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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Short-line developments touted in California, South Dakota and Texas


Pacific Harbor Line (PHL) in July began serving customers in three industrial areas near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., that are linked to a 10-mile industrial spur owned by Union Pacific Railroad.

Owned by by Anacostia Rail Holdings, PHL now provides service to seven customers six days a week. Located along the Patata, Reyes and Carson industrial leads, the shippers include Cargill Milling Inc., PCCR USA, Contractor’s Cargo, International Paper, Epsilon Plastics, Grow More Inc. and Konoike-Pacific California Inc.

"Union Pacific asked us to switch the line on their behalf," said PHL President Otis Cliatt II in a press release. "The intent was to extend PHL's switching franchise to these new customers, bringing them the same efficiency and customer focus that we’ve provided to other shippers in the L.A.-Long Beach terminal area."

PHL provides rail transportation, maintenance and dispatching services at the ports, and interchanges with UP and BNSF Railway Co. The short line's customized customer service and local management presence should yield a significant volume increase on the spur over time, said PHL Marketing Director Don Norton.

Meanwhile, R. J. Corman Railroad Co./Texas Lines L.L.C. yesterday announced the purchase of the Texas South-Eastern Railroad Co.'s (TSE) assets.

A Georgia-Pacific L.L.C. subsidiary, TSE serves several industrial customers, including Atlas Roofing, Agridyne, Momentive Chemicals, Georgia-Pacific and Laminate Technologies. The short line operates 12 miles of yard track in Diboll, Texas.

"We are very pleased to complete the acquisition of [the] TSE," said R. J. Corman Railroad Group President and Chief Executive Officer Craig King in a press release. "This acquisition will complement our existing Texas assets and is consistent with our company strategy to responsibly grow our rail and rail-related assets and services."

In short-line labor news, a majority of Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad Inc. (RCP&E) workers on Aug. 27 voted in favor of joining the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Transportation Division.

Launched on June 1 after its owner Genesee & Wyoming Inc. acquired the former Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) west end line from Canadian Pacific earlier this year, RCP&E operates 670 miles of track predominantly in South Dakota, with segments in Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming.

The DM&E's workers previously were represented by the United Transportation Union, which through a merger helped form the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/3/2014