USA: The Watco Railroad short line group completed the purchase of Ann Arbor Railroad Inc with effect from January 26, following Surface Transportation Board approval.

The 80 km line connecting Ann Arbor, Michigan with Toledo, Ohio, serves manufacturing and automotive customers including Chrysler, General Motors and Ford. It connects with Canadian National, CSX and Norfolk Southern, as well as the Great Lakes Central, Indiana & Ohio and Wheeling & Lake Erie short lines.

'The Ann Arbor is a true short line success story,' said Watco Executive Vice-President & COO Rick Baden when the deal was announced on December 27. 'We look forward to the opportunity of working with the Ann Arbor team to serve its strong customer base in an important economic region of the country and build off of the tremendous value the Ann Arbor creates for its customers.'

Ann Arbor General Manager Bob Billings said becoming part of Watco would make available resources which 'will allow us to pursue additional opportunities that will further benefit our customers.'