November 5, 2020 - TRA Newswire -

Jaguar Transport Holdings (Jaguar) and The Western Group (TWG) have announced that Jaguar has acquired five short-line railroads, one in East Texas, and a railroad construction and maintenance company from TWG.

Jaguar is partnered with OPSEU Pension Plan Trust Fund ("OPTrust"), which invests and manages one of Canada's largest pension funds and has significant experience investing in the surface transportation and logistics space.

The railroads being acquired in the transaction are:

Texas and Eastern Railroad with operations between Rusk and Palestine, Texas, along with the Texas State Railroad
Cimarron Valley Railroad in Southwest Kansas, Northern Oklahoma, and Eastern Colorado
Washington Eastern Railroad in Eastern Washington
Southwestern Railroad in Southern New Mexico
Oregon Eastern Railroad in Eastern Oregon

Also being acquired is The Western Railroad Builders, a railroad engineering, design, construction, and maintenance firm with industrial and railroad clients.

The Texas State Railroad, 25 miles long, operates between Rusk and Palestine as a heritage railroad offering scenic tourist trains through much of the year. Freight service began in 2012 on the line, which has seen a series of ownership changes.

Jaguar, a transportation, and logistics service company founded in 2018, headquartered in Joplin, Missouri, took over operations on November 1, 2020.  Jaguar's entrepreneurial approach focuses on customers and the ability of the Jaguar team to identify new opportunities to grow the business.

"We are proud and excited to have the opportunity to serve the customers, communities, and partners involved with these properties.  With our focus on 'earning the right to grow' Jaguar will create long term value for all stakeholders," said Jaguar's CEO Stu Towner.  "It has been a great experience working with Dave and Linda Durbano.  We appreciate all that they have done and look forward to working with their team members to continuously improve upon the legacy of safe and efficient operations that they have created."

"Selling our companies, some of which were crafted from the ground up 50 years ago, was a tough decision," commented Durbano, "but we have confidence that Jaguar was the right company to carry on what we started. In addition to the railroad entities, they acquired a great number of talented and energetic people under a powerful management team whom we are confident will help Jaguar grow and prosper."

"Our commercial team is industry and commodity specific, not property focused. This gives them a deeper knowledge about specific industries, and the ability to better understand our customers and provide meaningful logistics solutions," said Jaguar SVP Commercial Development Tim Enayati.  "We listen to our team members and customers and there is no limit to the value we can create together," added Towner.

The Western Group, a rail transportation services company founded in 1972 by Dave Durbano is headquartered in Ogden, Utah.