R.J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC announced the finalization of an agreement to acquire Owego & Harford Railway, Inc. (OHRY), Lehigh Railway, LLC (LRWY), and Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway Company (LS) as well as TranZ, a transload service provider operating on the short line railroads. These entities are to be purchased by subsidiaries of R. J. Corman Railroad Group from Mr. Steve May, president of OHRY, LRWY, LS, and TranZ. The closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
“This group of companies has a great reputation for being safe, customer-centric and innovative, which is evidenced in how they have brought new customers online and grown carload volume,” said Ed Quinn, President and CEO of R.J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC. “What Steve May and his team have built through their invaluable partnership with Tioga County Industrial Development Agency, Luzerne County Redevelopment Corporation, and Norfolk Southern is extremely impressive. We’re excited to bring these short lines and related companies into the R.J. Corman family of companies and to continue the impeccable service they are known for by their customers. Over the past 18 months R. J. Corman has positioned itself well to make strategic acquisitions to grow our presence in the short line railroad industry, and we’re grateful to Steve May for entrusting us to bring these remarkable operations under the R.J. Corman banner.”
The three short line railroads haul a variety of freight including sand, drill cuttings, scrap, feed products, fertilizer, pipe, plastic, propane, chemicals, and wood products. TranZ operates a bulk transfer station on the Lehigh Railway in Wyalusing, Pa. Owego & Harford Railway is a 26.7-mile railroad in New York that operates on a long-term lease from Tioga County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA). Lehigh Railway, which began operations in 2009, operates on 56 miles of track in north-central Pennsylvania owned by Norfolk Southern. Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway operates over 60 miles of track in northeastern Pennsylvania and leases the property from the Luzerne County Redevelopment Corporation under a multi-year operating agreement. Altogether the three lines transport over 14,000 carloads annually, interchanging with Norfolk Southern and Reading & Northern.
“I have been in the railroad business for 48 years and have spent the majority of those years building this group of companies. Eventually, a sale of what we have built here was going to be the most beneficial for my family, our investors and the employees of my companies. It was extremely important that if and when I did decide to sell, it was to a company that saw the value in the people I employ and the customers I serve. I was very lucky to find a partner like R.J. Corman that possesses the knowledge and has the resources to do just that,” added Steve May. “This is bittersweet for me, but I am looking forward to pursuing some new challenges and spending some more time with my family.”
Altogether, R.J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC employs over 1,500 people in 23 states. Its subsidiary, R. J. Corman Railroad Company, operates 14 short line railroads in 10 states, including Pennsylvania. In addition to railroads, industrial switching and transloading operations, R. J. Corman companies provide a broad scope of services to the railroad industry such as emergency response, track material distribution, track construction, and signal design and construction.
—via Press Release