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Former RailAmerica CEO Marino forms holding company, acquires first short line


RailAmerica Inc.’s co-founder and former chairman, president and chief executive officer is back in the short-line business. Gary Marino recently formed Patriot Rail Corp. and acquired the holding company’s first short line, the Tennessee Southern Railroad (TSRR).

With a history dating back to 1879, TSRR operates a 118-mile line in mid-Tennessee and northwestern Alabama, and interchanges with CSX Transportation. The short line moves wood products, fertilizer, steel, slag, soapstone and liquid propane gas.

“The railroad recently attracted three new major shippers to its rail line, including two Fortune 1000 companies, and we are engaged in negotiations with a number of other prospective customers,” said Marino, who serves as Patriot Rail’s chairman, president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “The TSRR's location on the Tennessee River at the Port of Florence, Ala., is a key competitive advantage in growing new business.”

Patriot Rail also recently entered into an agreement with an international private equity fund to access capital for additional regional and short-line acquisitions.

“We have an ambitious strategic plan to make a number of select rail acquisitions throughout North America over the coming years,” said Marino, who retired from RailAmerica in April 2004 after serving as chairman and top executive since he formed the company with his brother John in 1986.

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More News from 11/15/2006