Watco Launches New Short Line in Idaho

The Boise Valley Railroad (BVRR) began operations last week over 36 miles of track in Idaho.

The BVRR, a unit of Watco Transportation Services, operates two segments: the 11-mile Wilder Branch from Wilder to Caldwell, Idaho, and the Boise Cut-Off that extends from Nampa to southeast of Boise. It also has trackage rights from Nampa to Caldwell over Union Pacific Railroad.

Watco reached agreement with Rio Grande Pacific Corp. to  purchase the track from the Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad.

Commodities handled on the trackage include potatoes, lumber, fertilizer and fuels. There are 84 customers who will be served by BVRR, some that are already customers of Watco's Eastern Idaho Railroad, Great Northwest Railroad and Yellowstone Valley Railroad.

"This fits in well with our existing infrastructure in Idaho," noted Ed McKechnie, chief commercial officer for Watco Companies. "We love doing business in Idaho and believe the railroad can grow and continue to be a strong part of the Boise economy."

Watco Companies, based in Pittsburg, Kan., owns Watco Transportation Services, which operates 22 short lines with more than 3,500 miles of track. Its Mechanical Services division runs 14 railcar repair shops, four locomotive shops and 10 mobile mechanical shops.