Jaguar Transport Holdings on May 2 began operating the 13-mile Charlotte Western Railroad, its eighth short line.
Joplin, Mo.-based Jaguar said that it acquired leasehold rights to the track owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Previously, the Piedmont and Northern Railroad, LLC (PNRW) operated the line under a lease with NCDOT.
Charlotte Western connects with Norfolk Southern at Gastonia, N.C., and CSX at Mount Holly, N.C. (see map above), and offers transloading and warehousing services.
Transportation and logistics firm Jaguar—in partnership with OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension plans—began operating the Missouri Eastern Railroad (Missouri) on March 1. It also runs the Cimarron Valley Railroad (with service in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado); Washington Eastern Railroad (Washington state); Texas and Eastern Railroad (Texas); Southwestern Railroad (New Mexico); and Oregon Eastern Railroad (Oregon), which were acquired in November 2020 from rail transportation services company TWG. Additionally, it operates the West Memphis Base Railroad (Arkansas) and tourist line Texas State Railroad.
“We are excited for the opportunity to establish our first operation in North Carolina and the southeastern U.S.,” Jaguar CEO Stu Towner said. “The railroad’s location, in a growing metro with access to both Norfolk Southern and CSX, along with the acquisition of a rail-served warehouse, provides us with an excellent opportunity to serve current and future customers and earn the right to grow alongside them and the local community. We will immediately move forward with a large project in partnership with NCDOT to build a new multi-commodity and multi-mode transload facility on our warehouse property, which will create highly efficient solutions for the customers we are bringing to the property. This project, along with our focused commercial efforts to build sites along the railroad that are ready for new customers, makes this a fantastic solution for customers in the Charlotte market.”