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P&L Transportation Incorporated profile

By | January 19, 2023

P&L Transportation Incorporated is a holding firm operating multiple short lines and regional railroads across the United States.

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P&L Transportation Incorporated LogoP&L Transportation Incorporated summary

P&L Transportation Incorporated is a holding firm that operates multiple short lines and regional railroads throughout the United States. It’s owned by Paducah and Louisville Railway officers and CSX Transportation in a partnership. Headquartered out of Wilmington, Delaware, the company serves over 100 industries through their four freight railroads.


In the 1980s, the former Illinois Central Railroad sold off a section of their Kentucky Division main line between Paducah and Louisville, Kentucky, along with additional branch lines, a fleet of EMD GP8 and GP10 diesel locomotives, and a huge shop complex in Paducah. The sale resulted in the formation of two companies: VMV Paducahbilt to operate the locomotive shop, and the Paducah and Louisville Railway that resumed freight operations on the line in August 1986. In 1995, the officers of the regional railroad and CSX bought out the prior corporate owner and set up Four Rivers Transportation Incorporated as the holding company for the Paducah and Louisville. The company was renamed in 2012 to P&L Transportation Incorporated.


P&L Transportation operates four freight railroads ranging from short line to regional. The Paducah and Louisville Railway provides freight traffic in and out of the rail-barge-rail transfer facilities on the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. The Appalachian and Ohio Railroad, acquired on May 15, 2006, serves several coal mines throughout West Virginia. The Evansville Western Railway, beginning operations on January 1, 2006, strategically serves a rail-barge transfer facility on the Ohio River. The Midway Southern Railway operates out of Bedford Park in Chicago. While coal is a common if not principal commodity for P&L Transportation, the company’s railroads handle a broad range of freight traffic throughout its rail network.

In the early days, the backbone fleet of the subsidiary Paducah and Louisville were the GP8s and GP10s which were inherited from the Illinois Central. Today’s roster pool throughout the P&L Transportation system holds a vast variation of diesel locomotives, from the EMD GP38-2s to the larger SD70MACs.

The company interchanges with all the Class I railroads in the United States while also connecting to the nation’s interstate highways and inland waterway systems.

Read more about the P&L Transportation Incorporated in Trains’ June 2014 issue.

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