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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tennessee Southern boosts carloads, upgrades infrastructure and power

A little marketing goes a long ways, especially for the Tennessee Southern Railroad (TSRR). Since Patriot Rail Corp. acquired the 118-mile short line six months ago, TSRR’s carloads have increased 53 percent primarily because of marketing successes and joint business development efforts with state and local economic groups to relocate businesses along the railroad’s line.

“There are additional ongoing business development efforts with existing customers and four new customers — Louisiana Pacific, Synagro, WR Grace and Smelter Services — that will further boost business opportunities for the TSRR by the end of 2007,” said Patriot Rail President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Marino in a prepared statement.

To handle increasing traffic, TSRR is upgrading infrastructure, acquiring locomotives and hiring workers (including five recent hires). In June, the railroad will finish installing more than 59,000 ties and upgrading three bridges. The short line also has budgeted $2 million for track improvements in fiscal year 2008, which begins July 1.

In addition, TSRR soon will replace 10 45-year-old locomotives with six refurbished GP-10 locomotives recently purchased from National Railway Equipment Co. The GP-10s will be equipped with N-FORCE, an electronically controlled wheel slip adhesion system. The short line also plans to acquire two GP-9 locomotives.

Operating in middle Tennessee and northwestern Alabama, TSRR interchanges with CSX Transportation in Natco, Tenn., and with inland barge lines at a Florence, Ala., port.

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More News from 4/26/2007