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Freight service returns to west Ohio county

Keywords: Tags  Hannibal Real Estate, Carload Express, Norfolk Southern, Hannibal Industrial Park, Ormet Corp., aluminum, Monroe County, Ohio Marcellus

CHICAGO — Hannibal Real Estate LLC and Carload Express Inc. plan to operate the 12.2-mile Omal Railway line in Monroe County, Ohio, in a move the firms said would return freight rail service to the region.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Hannibal and Oakmont, Pa.-based Carload Express, a short-line railroad company, said that Ohio Terminal Railway Co., a subsidiary of Carload, will operate as a common carrier short-line railroad connecting with Norfolk (Va.) Southern Corp.’s North American rail network.

Besides returning freight service to Monroe County, the development will provide rail access to the Hannibal Industrial Park, owned by Hannibal Real Estate, and Hannibal, Ohio-based aluminum producer Ormet Corp., the two companies said in a release dated Wednesday.

The Omal Railway is also expected to help bolster growth in the “wet” gas- and oil-producing portions of the nearby Utica and Marcellus shales, the two companies said. “The combination of new rail service and property available in the industrial park is a natural fit to service the emerging shale-gas drilling industry in the region,” they said.

Oil and “wet” gas, or natural gas liquids (NLGs), fetch a premium to dry natural gas, which has seen prices tumble to a point that makes some wells uneconomical.

Hannibal Real Estate acquired the former Ormet Rolling Mills and the operating rights to the Omal Railway in 2007, it said.

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