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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Santa Maria Valley Railroad teams up with trucking firm, tacks on job duties for two execs


The Santa Maria Valley Railroad Co. (SMVRR) has added a 3PL partner while adding job titles to two executives’ business cards.

The 14-mile short line recently forged an alliance with Cochiolo Trucking Co. to serve as the railroad’s third-party logistics (3PL) partner. The two firms will provide transloading, temporary warehousing, cross docking and trucking services to shippers in California’s Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

“A building contractor in San Luis Obispo needed building material for a major project and transporting the material by rail was significantly less expensive than trucking,” says SMVRR President Rob Himoto in a prepared statement. “The problem is that the contractor did not have access to rail in San Luis Obispo.”

Cochiolo Trucking and SMVRR reduced truck transit from more than 1,000 miles to 30 miles by transporting the material via rail from the manufacturer to the short line’s Santa Maria, Calif., yard, where the freight was transloaded off rail cars and onto trucks for local delivery.

Meanwhile, SMVRR General Manager Dave Jennings recently assumed the additional positions of vice president and chief operating officer, while Office Manager Leah Figaro took on the added role of controller.

Jennings, who rejoined SMVRR in 2000 after serving the short line from 1974 to 1996, previously was a railroad consultant and manager of short line sales-western region for Safetran Systems. Figaro joined SMVRR in 2000 and has 29 years’ experience in accounting and human resources.

Last year, long-time SMVRR owners the Hancock family sold the short line to Coast Belle Rail Corp., which is controlled by the Himoto and Larsen-Neubert families in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

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More News from 8/21/2007