Gulf & Ohio adds a South Carolina shortline

The railroad biz must be doing well, despite all the talk of a sluggish recovery. Knoxville-based Gulf & Ohio Railways Inc. is adding to its shortline empire with the acquisition of a South Carolina railroad.

G&O is buying the operating assets  of the L&C Railway, which serves Chester and Lancaster counties.

The deal is expected to close by Nov. 1.

The purchase price was not disclosed, but railroads don’t come cheap, even in this economy.

“This will allow us to gain access to the Charlotte market and will be our second biggest railroad,” said G&O Vice President Peter “Doc” Claussen.

L&C is based in Lancaster, S.C., about 35 miles south of Charolotte, N.C.

L&C has 62 miles of track and customers include ADM, Circle S Feed Mill, Dow Chemical, Gerdau Ameristeel, Guardian Glass, Mississippi Lime, Omnova Solutions, Owens Corning, PPG Industries, and ThyssenKrupp Steel.

G&O owns seven shortline railroads in Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee and locomotive shops in Knoxville and Laurinburg, N.C.

G&O press release

G&O website

L&C website

Photo: Knoxville News Sentinel/ Amy Smotherman Burgess

Doc Claussen and Karen C. Bishop pose with their father, Pete Claussen, G&O chairman at the Knoxville & Holston River rail yard.