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Pennsylvania rail authority approves North Shore Railroad sale to management team


On Wednesday, the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA) approved Richard Robey’s plan to sell North Shore Railroad Co. to 12 members of the company’s management team.

North Shore Railroad Co. operates the Lycoming Valley, Nittany & Bald Eagle, North Shore, Juniata Valley and Shamokin Valley railroads under a long-term contract with the JRA. The company also operates the Union County Industrial Railroad, which is owned by a group of private investors. JRA and the private investors own the track and right of way.

The management team that purchased the company has up to 30 years of rail industry experience, and has “substantial and proven knowledge and capabilities” to conduct freight-rail operations, said Robey in a prepared statement. Team members are the same group of managers who have run North Shore Railroad for the past 28 years, added JRA Executive Director Jeff Stover.

“The team is broad-based, representing every department within the company and every aspect of the railroad business,” JRA officials said. “It is headed by Gary Shields, president of the newly formed holding company, which operates each of the five short lines as a separate company.”

The sale is the culmination of a nearly three-year process, one that continues the privatization of the rail lines’ operation, which remain under public control of the rail authority, said JRA Chairman Jerry Walls.

Robey was selected as the rail lines’ operator in 1984. He retired from day-to-day activities as operator more than two years ago, but remained involved in negotiations to sell North Shore Railroad.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/15/2012