Jacksonville, Fla.-based Patriot Rail Company LLC will expand its small-railroad portfolio for the second time in as many months with the acquisition of Delta Southern Railroad (DSRR), which operates two line segments in Louisiana. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The move follows Patriot Rail’s Aug. 8 announcement of its acquisition of Pioneer Lines, a railroad holding company with 15 short lines across 12 states, from BRX Transportation Holdings. That transaction closed Sept. 14.
Patriot Rail on Sept. 26 said the DSRR acquisition—still subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory authorization—will support its growth strategy, increasing the company’s short line operations to 32 railroads. DSRR will be Patriot Rail’s second short line in Louisiana, where it already owns and operates the 68-mile Louisiana and North West Railroad (LNW), which is headquartered in Homer, La., and provides rail service from Gibsland, La., to McNeil, Ark.
DSRR’s two lines, totaling more than 40 miles of track, are located approximately 60 miles apart in Monroe and Tallulah, La., and intersect with Kansas City Southern’s Meridian Speedway and Louisiana Highway 20. The short line serves the Lake Providence and Madison Parish ports on the Mississippi River, and also interchanges with Union Pacific. It transports grain, aggregate materials, agricultural products, cotton, coal, chemicals, fertilizer, forest products, sand clay and soda ash.
“Including Delta Southern in Patriot Rail’s expanding network will enable further competitive options for rail shippers in Louisiana and across the country,” said Patriot Rail CEO John E. Fenton, who noted that the acquisition “exemplifies our growth focus on quality rail franchises to meet customer needs.” In addition to short lines, Patriot also runs a scenic rail excursion train and rail-related services companies with operations in 23 states.
“We are excited to join a highly-respected company like Patriot, which has a strong track record of growth and significant resources to continue building a first-class rail network,” DSRR CEO Jon Ryan said. “I am incredibly proud of the strong foundation that DSRR has built, and as we bring together two best-in-class companies, I am excited to see what we can accomplish together. As DSRR enters its next chapter, I am confident we will continue to drive benefits for our customers and our employees, as well as the local Louisiana communities that we operate in.”
Winston & Strawn LLP and Gentry Locke served as legal counsel to Patriot. Northborne Partners served as financial advisor to DSRR and Reed Smith LLP served as legal counsel.