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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Watco seeks longer KCSR lease for Alabama Southern, launches short line in Louisiana


Alabama Southern Railroad LLC has filed a verified notice of exemption with the Surface Transportation Board to continue leasing 85.6 miles of track in Alabama and Mississippi from the Kansas City Southern Railway Co. (KCSR).

The short line recently entered into an amended and restated lease agreement with KCSR that extends the lease's term until Nov. 30, 2024, and incorporates other minor adjustments. Alabama Southern would continue to lease lines between Columbus, Miss., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., in the Tuscaloosa Subdivision; Tuscaloosa and Fox, Ala., on the Warrior Branch; and Brookwood Junction, Ala., and Brookwood, Ala., on the Brookwood Branch.

The new lease agreement contains an interchange commitment that affects the short line's interchanges with other Class Is. Alabama Southern interchanges with KCSR in Columbus, CSX Transportation in Brookwood and Norfolk Southern Railway in Tuscaloosa.

Watco Cos. LLC formed the Alabama Southern in November 2005 after leasing the lines from KCSR.

Meanwhile, Watco launched its 32nd short line on New Year's Day. The holding company began operating the Bogalusa Bayou Railroad LLC in Bogalusa, La.

The short line will serve an International Paper Co. plant in Bogalusa and interchange loaded rail cars with CN. The railroad acquired overhead trackage rights for a one-mile line owned by CN/Illinois Central Railroad between Leescreek and Bogalusa.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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