Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor Railway Age
(Pinsly Railroad Company Photograph)
Gulf & Atlantic Railways LLC (G&AR) on Aug. 29 reported entering a definitive agreement to acquire Pinsly Railroad Company’s (Pinsly) Massachusetts short line and warehousing business.
The transaction includes the 18-mile Pioneer Valley Railroad (PVRR) and Pinsly’s Railroad Distribution Services, Inc. (RDS), a rail-served warehousing and distribution business. The purchase is subject to authorization by the Surface Transportation Board.
PVRR, which Pinsly acquired in 1982, runs from Westfield to Holyoke, Mass. (see map above), with interline access to CSX, including Pan Am Southern. Together with RDS, which Pinsly established in 1985, the short line serves more than 30 diversified customers. RDS operates two rail-served warehouses with 140,000 square feet of indoor storage and 3.5 acres of outdoor storage.
The addition of PVRR will expand Jacksonville, Fla.-based G&AR’s portfolio to six small roads. It already operates the 430-mile Florida, Gulf & Atlantic Railroad and the 228-mile Grenada Railroad, which received Honorable Mention in Railway Age’s 2021 Short Line and Regional Railroad Awards program. Additionally, earlier this year, G&AR acquired the 15-mile Camp Chase Railroad, 28-mile Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad, and 10-mile Vermilion Valley Railroad from Midwestern & Bluegrass Rail.
“PVRR and RDS are well-respected short line railroad and rail-served warehousing and distribution platforms, with an exceptional focus on safety, a fantastic team, and a diversified revenue base,” G&AR CEO Ryan Ratledge said. “The employees are talented, highly experienced professionals. We look forward to working with them to continue Pinsly’s track-record of safe, efficient rail and distribution service to customers and welcoming them to our growing team.”
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement to transition our Massachusetts business to G&AR,” Pinsly CEO John Levine said. “Pinsly has a long-standing commitment to safety, service, business development and capital investment. We believe G&AR will be a great steward of our business and that Pinsly will add to the already outstanding and growing G&AR rail transportation infrastructure platform.”
Pinsly was advised by Northborne Partners.
In 2020, 3i-backed Regional Rail acquired Pinsly’s Florida operations. Pinsly divested its Arkansas division in 2015. For the history of the Pinsly Railroad Company, read ASLRRA President Chuck Baker’s February 2022 column in Railway Age: “Short Line Story Is One of Resiliency.”