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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Railmark Holdings sells Michigan short line


Railmark Holdings Inc. recently sold Michigan Air-Line Railway Co. to Browner Turnout Co. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The railroad — which serves West Bloomfield, Commerce Township, Walled Lake and Wixom, Mich., and operates the Star Clipper Dinner Train® — now has its fifth owner in 123 years. Railmark purchased the former Coe Rail Inc. in 2006 and later renamed the nine-mile short line the Michigan Air-Line Railway. The sale won’t affect the dinner train’s remaining 2009 schedule.

The transaction will enable Railmark to eliminate long-term debt, redeem a majority of its preferred stock and obtain working capital for upcoming acquisitions, company officials said in a prepared statement. In addition, Railmark will be able to focus on its domestic track construction and maintenance business, international railroad projects and the launch of its ECORail Products Inc. line of “environmentally friendly” products for the rail and utility industries, according to the company.

Railmark expects to relocate its corporate headquarters from Michigan in first-quarter 2010. However, the company’s Rail Entertainment USA Inc., Railmark Track Works Inc. and Rail Freight Solutions Inc. subsidiaries will retain operating locations and employees in the state.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/13/2009