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OmniTRAX Inc. yesterday announced it landed a 30-year agreement to manage and operate the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad (BRG) based in Brownsville, Texas.The pact with the Brownsville Navigation District also calls for OmniTRAX to develop a large-scale industrial park on district-owned land in Cameron County. The district is the parental government body of the Port of Brownsville, which is served by BRG.OmniTRAX expects to retain all BRG personnel and the railroad will continue to be led by President and Chief Operating Officer Norma Torres. BRG operates 45 miles of track throughout the navigation district and five miles in the city of Brownsville, and interchanges with BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad. The short line also has an intermediate connection via UP to Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. "This is a great opportunity for OmniTRAX, the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad and the people of Brownsville to bring in new industries, create new jobs, increase the tax base and boost the local economy," said OmniTRAX Chief Executive Officer Kevin Shuba in a press release. "We look forward to working with Norma Torres and the team at the railroad, the port and all other parties to reach these goals."Due to recent energy reforms in Mexico, the anticipated development of the Burgos Basin just south of Brownsville and the energy expertise of OmniTRAX affiliate The Broe Group, the company expects to take advantage of related opportunities for the BRG and Port of Brownsville, said OmniTRAX Chairman Brad Skinner. OmniTRAX and The Broe Group have operated in Texas for more than 15 years.“The professional rail and industrial development team at OmniTRAX helps us take advantage of our proximity to Mexico and other strategic assets to drive economic growth in the Brownsville region," said Sergio Tito Lopez, who chairs the Board of Canal Commissioners. "Their experience and the best practices they use position us for mutual success."The port currently has about 40,000 acres of land available for development. OmniTRAX will work with the navigation district to develop 1,200 acres for an industrial park. The land is well-suited for light and heavy manufacturing, logistics, energy services, technology development and export/import warehousing, OmniTRAX officials said.
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