OmniTrax acquires Cleveland Commercial Railroad, affiliate

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Cleveland Commercial at Bedford, Ohio, on Aug. 22, 2016. This daily train originates at Falls Junction and goes into Cleveland.
Craig Sanders
CLEVELAND, Ohio – OmniTrax Inc. will acquire Cleveland Commercial Railroad and its wholly owned subsidiary, Cleveland Harbor Belt Railroad. The acquisition is expected to close in late August, 2019. The price for the transaction was not disclosed. As part of the acquisition, the Cleveland Commercial will be renamed Cleveland & Cuyahoga Railway and the Cleveland Harbor Belt will be renamed Cleveland Port Railway.

Cleveland Commercial operates on 35 miles of former Wheeling & Lake Erie and Norfolk Southern track southeast of Cleveland, while Cleveland Harbor Belt manages the Port of Cleveland’s rail switching service. Primary commodities handled shipped include steel, scrap metals, grain, and chemicals. Cleveland Commercial interchanges with Norfolk Southern and the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway. Cleveland Harbor Belt interchanges with Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation.

“OmniTRAX has been growing at an average annual rate of more than 20% for the past five years, and the acquisition of CCRL and CHB allows us to continue to strengthen the valuable network that makes us such an important partner to our customers and believe our increased presence will have a long-term, positive economic impact for all involved,” says CEO Kevin Shuba. “We look forward to working with the Port of Cleveland and are confident our partnership will lead to significant growth in both marine and rail activity. We expect the partnership with the Port of Cleveland will be another example of the success OmniTRAX and its partners have achieved when rail and maritime work together.”

OmniTRAX has operated the Newburgh & South Shore Railroad in Cleveland and the Northern Ohio & Western Railway near Toledo for more than 20 years.

“The Port of Cleveland is excited to partner with OmniTRAX and further build out the on-dock rail business at our general docks,” says David Gutheil, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cleveland. “OmniTRAX has a substantial customer base across their existing network and a history of leveraging their strong partnerships with the Class 1 railroads to increase revenues and find new lines of business. We share their entrepreneurial spirit and look forward to working closely with their team and our terminal operator, Logistec, to provide cost effective and efficient solutions for our shipping community.”
Port of Cleveland

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