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R. J. Corman Railroad Company has agreed to acquire the Carolina Southern Railroad for $13.9 million, with plans to rehabilitate and operate the short line.The railroad company announced in a press release yesterday that it was selected as the owner/operator by a two-state rail committee formed to sell the short line, which was shut down in 2011. The line extends from Mullins, S.C., to Whiteville, N.C., and to Conway, S.C., where it connects to a line owned by Horry County, S.C., that reaches Myrtle Beach."Our company has seen significant growth over the past few years, and we are very pleased to announce this significant acquisition,” said R. J. Corman Railroad Group President and Chief Executive Officer Craig King.R. J. Corman will invest millions of dollars to rehabilitate the line, company officials said. Work is expected to begin in about six weeks and be completed in four months. Local news media reported that R. J. Corman and the short line's current owner, Ken Pippin, have agreed to finalize the sale by Aug. 1.Reopening the short line is expected to result in an economic boom for the area, R. J. Corman officials said."We appreciate this opportunity and realize its significance," said Bill Henderson, R. J. Corman's vice president of sales and marketing. "It’s easy to see there is tremendous opportunity for our company in the Carolinas and for the industries and agricultural businesses we will serve."
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