Tuesday, June 13, 2017

R. J. Corman marks 30 years

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief, Railway Age
R. J. Corman marks 30 years R.J. Corman

R. J. Corman Railroad Co. LLC is commemorating its 30th anniversary this year. The company that the late Rick Corman founded in January 1987 with the acquisition of a branch line has blossomed into a diverse organization with numerous divisions.


Richard J. "Rick" Corman (July 22, 1955 – August 23, 2013) began the company with the acquisition of the Bardstown Line. In August of the same year, he purchased a second 100-mile short line, the Memphis Line, which operates from Clarksville, Tenn., to Bowling Green, Ky. These two acquisitions were the beginning of what has become a nationally recognized group of short line operating companies.

R. J. Corman Railroad Co. LLC, a holding company for short line railroads, is a subsidiary of R. J. Corman Railroad Group LLC, which altogether employs more than 1,500 people in 23 states. Railroad Group companies provide a myriad of services to the railroad industry, including industrial railcar switching, emergency response, track material distribution, track construction and rehabilitation, signal design and construction, railroad worker training, and building eco-friendly locomotives.

Today, R. J. Corman operates 11 short line companies in nine states totaling nearly 1,000 track-miles. The largest railroad in the R. J. Corman system is the Pennsylvania Lines, consisting of 243 miles of track that run through the ridges and valleys of north central Pennsylvania. R. J. Corman also operates the Tennessee Terminal Railroad, which interchanges with BNSF Railway in Memphis. R. J. Corman celebrated the 10th anniversary of this terminal in March 2016. R. J. Corman's Central Kentucky Lines consist of nearly 150 miles of track running from Lexington to Louisville. These lines service 31 customers and interchange with CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. In August 2015, R. J. Corman purchased a 78-mile railroad in North and South Carolina and leased 14 connecting miles from Horry County, S.C., for which they received all necessary Surface Transportation Board authority to begin operations on the lines. Last year, R. J. Corman was awarded a USDOT TIGER VIII grant to carry out an extensive rehabilitation project on this railroad.

R. J. Corman Railroad Co. moved more than 60,000 railcars in 2016. The company owns more than 100 locomotives and approximately 475 railcars. An in-house engineering department performs all required track inspections and maintenance on short line properties. An additional team of mechanics is responsible for all regular maintenance associated with the locomotive fleet. In the past six years, R. J. Corman completed more than $55 million in capital improvements to all 11 properties, including replacement of 310,000 ties.

R. J. Corman Railroad Co has received numerous awards since its establishment. Most recently, in 2015, it were selected for CSX Transportations' Short Line Award. Two years earlier, it were recognized with the Argus Rail Win Win Award. The operating company has been awarded the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) Jake Award with Distinction for nine consecutive years and received seven ASLRRA Marketing Awards.

"I feel privileged to serve as the president of such a successful company," Brian Miller, President of R. J. Corman Railroad Co., LLC, said. "Rick Corman's entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude have paved our road to success and continue to push us as an organization to think innovatively in order to meet the needs of our customers."

"I extend my thanks to the countless employees that have played a vital role in the success our railroad company has seen over the last thirty years," R. J. Corman Railroad Group President and CEO Ed Quinn said. "Their hard work, dedication and commitment to safety have allowed us to excel as a company and be recognized as a premiere short line operator." For information about the company, visit www.rjcorman.com or call 859-881-7521.