MOOREFIELD, W.Va. — OmniTRAX will take over management of West Virginia’s South Branch Valley Railroad this Friday, Dec. 1, the company has announced.
The transportation affiliate of The Broe Group said Wednesday that it had entered into “a definitive agreement with the West Virginia Deparment of Transportation to operate and grow” the 52.4-mile railroad, a former Baltimore & Ohio branch line operating between Petersburg and Green Spring, W.Va. It will become the 26th OmniTRAX railroad and the second in West Virginia, along with the Winchester & Western.
“We believe in West Virginia,” OmniTRAX President and Chief Operating Officer Sergio Sabatini said in a press release. “The WW has attracted $2.6 billion of direct investment along the line, creating 6,000 direct and indirect jobs, and we look forward to bringing new growth to the SBVR and the Eastern Panhandle Region.”
The line is also the home of the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad, a heritage railway based in Romney, W.Va., that has operated since 1991.
“OmniTRAX has a proven track record of being committed community partners that bring new jobs to the areas we serve,” said CEO Dean Piacente. “We are excited to bring that spirit of service to the Potomac Highlands communities and operate with the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad to make the SBVR thrive.”
OmniTRAX had first indicated its intention to assume operations of the state-owned line in an August filing with the Surface Transportation Board [see “OmniTRAX to take over operations …,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 15, 2023].