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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Pacific Imperial Railroad tabs Rohal as president; Wisconsin transit commission honors Meighan


Pacific Imperial Railroad Inc. (PIR) has named David Rohal president, effective Dec. 1. He will succeed Donald Stoecklein, who retired to focus on his family and other ventures.

Rohal has 30 years of railroading experience and most recently was president of Rohal & Associates. He has held management and leadership roles with a Class I and several short lines and holding companies, including vice president of Patriot Rail Corp.; senior VP of strategic relations and chief operating officer for RailAmerica Inc.; president of Florida East Coast Railway; VP of Genesee & Wyoming Inc.; and general manager for CSX Transportation.

In December 2012, PIR signed a 99-year lease with the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Co. and San Diego Metropolitan Transit System to provide freight-rail service on the 70-mile Desert Line, which serves the Tijuana-Tecate region of Baja California, Mexico and eastern San Diego County. The railroad is working with JL Patterson to complete necessary engineering and construction plans for line upgrades. PIR's 130-mile system will link with BNSF Railway Co. and San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad lines in southwestern San Diego County, and a Union Pacific Railroad line near El Centro, Calif.

"PIR has a significant opportunity to service the maquiladoras, a dense cluster of manufacturing facilities in northwest Mexico," said Rohal in a press release. "My goal is to lead PIR to achieve its goal to provide the fastest, most cost efficient and safest opportunity for these companies to move freight by rail.”

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission (WRRTC) has recognized Wisconsin & Southern Railroad L.L.C. (WSOR) Superintendent of Maintenance of Way Ben Meighan for helping to preserve rail service in southern Wisconsin.

The commission was formed in 1982 to help save several secondary lines operated by the former Milwaukee Road in southern Wisconsin. WRRTC includes representatives from Crawford, Dane, Grant, Iowa, Rock, Sauk, Walworth and Waukesha counties.

Meighan received a formal resolution citing his contributions to helping WRRTC achieve its objective of preserving publicly owned rail corridors in both southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The commission works with WSOR and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to ensure communities have reliable access to freight-rail service.

Meighan, who joined WSOR in 1980, plans to retire in February 2014.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/25/2013