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Rail News: M&A

OmniTRAX to obtain Washington state lines from BNSF, set up new small road as operator


OmniTRAX Inc. continued to be active in the Class I line spin-off market last month. The short-line holding company filed an exemption notice with the Surface Transportation Board to acquire and lease several Washington state lines from Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

The lines to be purchased run between West Kettle Falls and San Poil, and the United States-Canada border; lines to be leased run between Kettle Falls and West Kettle Falls, and Chewelah and the border.

OmniTRAX also would acquire incidental overhead trackage rights for a 4.7-mile line between Kettle Falls and West Kettle Falls to ensure access to a BNSF interchange in Kettle Falls.

OmniTRAX — which owns and operates 10 short lines in the United States and Canada — plans to establish new small road Kettle Falls International Railway L.L.C. to operate the lines.

Last month, the holding company also filed an exemption notice with the STB to lease about 122 track miles in Alabama from CSX Transportation. The lines would be operated by new short line Alabama & Tennessee River Railway L.L.C.