railways officials said in an announcement. The transaction won't affect service levels, existing operations or the competitive balance with Class Is or other short lines, they said.

"Combining these entities under one name more effectively communicates our increased economic role within our state and the region," said Palmetto Railways President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff McWhorter. "Palmetto Railways will continue to provide safe, efficient and cost-effective freight transportation, while facilitating further development efforts in and around South Carolina."

PUCC and PTR provide switching services to South Carolina Ports Authority terminals and interchange with CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway; and ECBR serves BP Chemical and Nucor Steel in southern Berkeley County. Palmetto Railways also would own and operate a proposed $130 million intermodal container transfer facility at a former naval base in North Charleston, S.C., that will be accessed by CSX and NS.

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