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Watco, KCS agree on lease deal to resurrect Mississippi branch line


Kansas City Southern and The Watco Cos. Inc. recently reached an agreement under which the Class I will lease its dormant branch line between Newton and Bay Springs, Miss., to the short-line holding company for 10 years. The deal includes an option to renew the lease an additional 10 years.

KCS and Watco officials plan to rehabilitate the line and restore service, and develop a 10-year capital plan for the segment. Watco — which owns 11 short lines operating in 19 states — will establish the Mississippi Southern Railroad to operate the line three days a week. The railroad will use two locomotives and employ its own forces to maintain track.

“We are looking forward to going to work with the customers in Mississippi to meet their transportation needs and provide a level of service that exceeds their expectations,” said Watco Chief Executive Officer Rick Webb in a prepared statement.

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More News from 4/1/2005