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RAIL EMPLOYMENT



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10/11/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Watco takes wraps off new Arkansas short line


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On Sunday, The Watco Cos. Inc. launched operations at the Arkansas Southern Railroad (ARS). In July, the short-line holding company acquired two Arkansas branch lines totaling 65 track miles from Kansas City Southern as part of a deal to purchase five branch lines.

ARS now operates a northern branch between Heavener, Okla., and Waldron, Ark., and a southern branch between Ashdown and Nashville, Ark. The short line interchanges with KCS in Ashdown and Heavener, and with Union Pacific Railroad in Nashville.

ARS primarily will move agricultural products (including corn and soybeans) and industrial products (such as bauxite and sulfuric acid).

Two weeks ago, Watco launched the Louisiana Southern Railway, which operates two former KCS lines totaling 175 track miles between Shreveport and Sibley, and Gibsland and Pineville Junction, La. Next month, the company plans to start up the Alabama Southern Railway, which will operate KCS’ former Tuscaloosa Branch between Columbus, Miss., and Brookwood, Ala. Watco owns 15 short lines operating in 13 states.


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