Friday, November 01, 2013

San Pedro & Southwestern hits 10-year mark

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Nov. 3, 2013 marks short line San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad’s 10th anniversary. Based in Benson, Ariz., where it connects with Union Pacific’s Los Angeles-Chicago main line, SPSR began operations in 2003 after acquiring the line from RailAmerica, Inc. (now Genesee & Wyoming, Inc.).

A subsidiary of ARG Transportation Services, SPSR’s primary traffic sources are agricultural chemicals, feed grains, and building products interchanged with the UP at Benson, Willcox, and Casa Grande, Ariz. The railroad’s oldest predecessor goes back 125 years to 1888, when the Arizona & South Eastern Railroad laid 60 miles of track from Benson to Bisbee, Ariz., eventually becoming part of the Southern Pacific.

“We’re proud to have played an integral role developing southeastern Arizona’s economy and being a good neighbor to the towns and cities we serve,” said ARG Transportation Services Vice President Operations Paul Thomas. “Our goal is to continue using the resources at hand to grow the business, increase employment, operate in a safe, injury-free manner, and be responsible stewards of our environment.”

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated SPSR as a partner in EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program. The railroad was recognized for its success improving both fuel efficiency and environmental performance by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

ARG Transportation Services also operates the 133-mile Coos Bay Rail Link, headquartered in Coos Bay, Ore.