DENVER – OmniTRAX announced in June that it will manage the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad, a short line railway based in Brownsville, TX. OmniTRAX will also develop a large-scale industrial park on land owned by the Brownsville Navigation District (BND) of Cameron County, the parent governmental body of the Port of Brownsville. The Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad will continue to be led by President & COO Norma Torres, and OmniTRAX expects to retain all personnel. The strategic partnership between the BND and OmniTRAX covers a 30-year period and will deliver significant economic development for the Rio Grande Valley. “This is a great opportunity for OmniTRAX, the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad and the people of Brownsville to bring in new industries, create new jobs, increase the tax base and boost the local economy,” said Kevin Shuba, OmniTRAX CEO. “We are honored to be selected for…
Category: Short Line Railroads
Watco Companies debuted today WAMX No. 3834, a GP38-3 that’s painted in Pittsburg State University’s colors to recognize the university during its homecoming week. The locomotive rolled into Pittsburg, KS this morning and was parked near downtown for a short ceremony before university and Watco officials, and the school’s mascot, a gorilla. Onlookers and students were allowed on the locomotive, which was painted at Watco’s Coffeyville, KS shops. After the ceremony, No. 3834 was moved to a siding southwest of town where it will remain until Saturday. The locomotive will be brought back into town and parked on Broadway Street for the school’s football game. “Watco has a great relationship with Pittsburg State University and many of our team members are alums of Pitt State,” said Tracie VanBecelaere, Watco communications director. “We thought this would be the perfect way to let everyone see just how proud we are of…
From staff reports Watco Companies, LLC is bucking the recent trend by railroads to honor their predecessor roads by painting locomotives in heritage schemes. In the last few years, Class Is Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern have painted locomotives to recognize roads that they absorbed. Norfolk Southern honored its predecessors for its 30th anniversary in 2012 by painting 20 new locomotives in commemorative schemes. At Watco, which operates 23 short lines, painting its locomotives to honor an educational institution in a town that the company services is becoming a routine public relations move much closer to home. Watco plans to roll out a GP38 painted in Pittsburg State University’s red and gold scheme in time for the Kansas school’s homecoming football game Oct. 20. WAMX No. 3834 will be the fourth locomotive that Watco has painted to recognize either a university or high school. The unit is expected to arrive…
From news releases Genesee & Wyoming Inc. announced earlier this month that it has completed the acquisition of RailAmerica, Inc. and entered into a new five-year Senior Secured Credit Facility comprised of a $1.875 billion term loan and $425 million revolving credit facility. Among railroads that RailAmerica operates is the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern, KYLE Railroad, Texas Northeastern Railroad, Missouri & Northern Arkansas and Kiamichi Railroad. Immediately following the closing of the acquisition, control of RailAmerica was placed into a voting trust with R. Lawrence McCaffrey appointed as trustee. The trust will remain in effect until the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) issues its decision on GWI’s application to control RailAmerica and its railroads, which decision could be as early as the fourth quarter of 2012 or as late as the first quarter of 2013. During the period that RailAmerica is held in trust, GWI will account for its ownership…
From News Releases Two of the rail industry’s larger regional and short line railroads are getting new owners. RailAmerica announced in July that it had entered an agreement to sell to Genesee & Wyoming, and Patriot Rail Corp. was acquired in June by a San Francisco-based investment and asset management services company. GWI is acquiring RailAmerica for an all-cash purchase price of $27.50 per share. GWI’s acquisition of RailAmerica will combine the two largest short line and regional rail operators in North America, strengthening GWI’s ability to serve its industrial customers and Class I railroad partners. GWI expects to fund the transaction and the simultaneous refinancing of its existing debt with approximately $2.0 billion of new debt and approximately $800 million of equity or equity-linked securities. RailAmerica operates 45 railroads in 28 states and three Canadian provinces with approximately 7,500 miles of track. Among its affiliates are the Kiamichi Railroad; Chicago, Fort Wayne…
Oklahoma-based Farmrail and the six other owners sold their interests in Marquette Rail to RailAmerica in May. RailAmerica, which owns and operates 45 short-line and regional freight railroads in North America and Canada, reportedly paid $40 million for MQT. MQT serves West Michigan and operates approximately 126 miles of railroad. The primary rail route extends from connections with CSX and Norfolk Southern/Grand Elk at Grand Rapids northward to Ludington and Manistee. These lines, formerly part of the Pere Marquette Railroad network that covered most of the state’s Lower Peninsula, have been in continuous operation since 1874. Marquette Rail serves about two dozen online customers in six West Michigan counties, transporting chemicals, paperboard, grain, salt, petroleum products and other commodities. Marquette Rail also serves as a storage agent for fleet owners requiring convenient accommodations for seasonally inactive or off-lease rolling stock. Capacity is in excess of 500 railcars. Connections with both…
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The MZJ&D Railroad is a traveling HO depiction of grain operations in the Midwest, somewhere near Quincy, IL. There’s not much prototypical about the 40-foot layout, except the grit and grime surrounding real-life railroads. For the past 29 years, Dave Scharnhorst has toted the MZJ&D to nearly 100 shows all over the country. It invariably gets long looks from admirers and plenty of comments about its realism.
2022 State of Model Railroading
In the Cowcatcher’s 2022 State of Model Railroading survey, the consensus is that model railroading continues to provide a great experience and is still a good value. Yet respondents from the 725 readers polled were the most vocal in the survey’s four-year run about increasing prices and supply chain issues. In addition to value, readers weigh in on product quality and detail, ease of use and reliability of products and more.
Riding the Fast Flying Virginian
The son of a notable modeler is carrying on the family legacy, and has purchased and relocatd a major G-scale retailer. …
Congestion at West Coast ports is easing, and end-of-year traffic on U.S. railroads paced ahead of 2020. …
Plans are moving forward to reclaim the Rock Island bridge over the Kansas River in Kansas City, MO, and turn it into an entertainment venue. …
The Model Railroad Industry Division of the Hobby Manufacturers Association recently honored three pioneers who made lasting contributions to model railroading. The MRID Hall of Fame resumed with the entry of John Chapper of hobbytown of Boston and Aubrey Olson of Caboose Industries. Former Model Railroader Editor Andy Sperandeo posthumously received the Bobbye Hall Award.
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Whitehurst & Pine Ridge Railroad
Product News & Review
Rapido HO-Scale SP SW1200 Locomotive
The Cowcatcher reviews Rapido Trains’ dynamic HO-scale Southern Pacific “Bloody Nose” SW1200 switching locomotive in the July/August 2021 issue. The model, designed from original blueprints and field measurements, is full of prototype details and runs effortlessly with lots of pulling power.
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