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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Watco transfers three roads' customer-support, dispatching duties


The Watco Cos. recently consolidated customer support and billing services for 286-mile South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad Inc., 117-mile Stillwater Central Railroad and 45-mile Timber Rock Railroad Co. Inc. in Pittsburg, Kan.

The holding company, which owns and operates eight short lines, concurrently moved the three railroads' dispatching functions from Cherryvale to Wichita, Kan.

The moves were completed without interruptions to customers or train operations, said Alan Elliott, Watco customer support and billing manager, according to the company's monthly newsletter released July 11.

"By consolidating all the customer-related functions to the office in
Pittsburg, we will provide our employees with improved communication, [and] our customers will benefit from that open line of communication and
receive better service," he said, adding that the office will oversee freight and demurrage invoicing, car-hire auditing, fleet management, data input and bill collection.

Meanwhile, transferring train dispatching to Wichita enables General Manager of Administrative Lucky Mitchell to oversee those functions, and ensure rules and regulations compliance, said Elliott.