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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

A&M lands division head to assess real-estate opportunities


After creating a new land assets division last month, Arkansas and Missouri Railroad Co. (A&M) Sept. 4 found someone to lead it.
The 139-mile short line named long-time realtor Don McNaughton division head, responsible for analyzing and maximizing A&M's land assets, and modernizing the railroad's real-estate business practices.

A&M owns 2,300 acres of land — not all of which is located along its right-of-way — as well as leases on several sidings and some real estate properties.

"We want to try and clean up leases — we have some leases for pennies that aren't worth keeping," says Larry Bouchet, A&M president and chief executive officer, adding that he expects the land assets division eventually to become a profit center for A&M.
McNaughton, who previously owned and acted as principal broker for a regional real estate company, also will be responsible for exploring fiber-optic and other business opportunities for all of A&M's track and associated rights-of-way, which the short line in February purchased from Burlington Northern Santa Fe; A&M formerly leased the 139 miles of track and land from the Class I.

McNaughton will deal with tax issues, too, and help settle issues with local municipalities and zoning departments: "I do all that now," says Bouchet.

Jeff Stagl