Cathcart Rail Acquires Appalachian Railcar Services

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
With the addition of railcar repair and maintenance company ARS, Cathcart Rail now employs 800 people across 60 locations in 22 states.

With the addition of railcar repair and maintenance company ARS, Cathcart Rail now employs 800 people across 60 locations in 22 states.

Cathcart Rail and its financial partner, Star America Infrastructure Partners, LLC, have acquired Appalachian Railcar Services (ARS), a railcar repair and maintenance company based in Eleanor, W.Va.

ARS was sold from parent company GenNx360 Capital Partners, a private equity firm investing in middle-market business services and industrial companies. ARS provides certified tank car and freight car repair in 10 locations, from Maryland to Nebraska; interior and exterior cleaning, coating, and lining services; mobile repair; on-site customer repair operations; switching operations; and railcar storage. It serves companies in the agriculture, chemicals, manufacturing, energy, food processing and logistics industries throughout the Midwest, Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

Scott Driggers, CEO, Cathcart

Scott Driggers, who has served as CEO of ARS since 2018, now becomes CEO of Cathcart. The combined company will employ 800 people across 60 locations in 22 states.

Cathcart, founded in 2015 by Thomas Cathcart and his son Casey, is a diversified freight rail platform operating across the services and transportation sectors. Its other subsidiaries include Bucyrus Railcar Repair, LLC, with headquarters in Bucyrus, Ohio, and the 48-mile BIP (Belpre Industrial Parkersburg) Railroad, which is based in Marietta, Ohio, and interchanges with CSX at Parkersburg, W.Va.

“This is a significant milestone in the company’s history,” Cathcart Executive Chairman Casey Cathcart said. “Thom and I are excited to welcome the ARS team, and are looking forward to supporting Cathcart’s new Chief Executive Officer Scott Driggers. Our deepened bench strength and broadened footprint allows Cathcart to better serve its customers across all facets of their rail operations. We have come a long way in under five years and are looking forward to the next five as we continue building a premier, coast-to-coast freight rail platform.”

“We are pleased to support Cathcart’s growth,” Star America President Christophe Petit said. “Transportation is a key sector for Star America and this investment is a solid fit for our strategy. Rail services and transportation companies have a tremendous need for capital, both now and in the coming years, and ARS stands out amongst its peers for what the management team has accomplished thus far. Cathcart’s acquisition of ARS will allow Cathcart to provide additional services to its clients and is a significant step in Cathcart’s growth.”

Roslyn Heights, N.Y.-based Star America is a developer and manager of infrastructure assets, and a subsidiary of Tikehau Capital, a European listed alternative asset management and investment group.

In 2019, ARS completed a major capital expansion at its Elk Mills, Md., facility to create a full-service tank car shop with new, state-of-the-art interior and exterior blast and paint capability.

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