Small Road News: OmniTRAX, Watco, Anacostia Launch Growth Initiatives

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

Denver-based OmniTRAX is linking rail-served properties along its 25-mile Northern Ohio & Western Railway (NOW) with customers interested in locating there, in coordination with the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, which serves the counties of Tiffin and Seneca, Ohio. Additionally, Watco Companies, LLC, will lease and operate a line from CN subsidiary Wisconsin Central Ltd. in Illinois. Previously known as the Phoenix Line, Watco’s new subsidiary is now called the Elwood Joliet & Southern Railroad (EJSR). The Jeffersonville RiverRail Terminal in Indiana is set to open early next year, to be served by Louisville & Indiana Railroad (LIRC), an Anacostia Rail Holdings Co. subsidiary, and American Commercial Barge Line.

Through the Rail-Ready Sites program, OmniTRAX and Tiffin-Seneca are marketing three initial sites, ranging from 14 to 72 acres, across NOW. The short line interchanges with CSX and Norfolk Southern, and works with industrial and manufacturing companies, including producers of limestone, lime and pressed board. In other company news, Andi Malter, Chief Human Resources Officer, has received the Denver Business Journal 2020 C-Suite award for her leadership at OmniTRAX, an affiliate of The Broe Group, and for business success and community involvement.

Watco Companies, LLC, filed a petition last month with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to lease and operate the Phoenix Line as EJSR. Operations will begin pending STB approval. The transportation and supply chain logistics company has also acquired the former Railway & Industrial Service, Inc., (RIS) property in Crest Hill, Ill., which EJSR serves. It will be converted from a mechanical repair shop into a storage and transit yard and provide switching services to area companies, primarily in the plastic and chemical industries.

For Anacostia Rail Holdings, the new Jeffersonville RiverRail Terminal will serve shippers along the Ohio/Mississippi River system, by American Commercial Barge Line, and in northern Kentucky and southern Indiana, by LIRC, Railway Age‘s 2019 Short Line of the Year. With 147,000-square-feet of indoor storage as well as 35 acres of outdoor storage ready for development, the barge/rail terminal offers tracts that can be leased or developed for barge/rail transloading, warehousing/material handling/bulk storage, industrial manufacturing and processing, and intermodal. Among the commodities to be handled are: steel coils/wire/plate/beams, scrap steel, grain/fertilizer/DDGs, plastics and pulp/paper. LIRC and Great Western Malting Co. (GWM) opened a new 33 railcar transload facility located within LIRC’s Jeffersonville Transload Yard.

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