Acquires TN short line RR

Gary O. Marino, co-founder and former chairman, president and CEO of RailAmerica, Inc. has formed Patriot Rail Corp. for the purpose of acquiring short line and regional freight railroads. The newly formed company announced its first acquisition, the 118-mile Tennessee Southern Railroad (TSRR). Concurrently, the Company entered into an agreement with a large international private equity fund for significant future investment in the acquisition of short line and regional freight railroads.

The TSRR, headquartered in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee, operates in Middle Tennessee and Northwestern Alabama. Its heritage dates back to 1879. It interchanges rail traffic with CSX at Natco, Tennessee and with inland barge lines through its port facility at Florence, Alabama where freight is transferred to and from barges on the Tennessee River onto rail and truck. The TSRR principally hauls wood products, fertilizer, steel, slag, soapstone and LP gas. It currently has a staff of 25 employees and operates a fleet of eight locomotives.

‘The TSRR offers significant opportunities for growth beyond its existing traffic base and we intend to invest the new capital to accommodate this growth,’ said Marino, chairman, president and CEO of Patriot Rail, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. ‘The economic climate in Tennessee and Alabama is robust. The railroad recently attracted three new major shippers to its rail line including two Fortune 1000 companies, and we are engaged in negotiations with a number of other prospective customers. The TSRR’s location on the Tennessee River at the Port of Florence, Alabama is a key competitive advantage in growing new business.’

Marino added, ‘Together with our new capital partner, we have an ambitious strategic plan to make a number of select rail acquisitions throughout North America over the coming years. It is our desire to become a preeminent rail freight transportation provider, capitalizing on the resurgence of rail transportation across the continent. Our goal is to provide shippers with unique, affordable solutions to their transportation needs. Putting the movement of bulk commodities back onto the rail system is far more economical than road transportation, while also alleviating the road congestion caused by heavy trucks.’