View Full Version : RailAmerica Being Sold?

Joe the Photog
07-10-2012, 03:07 PM
I keep seeing bits and pieces out there that RA is up for sale. Mike or anyone else, is there any concrete information out there? And likely suitors? Might they sell it off in pieces? Licing within 60 miles or two RA properties, I am really interested to know who might get the South Carolina Central and Carolina Piedmont... if they are sold at all.

07-10-2012, 05:35 PM

FailAmerica sucks but I hope G&W doesnt buy any of their lines in the south....the orange borg has nearly finished the assimilation of every shortline in the state of Georgia...

07-10-2012, 05:52 PM
News on this story has been eerily quiet, Joe. The only suitor I've seen mentioned was Berkshire Hathaway. It would take a company with deep pockets to acquire RailAmerica as a whole, for both its assets and the amount of debt assumed.

I don't think Fortress is in a situation where they MUST sell RA in the near term, so they can likely take their time looking for a suitor. However, if it gets to a point where they need to, that is when you could possibly see spinoffs of the company in chunks begin. But I just don't really get the feeling that is coming soon. However, some of the marginal lines may be sold off to local interests or smaller operators while a buyer is sought, in order to improve the desirability of the company as a whole.

07-17-2012, 02:13 AM
A recent news story on this identified Genesee & Wyoming and Watco as interested parties. I will be surprised if either can pull off a purchase of RailAmerica as a whole. If they did, the result would be a highly-leveraged company with a lot of debt to pay down.

07-23-2012, 12:27 PM
Genesee & Wyoming it is. An outright cash buy, funded by a refinancing of $2.0 billion in existing GWI debt. I'm no financial expert, but that would sound to be the equivalent of refinancing your mortgage and taking out a bunch of cash from the deal, basically replacing any gains in equity with debt.


I've been impressed with Genesee & Wyoming's shrewdness with respect to the deals they've made in the past, so we'll see where this one goes. I do suspect we'll see a few lines shed from both of the legacy systems in the next couple of years.

07-23-2012, 01:25 PM
I've worked for both and GWI is a much more professional outfit. Overall I'd say it is a good move, just hope the debt doesn't pull GWI down. I'd imagine it would take some time for all the paperwork and STB stuff to get done before we see any changes. Are there many places where the two outfits actually touch each other?

Joe the Photog
07-23-2012, 02:29 PM
Well, there is interesting. The South Carolina roads, Carolina Piedmont and Soouth Carolina Central, have gone from RailTex, to RailAmerica and now GWI. I believe some of their GP10s (the ones still on line) have RailTex on them in some places.

07-23-2012, 04:53 PM
Not a whole lot of places these two companies touch, but a few. The P&W and CORP meet at Eugene, OR and that has the potential to be a huge regional in the Pacific Northwest. The Columbus & Greenville and Alabama & Gulf Coast meet at Columbus, MS. Tazewell & Peoria and TPW in Peoria, IL is another spot.

GE85 tonner
07-27-2012, 03:59 PM
i think they meet in sudbury ON canada

GE85 tonner
07-27-2012, 11:50 PM
looked into it a bit more and Ottawa Valley Railway and Huron Central Railway both run into Sudbury, Ontario now i don't know if they interchange so.....

07-29-2012, 06:47 PM
Neither railroad lists the other among its interchange partners, so it does not appear they actively interchange. It is possible G&W could negotiate a trackage rights to connect the two, but I honestly don't know enough about the two properties to say whether that would gain any syngeries.

07-29-2012, 10:20 PM
There is a small amount of interchange traffic between the HCRY and the OVR. Of course, it has to pass through CP's yard, so I don't know if it's considered a "direct" interchange even though both railroads operate directly into the yard. Usually the occasional boxcar or two from the mill at Temiscaming heading west.


12-21-2012, 02:11 PM
STB has ruled GWI can take full control of RailAmerica effective 12/28/12. This was sooner than expected, and is a result of the STB finding no substantial anti-competitive effects from the transaction.

I am hearing an intensive painting program will be undertaken to the get the GWI branding on the former RailAmerica properties as quickly as possible. Motive power swaps may happen, as well. I have also heard of a potential fleet modernization program system wide for GWI, as well.

Long story short, lots of change coming across the combined GWI empire in the coming months. Get out there and shoot it!

Joe the Photog
12-21-2012, 03:27 PM
The South Carolina Central has managed to go it's entire time in the RA family since the RailTex acquisition without using a motor in the "RailAmerica" paint. (It was once sent a CPDR-lettered RA unit for work, but I don't believe it was ever used in service on the SC Central) I suppose we can expect some GWI orange very soon on both it and the Carolina Piedmont.

South Carolina Central has one ex-Canadian National wide cab. Do you think it will survive long under GWI ownership? And, frankly, it does need some paint, any paint.


I'd expect the stuff actually painted for the South Carolina central, the GP7U and GP10s, are probably not long for this world.


The only GWI-painted unitsI've shot have been at Port Wenthworth in Savanah. I'm not a huge fan, but I will go down to shoot any new paint because it will be different for a bit. But I've also marked a date or two to get down to the SCRF before big changes start happening.

12-21-2012, 06:30 PM
Still grappling with which I hate more, ratty patched Rail America power or haloween neon glow G&W paint.......