South Branch Valley Railroad (Photo OmniTRAX)

USA: On December 1 OmniTRAX took over operational management of the South Branch Valley Railroad under an agreement with West Virginia Department of Transportation.

The 85 km SBVR between Petersburg and Green Spring is a former branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co serving the state’s eastern panhandle, and has been owned and operated by West Virginia State Rail Authority since 1978. Traffic includes grain, lumber, polymers and aggregates.

‘OmniTRAX brings strong market knowledge, a national network of partners and a best-in-class safety record’, said Cindy Butler, Commissioner of West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities. ‘After careful consideration, it became clear that OmniTRAX is the ideal logistics partner to grow the SBVR.’

OmniTRAX CEO Dean Piacente said the logistics group ‘has a proven track record of being committed community partners that bring new jobs to the areas we serve. We are excited to bring that spirit of service to the Potomac Highlands communities and operate with the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad to make the SBVR thrive.’

SBVR is the 26th railway in the OmniTRAX network, which also includes the Winchester & Western Railroad in West Virginia.

‘We believe in West Virginia’, said OmniTRAX President & Chief Operating Officer Sergio Sabatini. ’The WW has attracted $2·6bn of direct investment along the line, creating 6 000 direct and indirect jobs, and we look forward to bringing new growth to the SBVR.’