Short line railroad company New England Southern is going to keep its name … for now.
Las Vegas-based railroad consolidator United Rail was expected to buy the Concord, N.H., line, the state’s oldest, but the June 30 deadline for the sale is now expired.
New England Southern President Peter Dearness broke the news and is only saying that the short line is still operational. The railroad carries freight on 73 miles of track from Concord to the north. United Rail wants to establish a presence in the east, but no one knows why the deal was ditched.
Slurry is New England Southern’s most commonly hauled product. The short-liner takes the product to a specialty paper mill operated by 3M. Paper mills, however, have dropped out of the economic equation over the years, with some of them preferring to go the trucking route. New England Southern attempted to start rail operations south of Concord, but in 2008 it lost a court fight with Pan Am Railway.
New England Southern currently has two full-time employees, but at its peak there were 22 employees and the company hauled more than 2,400 yearly carloads.
There are four short-line freight lines in the state of New Hampshire, which has approximately 443 miles of active tracks.
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