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Rail News: M&A

Southwestern Railroad leases, operates BNSF line in Land of Enchantment


Southwestern Railroad Inc.'s (SWRR) track miles just tripled. On Oct. 3, the 138-mile short line began operating a 263-mile line between Loving Junction and Clovis, N.M. — known as the Carlsbad Subdivision — which SWRR is leasing from Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The short line will interchange with the Class I in Clovis.

Formed in 1990 after purchasing lines from Santa Fe Railway, SWRR also operates the 53-mile Whitewater Branch in Hurley, N.M., and 85-mile Shattuck Branch in the Texas-Oklahoma panhandle.

"We believe the Southwestern Railroad has the operating flexibility and local business development focus to serve and benefit the customer base in southeastern New Mexico," said Pete Rickershauser, BNSF vice president of network development, in a prepared statement.

SWRR is owned by The Western Group L.C., which also owns independently operated short lines Arizona Central Railroad Inc., Cimarron Valley Railroad L.C. and Wyoming Colorado Railroad Inc.; excursion road Verde Canyon Railroad; and railway construction and maintenance firm Western Railroad Builders Inc.

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More News from 10/5/2004