Tuesday, July 17, 2012

For RRV&W, a 25th anniversary

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July 19, 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Red River Valley & Western Railroad Co. (RRV&W), based in Wahpeton, N.D., the regional railroad announced Tuesday.

RRV&W operates over 577 miles providing local freight rail service to rural North Dakota communities. Since beginning freight operations in 1987, annual volume has increased 141% to 55,600 carloads in 2011. Traffic includes grain, corn sweetener, sugar, ethanol, machinery, and other products.

RRV&W twice has been recognized as the Railway Age Regional Railroad of the Year, first in 1997 and again in 2005.

To celebrate the anniversary, RRV&W has invited customers, community leaders and employees to ride a series of special passenger trains July 19-20-21. BNSF, the short line's principal Class I connection, is furnishing the passenger equipment, RRV&W said.

Red River Valley & Western President Andy Thompson said, "The biggest thing that has fueled the success of the RRV&W is the relationship we have created between the railroad and the customers and communities we serve. Meeting and exceeding the expectations of our customers has been the number one job of RRV&W employees. They have been the key to achieving our success."

RRV&W says it has spent about $27 million for capital improvements including heavier rail, bridge upgrades, freight cars, and track maintenance equipment. In addition, the railroad now spends approximately $5 million annually on track maintenance.

Most recently, RRV&W partnered with Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative in Wahpeton to build more than two miles of track, including a 7,500-ft. "loop track." Thompson said, "This new track is expediting rail service at the sugar plant, benefitting local producers and the regional economy."