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“"OmniTRAX's management expertise and our Precision Scheduled Short Line Railroading... will bring this 100-year-old railroad to modern times, making it and our customer's businesses far more efficient and profitable," CEO of OmniTrax Inc. Kevin Shuba said in a statement after news hit Friday that the transportation provider acquired Winchester & Western Railroad for $105 million from their parent company Covia Holdings Corp. WW acknowledged that becoming part of OmniTRAX would enable them to implement operational strategies that only a logistics company can provide. The 103-year-old company is also looking forward to the support and leadership that OmniTRAX can provide for them.

The new deal which is set to close in the third quarter will bring significant growth for OnmniTRAX as it expands into the East, providing transportation access to WW’s 100 miles of railroad track and over 26 thousand loads per year. OmniTRAX will also gain access to WW’s 17 trains located throughout New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Shuba went more in depth regarding the strategic motivation behind the acquisition stating; “…the acquisition of this strategic distribution hub is a deliberate step toward enhancing the continued growth and strength of our thriving network,” He went on to say, “we have high expectations for economic impact and job production.”

OmniTRAX which is currently owned by the Broe Group- a corporation that specializes in real estate, transportation, energy, and investment; offers supply chain and logistics services across the country by utilizing both railways and truck services. The organization offers customers door to door service; real time tracking; and email alerts boasting that their services improve reliability, increase flexibility and “Make Shipping Easy.” OmniTRAX services also include site selection design, and development; rail rate and service plan negotiations; inventory management; and dedicated customer service.

This news comes on the heels of a failed negotiation to acquire a 30-mile rail line in the Adirondacks between OmniTRAX and the Tahawus Line. Talks stalled at the beginning of 2019 and officially came to a head in mid-June. In a letter, Robert Wimbish, OmniTRAX’s attorney wrote; “OmniTRAX continues to believe, however, that the Tahawus Line possesses sound commercial prospects for the right operator, but it has concluded that continued pursuit of this opportunity is not right for OmniTRAX at this time.”

This has been a busy quarter for OmniTRAX as it was recently announced that along with the city of Peru, Ill received a $6 million grant from the federal government to work on their managed Illinois Railway. The grant will allow both OmniTRAX and the city to provide, “a dramatically safer community and a more efficient transport network.” When news of the grant were released Shuba stated that OmniTRAX was “excited to be involved with this generational investment in the central Illinois rail networks…” He went on to state, “It’s projects like this, based on mutual benefit for all stakeholders, that are a shining example of how government and business can work together effectively.”

Through their logistical business; purchasing of WW railway, and the $6 million grant to improve Illnois railways – OmniTrax is setting themselves up to be one of the prominent leaders in railway logistics and transportation.

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 Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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