Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dick Webb, Watco founder, dies at 70

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Watco Cos. Inc. founder Charles R. "Dick" Webb died March 23 in Kansas City, Kan., after a bout with cancer. He was 70.

"Starting from his kitchen table with eight employees, Dick worked with members of the Watco team to grow the business while keeping its focus on meeting the needs of the folks who paid the bills, the customers," said Watco Chief Commercial Officer Ed McKechnie. "At the time of his death he had led the company to operate 3,000 miles of track, 20 short line railroads, 22 switching locations, 14 mechanical shops, 18 mobile mechanical repair locations, and numerous transload and intermodal locations."

A privately held company, Watco Cos. operates in 26 states. Under its founder's guidance, it won numerous honors, including the Governors Award for Excellence. Webb won the Meritorious Achievement Award from Pittsburg State University, Kan., in 2006. Watco subsidiary South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad was named Railway Age’s 2008 Regional Railroad of the Year.