The on again, off again sale of the CSX Florida Panhandle route to RailUSA LLC subsidiary Florida Gulf & Atlantic finally has been consummated, RailUSA Chairman and CEO Gary O. Marino announced on June 3. The sale includes 430-miles of track and related real estate across northern Florida and into Georgia. The sale was first announced last November and was filed for Surface Transportation Board approval on December 21 but foundered in January when the two companies reached an impasse on final terms and called it off. Revived talks led to a March announcement that the deal was back on. Details of the sales agreement were not included in the June 3 announcement.
The FG&A is comprised of three subdivisions covering 373 route miles. The Tallahassee Subdivision starts near Baldwin, Fla., and ends near Chattahoochee, Fla.;.the P&A Subdivision starts near Chattahoochee and ends near Pensacola; and the Bainbridge Subdivision starts near Tallahassee, Fla., and ends near Attapulgus, Ga. It interchanges with CSX, Apalachicola Northern, and the Bay Line Railroad.
The acquisition is the second for railroad holding company RailUSA, which bought Grenada Railroad in Mississippi soon after its inception in 2018. While the company is new, CEO Marino is well known in the industry from his roles as founder and leader of both RailAmerica and Patriot Rail.
See the June 2019 issue of Railfan & Railroad for a detailed examination of the affected lines, and most recent operation under CSX.
—Eric Berger, Railfan & Railroad