Regional Rail Acquiring Two Midwestern Short Lines (UPDATED 11/16)

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(Indiana Eastern Railroad Photograph)

(Indiana Eastern Railroad Photograph)

Indiana Eastern Railroad (IERR) and Ohio South Central Railroad (OSCR) will be added to the portfolio of Regional Rail, a Kennett Square, Pa.-based short line holding company backed by 3i.

Regional Rail on Nov. 10 reported agreeing to acquire the Class III carriers operating a combined 107 miles of main line across Indiana and Ohio. Commodities handled include grain, coal, fertilizer, chemicals, scrap metal, petroleum products, metal ores, food ingredients, explosive materials, and frac sand. On Nov. 16, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) signed off on the transaction, writing in the Federal Register (download below) that it may be consummated on or after Nov. 30, 2023. The agency noted that because this transaction involves Class III’s only, under the statute it “may not impose labor protective conditions.” According to the STB, petitions for stay must be filed no later than Nov. 22, 2023.

IERR is a 43-mile line serving Wayne, Union and Franklin counties in Indiana, and Butler and Hamilton counties in Ohio. It interchanges with CSX at Cottage Grove, Ind. The 64-mile OSCR serves Jackson, Ross and Vinton counties in southern Ohio and interchanges with CSX at Vauces, Ohio.

(Photograph Courtesy of IERR/OSCR)

Regional Rail provides freight transportation, car storage, and transloading services across the United States and western Canada, as well as railroad crossing signal design, construction, inspection, and maintenance services to short line and industrial customers via the company’s Diamondback Signal subsidiary.

The acquisition of IERR and OSCR further expands Regional Rail’s Midwest U.S. presence, which it built out through the acquisition of Effingham Railroad Company, South Point & Ohio Railroad, and Illinois Western Railroad Company in December 2022, in addition to the company’s freight rail operations at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, which launched in October 2022.

Regional Rail in August 2023 reported acquiring the assets of Clinton Terminal Railroad, a 3.5-mile line in North Carolina, and in November 2022, the Great Sandhills Railway and interests in three other freight rail assets located in western Canada.

“We are excited to partner with the existing teams at the Indiana Eastern Railroad and Ohio South Central Railroad to expand our operations in the Midwest and look forward to building on the companies’ track records of providing a high-quality service to their customers and driving additional growth,” Regional Rail President and CEO Al Sauer said.

“We are proud of what we have established and built with these railroads over many years and believe that Regional Rail is the perfect partner to continue our legacy and support our employees and customers going forward,” said George Andres, CEO of Indiana Eastern Railroad and Ohio South Central Railroad.

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