R. J. Corman Railroad Company has finalized an agreement to acquire the Nashville & Eastern Railroad Corp. (NERR), Nashville & Western Railroad Corp. (NWR), Transit Solutions Group, a commuter rail operation and three related operating entities.
The agreement’s closing is subject to regulatory approvals, and R. J. Corman said it is expected to take over operations beginning in January.
The NERR family of companies was founded in 1986, officials said. Since then, William Drunsic, president and founder, has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure repairs and improvements, launched operations of the 18-mile NWR and began commuter rail service on the Music City Star.
“This acquisition is a big step in our company’s goal of growing in our core competencies,” said Ed Quinn, president and CEO of R. J. Corman. “The Nashville & Eastern family of companies have an incredible reputation in the short line industry and with their customers. We are excited to bring these companies and their team of talented employees into our brand and to continue to serve the customers with safe and efficient operations. The foundation of the company, and its growth through the years, is impressive and we look forward to working together to build on the legacy and continue to grow into the future.”
The NERR is a 130-mile railroad that is operating on leased track from the Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority from Nashville to Monterey, Tenn. The NWR is an 18-mile railroad, operating on leased track from the Cheatham County Rail Authority from Nashville to Ashland City, Tenn.
Combined, the NERR and NWR transport 12,000 carloads annually, interchanging with CSX Corporation in Nashville, Tenn.
The Transit Solutions Group operates the Music City Star and transports nearly 300,000 passengers annually.
“After 32 years of dedicated efforts to build a viable operation in middle Tennessee, it was time for my family to step aside and make way for a larger organization, in order to best capitalize on all of the expanding opportunities on the horizon. Though our departure comes with a great deal of emotion, we could not be more excited about bringing R. J. Corman into the picture,” said Bill Drunsic, chairman of the Nashville & Eastern and Nashville & Western Railroads.
Drunsic noted that he believes R. J. Corman holds an “impeccable reputation” within the industry.
“It has been a great run and we wish them all the success in the future,” Drunsic said.
R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC operates 11 shortline railroads in nine states and is a subsidiary of R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC. The company employs more than 1,300 individuals in 22 states, officials said.
In addition to shortline railroad and switching operations, R. J. Corman companies provide services to the railroad industry including emergency response, track material distribution, track construction, signal design and construction as well as building eco-friendly locomotives.