"Shortline and regional railroads are not just benefitting from the slow economic recovery; they're helping to drive that recovery, " says Railway Age Publisher Jonathan Chalon. "The business opportunities and obstacles, be they in terms of reach or of geography or product movement, may differ. But the entrepreneurial spirit of the two winners affects and assists customers large or small, making efficient business, and business growth, possible with the most efficient surface transport mode: rail."
Headquartered in its namesake town on the Oregon coast, Coos Bay Rail Link has rebounded from a moribund property, shut down in late 2007 and idle for four years, to a resurgent shortline moving 4,845 revenue carloads in 2013, up 95 percent from 2012.
"Backed by new owner Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, Coos Bay Rail Link has overcome negative media coverage and a skeptical public to show it means business – literally," says Railway Age Managing Editor Douglas John Bowen. "A range of stakeholders, including customers old and new and communities along the line, voiced their support for freight rail operations to continue – and, it turns out, to grow substantially as well."
Springdale, Ark.-based Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Co. has upgraded its 140-mile main line trackage and clearances to allow for higher speeds and doublestack container trains, while modernizing its locomotive fleet and locomotive shop, and adding local traffic moves to its existing feeder/distributor market role.
"Under Reilly McCarren's leadership, the Arkansas & Missouri has grown into a diverse rail transportation company offering transmodal services, freight car leasing and repair, warehousing, industrial land and port services, and passenger excursions, in addition to excellent freight rail that interchanges with no fewer than three Class I's", says Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono.
Both Coos Bay Rail Link, the 2014 Short Line Railroad of the Year, and the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, the 2014 Regional Railroad of the Year, will be featured in Railway Age's April 2014 issue.
Railway Age is the transportation industry's oldest trade magazine, and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2006. The monthly magazine is circulated at the management levels of North American freight and passenger railroads. Emphasis is placed on technology, operations, strategic planning, marketing, and other issues such as legislative and labor/management developments of interest to railway management, railway suppliers and consultants.