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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Watco's Jacksonville Port Terminal Railroad launches operations


The Jacksonville Port Terminal Railroad (JXPT), a subsidiary of Watco Transportation Services LLC, has reached a definitive agreement with the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) to lease and operate 10 miles of rail line in Jacksonville, Fla.

JXPT marked its startup on Wednesday. It's Watco's 37th short line and its first railroad in Florida. The railroad interchanges with Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX.

Currently, four customers are being served by rail at the port, Watco officials said in a press release yesterday. Commodities being served by rail at the port include automobiles, chemicals, farm and food products, intermodal containers, and pulp and paper.

"We met with some customers after startup to get feedback and they were very pleased with the quality and timeliness of the service we provided," said JXPT General Manager Tim Hurse. "Things went smoothly, without any hiccups, and our team is excited to be serving customers in Jacksonville."

Watco's relationship with the port will help grow rail switching services for Talleyrand Marine Terminal tenants, said JAXPORT Terminal Director Doug Menefee.

One of Jacksonville's largest shipping lines, Crowley Maritime, is an equity partner in Watco. Crowley has signed a long-term lease to use JAXPORT's Talleyrand facility.

"As we prepare to move our Puerto Rico terminal operations to JAXPORT's Talleyrand terminal later this year, we look forward to taking advantage of on-dock rail services being provided by Watco to better serve the needs of our customers," said John Hourihan, Crowley's senior vice president and general manager of Puerto Rico services.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/10/2017