By Railfan & Railroad Staff
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railroad is being purchased by Patriot Rail Company. On Wednesday, the shortline conglomerate announced that it was acquiring the Salt Lake City area short line for an undisclosed amount of money. The transaction needs government approval before it can be completed.
The SLGW operates on 26 miles of track in the Salt Lake City area. The railroad was founded in 1891 as the Saltair Railway and connected Salt Lake City with the Saltair Resort on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. In 1892, it was renamed the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railroad, because its owners at the time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wanted to extend it west to California. Those plans ultimately never worked out but the line was electrified in 1916. The railroad dieselized in the 1950s, the same decade it ceased passenger operations after the Saltair Resort closed.
Today, the railroad serves local industries and provides railcar storage, transloading, railcar cleaning and other rail-related services. The sale to Patriot Rail includes the railroad’s subsidiaries, Caballero LLC and Caballero 2 LLC, both storage and transload service providers.
“The agreement aligns with Patriot’s vision of future growth as a premier service provider in the U.S. short line railway industry and complements the Patriot portfolio,” said John Fenton, CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Patriot. “SLGW provides premier service to its customers and we are honored to carry that legacy forward. CEO Mariana Mavor and her team have done a tremendous job expanding capacity and finding creative solutions for shippers.”
Fenton added that SLGW will benefit from Utah’s growing economy and that it is poised to expand in 2021. SLGW currently handles more than 6,000 loaded rail cars annually.
“As a family operated business, SLGW has grown, especially over the last five years,” Mavor said. “This partnership with Patriot Rail affords us more access to expertise, resources and capital to serve the growing needs of our expanding customer base. We couldn’t be more thrilled about the prospects of a ‘bigger and better’ SLGW under the Patriot umbrella.”