Wichita, Tillman Jackson Railway Seeks to Acquire ‘Western Branch’

WASHINGTON — The Wichita, Tillman Jackson Railway Co. has filed a notice of exemption to acquire slightly more than 61 miles of a rail line known as the Western Branch.

The Western Branch extends between the Texas-Oklahoma State line near Burkburnett, Texas, and Altus, Okla. The WTJR, a Class III rail carrier, has leased and operated the Western Branch since 1991; the line is owned by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

“WTJR states that, due to actions and inactions of others, it now has elected to exercise the purchase option,” according to a notice in the Federal Register. “WTJR points out that the filing of this notice of exemption to acquire the line does not render the lease renewal moot, because WTJR will not be able to consummate the acquisition before the current term of the lease ends. WTJR states that the proposed transaction does not contain any provisions that would limit future interchange with a third-party connecting carrier.”

The notice added: “WTJR certifies that its projected annual revenues as a result of the transaction will not result in WTJR becoming a Class II or Class I rail carrier and further certifies that its projected annual revenues will not exceed $5 million.”

The transaction is expected to be consummated on or shortly after January 16, 2011.