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Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) and SEACOR Holdings Inc. have formed a joint venture to own and operate CG Railway LLC (CGR), a freight railroad that operates rail ferry service between the ports of Mobile, Alabama, and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. CG Railway is a subsidiary that SEACOR recently acquired through its acquisition of International Shipholding Corp. Terms of the 50-50 joint venture were not disclosed.The rail ferry offers a faster and more cost-effective alternative to the traditional land route between the southeast United States and southeast Mexico, the companies said in a joint press release issued today.The joint venture plans to invest in the existing rail ferry vessels to enhance service reliability, they said. Established in 2001, the ferry service transports 10,000 annual carloads of commodities including chemicals and plastics, fructose and refined sugar, steel, and pulp and paper.The railway's business comprises a U.S. Class III freight railroad that connects in Mobile with G&W's Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway, BNSF, CN, CSX, Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern Railway, and connects in Coatzacoalcos with Ferrosur S.A. de C.V.; two roll-on, roll-off rail ferries that each have the capacity to transport 115 rail cars per voyage; long-term agreements to operate rail ferry terminals in the ports of Mobile and Coatzacoalcos; and a 10,000-square-foot truck-to-rail transload facility and rail-car repair shop in Mobile.G&W plans to work with Ferrosur and Ferromex to expand its customer base, said Chief Commercial Officer Michael Miller."CGR creates a natural extension of our rail services to reach the rapidly growing market in central and southern Mexico," Miller said. Additionally, G&W plans to use SEACOR's expertise in marine operations to improve the rail ferry's on-time performance, said CG Railway Senior Vice President Kevin Wild."Combining reliable service with the cost efficiency of short sea shipping and the 50 percent shorter transit time versus land routes, we create a compelling alternative for customers moving goods between the eastern U.S. and Canada to and from central and southern Mexico," Wild said.
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