R.J. Corman Purchases 3 Short Lines, TranZ

Written by Andrew Corselli
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R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC has finalized an agreement to acquire Owego & Harford Railway, Inc. (OHRY), Lehigh Railway, LLC (LRWY), and Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway Company (LS), as well as short line transload service provider TranZ.

The three short lines haul a variety of freight including sand, drill cuttings, scrap, feed products, fertilizer, pipe, plastic, propane, chemicals and wood products. TranZ operates a bulk transfer station on the Lehigh Railway in Wyalusing, Pa. Owego & Harford Railway is a 26.7-mile railroad in New York that operates on a long-term lease from Tioga County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA). Lehigh Railway, which began operations in 2009, operates on 56 miles of track in North-Central Pennslvania owned by Norfolk Southern Railway Company. Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway operates more than 60 miles of track in Northeastern Pennsylvania and leases the property from the Luzerne County Redevelopment Corporation under a multi-year operating agreement.

Altogether, the three short lines transport more than 14,000 carloads annually, interchanging with NS and Reading & Northern Railroad (R&N), the latter of which was Railway Age’s 2002, 2011, 2015 and 2020 Regional Railroad of the Year.

“This group of companies has a great reputation for being safe, customer-centric and innovative, which is evidenced in how they have brought new customers online and grown carload volume,” said Ed Quinn, President and CEO, R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC. “What [President of OHRY, LRWY, LS and TranZ] Steve May and his team have built through their invaluable partnership with Tioga County Industrial Development Agency, Luzerne County Redevelopment Corporation, and Norfolk Southern is extremely impressive. We’re excited to bring these short lines and related companies into the R. J. Corman family of companies and to continue the impeccable service they are known for by their customers.”

“I have been in the railroad business for 48 years and have spent the majority of those years building this group of companies,” said May. “Eventually, a sale of what we have built here was going to be the most beneficial for my family, our investors and the employees of my companies. It was extremely important that if and when I did decide to sell, it was to a company that saw the value in the people I employ and the customers I serve. I was very lucky to find a partner like R. J. Corman that possesses the knowledge and has the resources to do just that. This is bittersweet for me, but I am looking forward to pursuing some new challenges and spending some more time with my family.”

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