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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Watco seeks STB approval to launch fourth short line in Idaho


Watco Transportation Services Inc. recently reached an agreement with Rio Grande Pacific Corp. to obtain 36 miles of track from its Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad (INPR) subsidiary. Watco plans to file a notice with the Surface Transportation Board seeking approval to operate the lines as the Boise Valley Railroad (BVRR) beginning in mid-October.
BVRR would operate two branches: an 11-mile “Wilder Branch” between Wilder and Caldwell, and 25-mile “Boise Cut Off” between Nampa and a point southeast of Boise. The agreement includes trackage rights to a line between Nampa and Caldwell.

BVRR has entered into a lease-purchase agreement with INPR, which currently leases the track segments from the Union Pacific Railroad. BVRR would become Watco Cos. Inc.’s fourth short line in Idaho and serve 84 shippers, several of which are current customers of the holding company’s Eastern Idaho Railroad, Great Northwest Railroad and Yellowstone Valley Railroad.

Watco currently operates 21 short lines and 21 industrial contract switching locations. The holding company’s mechanical services division operates 14 rail-car repair shops, four locomotive shops and 19 mobile mechanical shops.

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More News from 9/17/2009