News & Reviews News Wire Regional Rail adds three Midwest short lines

Regional Rail adds three Midwest short lines

By Trains Staff | December 7, 2022

| Last updated on February 10, 2024

Company acquires Agracel Rail Holdings operations in Illinois, Ohio

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The South Point & Ohio is one of three Agracel Rail Holdings railroads to be acquired by Regional Rail LLC. Agracel Rail Holdings photo

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. — Short line owner and operator Regional Rail LLC will add three railroads to its holdings, having agreed to acquire three Midwestern operations from Agracel Rail Holdings.

The new additions are the Effingham Railroad Co., located in the Effingham (Ill.) Industrial Park, which offers interchange with Canadian National and CSX Transportation; the South Point & Ohio Railroad, a 7-mile line in The Point industrial park in South Point, Ohio, which began operations in 2021 and interchanges with Norfolk Southern; and the Illinois Western Railroad Co., which serves the John W. Kelsey Business and Technology Park in Greenville, Ill. It operates approximately 1,300 feet of track and interchanges with CSX in Greenville, according to a recent filing with the Surface Transportation Board.

“We are excited to partner with the existing teams at the Effingham Railroad Company, South Point & Ohio Railroad, and Illinois Western Railroad Company to grow our operations in the Midwest,” Regional Rail CEO Al Sauer said in a press release, “and look forward to building on the companies’ track records of providing a high quality service to their customers.”

Agracel CEO Dean Bingham said his company is “proud of the work that has gone into establishing and building these railroads over many years and believe that Regional Rail is the right partner to support the local management teams well into the future.”

The acquisitions follow Regional Rail’s first entry into the Midwest in October, when it began serving the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor through its Burns Harbor Railroad subsidiary. The company’s most recent acquisition was in November, when it announced expansion into Canada with acquisition of the Great Sandhills Railway and three other freight rail assets [see “Regional Rail acquires Canada’s Great Sandhills Railway,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 11, 2022].

Since partnering with international investment manager 3i group, Regional Rail has grown to 13 railroads across North America. Along with its transportation, car storage, and transloading, it offers crossing signal design, construction, inspection, and maintenance services through its Diamondback Signal subsidiary.

2 thoughts on “Regional Rail adds three Midwest short lines

  1. We might see a new Class 1 rail system come out of all these short line railroads operating under one ownership. If all these short lines were to be merged as one it could be the start of a new railroad. When railroads were first being built in this country, many of the small one line railroads were either merged or taken over by bigger railroads. The big railroads like New York Central, Pennsylvannia, Santa Fe etc were born out of mergers and takeeovers of small local and regiional railroads.
    History has a way of repeating itself
    Joseph C. Markfelder

  2. Mixed feelings about this. While it’s sad to see the local ownership replaced (I was involved in the startup of EFRR and ILW), Regional Rail seems like a good organization backed by a lot of capital. I wish them all the best!

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