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 fourth generation of leadership took charge at Wm. K. Walthers Inc., in September when Phil Walthers handed off to daughter Stacey Walthers Naffah. Managing the company into model railroading’s future prompted Naffah to take the helm. Like her grandfather, Naffah is operating a hobby business at a time when technology competes for the world’s leisure time. She believes the answer may be to get the next generation of model railroaders involved by meeting them on their own turf.
One Final Ride
Thousands waving American flags and snapping photos on their cellphones lined rights-of-way from Spring to College Station, TX, on a cold gray day to bid farewell to the nation’s 41st president as he took one last ride on the rails. A 13-car Union Pacific train that had been 10 years in planning and headed by his namesake locomotive carried the body of George H.W. Bush to his final resting place, next to his wife of 73 years, Barbara, on Dec. 6 at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
State of the Hobby: Readers rate the state of model railroading good based on value, selection and quality…
Steam returns to the Alamo City with the restoration of the Texas Transportation Museum’s 1925 Baldwin 0-4-0…
Project layout: Scenery and technology bring to life the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific HO-scale shelf layout.
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: Learn more behind the making of Main Street in Downtown Norwood on the Cowcatcher’s project layout, the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific Railroad…
THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS!
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Locomotives and rolling stock once again dominated new offerings announced by manufacturers at the NMRA National Train Show. Among them were ScaleTrains.com’s new SD40-T2 Tunnel Motor locomotives that feature see-through radiator grilles.
Walthers Layout Control System Switch Machine
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