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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals
G&W subsidiaries lease two U.S. short lines
Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) subsidiaries Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway Corp. (TPW) and Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis (CERA) have signed long-term agreements to lease and operate the Winamac Southern Railway (WSRY) and Kokomo Railroad (KR).
Together, the WSRY and KR own 57 miles of track in Indiana. The Surface Transportation Board approved the authority of TPW and CERA to lease and operate the short lines as of Feb. 27, according to a G&W press release.
TPW and CERA are expected to handle about 5,000 carloads annually. Commodities to be transported consist primarily of agricultural products, chemicals, plastics and metals. About 3,000 of those carloads are interchanged with CERA, according to G&W.
WSRY and KR share common ownership with Kokomo Grain Co., which is a large customer of WSRY and the only customer of KR, they said.
"TPW and CERA have been operating WSRY and KR under a short-term agreement for the past three months and providing excellent rail service,” said Scot Ortman, president of Kokomo Grain. "Considering that prior to G&W's ownership of CERA, Kokomo Grain evaluated building its own track to bypass CERA, the turnaround in our relationship is a testament to G&W's customer focus and commitment to mutually beneficial partnerships."
Since acquiring CERA and TPW in 2012, G&W has "worked hard to repair their relationship with Kokomo Grain, and these long-term leases of WSRY and KR are a direct result of those efforts,” said G&W Senior Vice President Martin Pohlod.
"We're planning immediate upgrades to the WSRY and KR lines to support the business and further enhance our customers' routing options, interchange locations and geographic reach through G&W's footprint of contiguous railroads," Pohlod added.
Together with G&W's Illinois & Midland Railroad Inc. and Tazewell & Peoria Railroad, Inc., the new leases create a contiguous 400-mile, four-railroad footprint spanning from eastern Indiana to western Illinois with connections to six Class Is.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.