Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Boise Valley Railroad files with STB to operate Idaho line

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Watco Transportation Services, Inc., said a definitive agreement has been reached with Rio Grande Pacific Corporation to obtain 36 miles of track from the Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad. A notice will be filed shortly with the Surface Transportation Board to operate the track as the Boise Valley Railroad (BVRR), to be headquartered in Boise, Idaho.

The BVRR will operate two branches: the 11-mile Wilder Branch that runs from Wilder to Caldwell, Idaho, and the 25-mile Boise Cut Off that runs from Nampa to just southeast of Boise, Idaho.  The agreement also includes trackage rights from Nampa to Caldwell, Idaho. The BVRR has entered into a lease-purchase agreement with the Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad, a Rio Grande Pacific Corporation subsidiary, which currently leases the segments from the Union Pacific.

There are 84 customers who will be served by the BVRR, several of which are currently customers of Watco's Eastern Idaho Railroad, Great Northwest Railroad and Yellowstone Valley Railroad. Commodities shipped on the branches include potatoes, lumber, fertilizer and fuels. The BVRR looks forward to interviewing existing INPR employees to operate the line, which is looking at a mid-October start-up date.

"This fits in well with our existing infrastructure in Idaho," said Ed McKechnie, chief commercial officer for Watco Companies said.  "We look forward to serving the customers and expanding opportunities to help to grow their businesses. This will be our fourth railroad in the State of Idaho. We love doing business in Idaho and believe this railroad can grow and continue to be a strong part of the Boise economy."

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