American Heritage Railways hires former Watco, G&W official to drum up freight business

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Could narrow gauge freight in the U.S. make a return? Durango & Silverton's parent is seeking freight business for its three tourist-based railroads.
Brian Schmidt
DURANGO, Colo. – American Heritage Railways has hired a longtime rail industry veteran to head up efforts to develop freight business on its three scenic railroads: The Mount Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum in Washington, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in North Carolina, and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado.

Michael Gibson previously worked for Genesee & Wyoming and Watco Cos. and will be AHR’s vice president of rail and freight development.

“The addition of Gibson and his extensive rail domain and line management experience to the AHR team represents a strategic shift in the company’s long-term planning and operations as it continues to identify and capitalize on valuable market-share growth, infrastructure expansion, and revenue-generation opportunities for the company,” says CEO Allen C. Harper.

General Manager John Harper tells Trains News Wire that Gibson’s primary focus will be developing freight traffic on the company’s two standard gauge routes in Washington and North Carolina. Harper says the company is already pursuing multiple opportunities in the freight market but declined to go into specifics at this early date.

In the past, some freight has moved over both the GSMR and D&SNG. The narrow gauge railroad has hauled equipment and materials for the Tacoma Power Plant, the Tall Timber Resort, and other private landowners along the way.

Prior to coming to American Heritage, Gibson was general manager of Louisville, Ky.-based Road and Rail Services Inc.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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