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Patriot Rail, Twin Cities & Western install new VPs


Patriot Rail Corp. has named George Avery Grimes executive vice president and chief strategy officer. He will be responsible for revenue growth through the initiation and evaluation of strategic acquisitions, infrastructure investments and margin expansion opportunities, and will serve as Patriot Rail's liaison with Class I projects.

Most recently deputy chief executive officer at Metrolink and Metra, Grimes has more than 36-years of rail industry experience. He has developed expertise in organizational restructuring; investment analysis; strategic planning; transportation operations; railroad engineering, economics and finance; and business development, Patriot Rail officials said in a prepared statement.

Grimes previously held a number of senior-level positions at several Class Is and was senior vice president of strategic planning for OmniTrax Inc. He earned a doctorate degree in railroad engineering, economics and finance at the University of Illinois, and is a visiting professor at the university's Railroad Transportation and Engineering Center.

"Avery … is broadly recognized as one of the top authorities on rail economics and investment/profit maximization," said Patriot Rail President and CEO John Fenton. "Highly sought after in policy circles, he has testified before the Surface Transportation Board on railroad economic theory [and] serves as chairman of the prestigious Transportation Research Board's Committee on Freight Rail Transportation."

Meanwhile, the Twin Cities & Western Railroad Co. (TC&W) has appointed David Long vice president of marketing and sales, effective Nov. 19. He will be responsible for sales, marketing, customer service and economic development activities.

Long, who has more than 30 years of railroading experience, rejoins TC&W after serving the Indiana Rail Road Co. as assistant VP and VP of marketing and sales since 2003. He previously was TC&W's general manager of marketing and VP-marketing and sales from 1992 to 1998.

Long began his railroad career in 1980 with the Chicago & North Western Railroad, where he held posts in equipment management, quality control, and grain and energy marketing. He later served the Soo Line as manager of coal marketing, and director of energy and raw materials.

The 229-mile TC&W operates between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Milbank, S.D.; the short line's Minnesota Prairie Line subsidiary operates 94 miles of track between Norwood and Hanley Falls, Minn. In July, TC&W acquired the 37-mile Sisseton-Milbank Railroad, which operates between Milbank and Sisseton, S.D.