A managed affiliate of OmniTRAX, Inc. is purchasing the Heart of Texas Railroad (HTR) from private local investors. The transaction is subject to Surface Transportation Board approval. Terms were not disclosed.
The line, which is being renamed Central Texas & Colorado River Railway, LLC, operates 68 miles of track running due west from Lometa, Tex., where it interchanges with BNSF, to Brady, Tex. Potential new customers include an aggregate quarry, a cement factory and frac sand producers, OmniTRAX said.
“The Central Texas & Colorado River Railway is a great opportunity for OmniTRAX with at least three good long-term mineral prospects on the line,” said OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba. “As a distressed asset that can be turned around with our expertise, it’s right in our sweet spot. We want to thank the sellers for their efforts in starting to implement a restructuring plan and making the closing of the transaction as smooth as possible.”
HTR, organized in 2012 and headquartered in Brady, operates the former Santa Fe branch line from the interchange with BNSF at Lometa. It acquired the line from the bankrupt Gulf, Colorado & San Saba Railway in 2013. Operations began on Jan. 29 of that year. On May 19, 2013, a 900-foot trestle carrying the tracks over the Colorado River about 10 miles west of Lometa burned and collapsed. The fire was of unknown origin. HTR contracted with JCF Bridge & Concrete to replace the bridge, and the new span opened on May 16, 2014, at a cost of $4 million.