Watco Companies

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Watco Companies, LLC

legal form LLC
founding 1983
Seat Pittsburg , Kansas ,United StatesUnited States
management Rick Webb ( CEO )
Branch Railway company
Website www.watcocompanies.com

Watco Companies is an American company that operates several local and regional railroad companies, among other things. The company is based in Pittsburg (Kansas) .

Other business areas include shunting services, the leasing of locomotives and freight cars, the repair of rail vehicles, the provision of warehouses and the onward transport of goods by road, and the operation of the Greens Port Industrial Park in Harris County (Texas) .


In 1983 Charles R. "Dick" Webb (1938–2009) founded Watco Companies Inc. The company began with a shunting operation in DeRidder, Louisiana . He then took over the repair shop in Coffeyville (Kansas) and began offering his service to the major Class 1 railroad companies. The contacts with these railway companies formed the basis for taking over individual branch lines from these companies in order to continue to operate them independently.

On April 13, 1987, operations began on the Southeast Kansas Railroad (later South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad ). On August 20, 1990, the Osage Railroad (later also South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad) was added in Kansas. When the South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad began operating on December 28, 1990, he was able to further expand the route network in the Midwest.

In the following years, the company turned to other regions of the United States. On November 20, 1992 one took over the operation on the Blue Mountain Railroad and the Palouse River Railway (merged since 2000 to the Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad ). On November 22, 1993, the Eastern Idaho Railroad went into service.

The next expansion came five years later with the acquisition of the Timber Rock Railroad and the Stillwater Central Railroad . Between 2001 and 2010 another 17 railway companies were taken over or founded.

In 2011 Watco Companies acquired two local rail companies and 90% of the regional rail company Wisconsin and Southern Railroad .

From March 2012 Watco will take over grain transport for the Australian cooperative CBH Group for 10 years .

In the years that followed, the company continued its expansion course and acquired additional railway companies.

Railway companies

The railway companies are concentrated in the subsidiary Watco Transportation Services. At the end of 2011, the entire route network covered 5900 kilometers.

Railway company takeover
Alabama Southern Railroad (ABS) November 20, 2005
Alabama Warrior Railway (ABWR) August 2009
Arkansas Southern Railroad (ARS) October 9, 2005
Austin Western Railroad (AWRR) October 2007
Autauga Northern Railroad (AUT) April 2011
Baton Rouge Southern Railroad (BRS) November 28, 2008
Birmingham Terminal Railway (BHRR) February 1, 2012
Boise Valley Railroad (BVRR) November 2009
Eastern Idaho Railroad (EIRR) November 22, 1993
Ithaca Central Railroad (ITHR) December 8, 2018
Great Northwest Railroad (GRNW) March 2004
Grand Elk Railroad (GDLK) March 8, 2009
Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (KO) July 2001
Kaw River Railroad (KAW) June 2004
Louisiana Southern Railroad (LAS) September 25, 2005
Mission Mountain Railroad (MMT) December 2004
Mississippi Southern Railroad (MSR) April 4, 2005
Pacific Sun Railroad (PSRR) October October 25, 2008
Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad (PCC) 1996
Pennsylvania Southwestern Railroad (PSWR) April 1, 2003
South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL) December 28, 1990
Stillwater Central Railroad (SLWC) 1998
Swan Ranch Railroad (SRRR) December 28, 2011
Timber Rock Railroad (TIBR) 1998
Vicksburg Southern Railroad (VSOR) January 8, 2006
Wisconsin and Southern Railroad (WSOR) January 1, 2012
Yellowstone Valley Railroad (YSVR) August 15, 2005
Pecos Valley Southern Railway 2012
San Antonio Central Railroad 2012
Ann Arbor Railroad January 29, 2013
Blue Ridge Southern Railroad 2014
Lubbock and Western Railway May 18, 2015
Texas and New Mexico Railway May 18, 2015
Cicero Central Railroad 2015
Kanawha River Railroad May 20, 2016
Jacksonville Port Terminal Railroad 2017


  • Edward A. Lewis: American Shortline Railway Guide . 5th edition. Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha, WI 1996, ISBN 0-89024-290-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Executive Team
  2. American Shortline Railway Guide, 5th edition, p. 291
  3. ^ American Shortline Railway Guide, 5th edition, p. 239
  4. ^ Andy Cummings: Wisconsin & Southern sold . In: Trains . tape 72 , no. 2 . Kalmbach Publishing Co., March 2012, ISSN  0041-0934 , p. 9 .
  5. watcocompanies.com: Western Australia (WA)
  6. Ithaca Central Railroad (ITHR). Watco Companies, December 2018, accessed December 13, 2018 : "Ithaca Central Railroad (ITHR) begins operations on December 8, 2018"