by Jeff Smith
Cross-posting in NS, then moving to Short Lines: WV Gazette Mail
Kansas company to put trains back on Norfolk Southern lines in WV
After being mostly silent for months, the sound of steel wheels on steel rail and the wail of train horns will return to Norfolk Southern railroad tracks in the Kanawha Valley next week.
“It’s going to get noisy again around here real soon,” said Steve Wilson, a manager for the Kanawha River Railroad, a new short line railroad that will operate a route from outside of Mullens in Wyoming County, through the Kanawha Valley, and on to Columbus, Ohio.
In February, as part of system-wide cost-cutting efforts, Norfolk Southern suspended operations on most of the Ohio portion of the route. While the portion of track through West Virginia from Point Pleasant through the Kanawha Valley and on southeast, technically remained open, traffic on the line plummeted.
That’s when Pittsburg, Kansas-based Watco Companies stepped in, leasing the 309 miles of rail line and creating the Kanawha River Railroad.