Watco Transportation Services Inc. (WTS), the Pittsburg, Kan.-based operator of 22 short lines railroads in the U.S., has joined the Association of American Railroads with a full membership. Watco roads operate more than 3,700 track miles in 18 states. Watco will have access to all association services and will be eligible to serve on AAR committees and the AAR Board.
“The addition of WTS broadens our membership and strengthens our ability to represent our industry effectively before the decision makers that shape policy and law affecting railroads,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.
The AAR announcement noted that in March 2008 WTS’s South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad was named the Railway Age Regional Railroad of the Year. Railroads operated by WTS also include the Alabama Southern, Alabama Warrior Railway, Arkansas Southern, Austin Western, Baton Rouge, Boise Valley, Eastern Idaho, Grand Elk, Great Northwest, Kansas & Oklahoma, Kaw River, Louisiana Southern, Mission Mountain, Mississippi Southern, Pacific Sun, Palouse River and Coulee City, Pennsylvania Southwestern, Stillwater Central, Timber Rock, Vicksburg Southern, and Yellowstone Valley Railroads.
WTS is owned by Watco Companies, Inc. (WCI), which also owns Watco Mechanical Services division, operating 14 railcar repair shops, four locomotive shops, and 19 mobile mechanical shops. The Watco Transload and Intermodal Services division manages 12 transload facilities, seven warehouses, and one intermodal location.