Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Patriot buying Weyerhaeuser rail lines

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Patriot Rail Corp. announced that it has agreed in principle to buy the six short line railroads operated by Weyerhaeuser Co., with more than 160 miles of track in four states. The lines currently handle approximately 60,000 carloads of freight annually. The acquisition is subject to closing conditions that include Patriot’s due diligence and regulatory approval. It’s expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Patriot Rail would acquire:

* The DeQueen and Eastern Railroad Co., consisting of tworailroads—the DeQueen and Eastern and the Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern railroads, which operate over a total of 87 route miles in southeast Oklahomaand southwest Arkansas;

* The Columbia & Cowlitz Railway, which operates over8.5 route miles in southwest Washington;

* The Weyerhaeuser Woods Railroad, which operates over 30 route miles in southwest Washington and connects directly to the CLC;

* The Golden Triangle Railroad, which operates over 13.3 route miles in central Mississippi; and

* The Mississippi & Skuna Valley Railroad, which owns 21 route miles in Mississippi.


Each of the railroads interchanges traffic with Class I carriers. The railroads primarily source Weyerhaeuser and International Paper mills, move finished products, and serve some third-party customers. They employ approximately 120 people.

“Once the transaction is completed, these railroads will double the rail portfolio of Patriot Rail,” said Gary O. Marino, chairman, president, and CEO. “They are very attractive railroads with appealing growth opportunities and are a key step in our company’s strategic growth process. After closing and integration of the railroads, Patriot Rail’s goal is to expand the rail business by providing customers with first class rail service focused on safety, productivity, and service reliability.”

Patriot Rail Corp., a holding company based in Boca Raton, Fla., owns and operates six short line freight railroads totaling 331 miles in eight states. Patriot also recently signed an agreement to lease and operate the 13-mile Piedmont & Northern Railroad in Gaston County, N.C.

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