No Deal for CSX Florida Panhandle Line

The deal between CSX and RailUSA for sale of CSX lines through the Florida Panhandle went off the rails in January. Transfer of ownership of the Tallahassee, Pensacola & Atlantic, and portions of the Bainbridge subdivisions to RailUSA’s Florida Gulf & Atlantic was approved by the Surface Transportation Board last year for a January 6 startup, but the deal reportedly fell apart when CSX and RailUSA were unable to agree on final terms. The sale was to ecompass 373-miles of track, and would have been the second major spin off by CSX, following its sale of Illinois trackage to WATCO’s Decatur & Eastern Illinois last fall.

The FG&A was to be the second railroad operated by RailUSA, a new railroad holding company led by Gary Marino, who previously created and headed RailAmerica and Patriot Rail. It is a subsidiary of International Rail Partners, which Marino formed in concert with Sam Zell’s Equity Group Investments. The company acquired the 206-mile Grenada Railroad in August. Both RailUSA and IRP are based in Boca Raton, Florida.

Most of the CSX traffic moving across the Panhandle route was previously rerouted to a parallel line to the north, and it appears likely CSX will seek another buyer.

—Eric Berger, Railfan & Railroad

This article was posted on: January 21, 2019