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OmniTRAX Inc. soon will begin operating its 20th short line. A managed affiliate of the short-line holding company has purchased the Heart of Texas Railroad (HTR) from private local investors.Terms weren’t disclosed for the transaction, which is subject to Surface Transportation Board approval. OmniTRAX plans to rename HTR the Central Texas & Colorado River Railway LLC.HTR operates 68 miles of track running west from Lometa, Texas, where the short line interchanges with BNSF Railway Co., to Brady, Texas. Potential new customers include an aggregate quarry, a cement factory and frac sand producers, OmniTRAX officials said in a press release.“The Central Texas & Colorado River Railway is a great opportunity for OmniTRAX with at least three good long-term mineral prospects on the line,” said OmniTRAX Chief Executive Officer Kevin Shuba, who was profiled in Progressive Railroading’s March issue. “As a distressed asset that can be turned around with our expertise, it’s right in our sweet spot.”In addition to owning and operating short lines, OmniTRAX provides terminal and switching, transloading, maintenance and industrial development services.
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