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Don's Rail Photos

Rail Switching Services, Inc.

RailServe, Inc.

Canadian RailServe Ltd.

These companies provide switching services, short lines, and locomotive leasing among other services.

The formation of Rail Switching Services, Inc. can be traced back to the 1960's when its founding partner's met while working for the Great Southern Paper Company in Cedar Springs, Georgia. C. F. (Fred) Fisher III was Transportation Manager of Great Southern Paper Co. and K. E. (Earl) Durden managed the company's railroad, Chattahoochee Industrial Railroad. By 1980, they both left the paper company and headed their separate ways. Mr. Fisher began working for Itel Corporation, while Mr. Durden began his own company, Rail Management Corporation, which was based out of Dothan, Alabama.

In 1981, a Panama City, Florida paper mill, Southwest Forest Industries, faced a possible strike by its employees. Since Southwest Forest Ind. owned its own railroad, Atlanta and St. Andrews Bay Railway (also known as The Bay Line), it feared a loss of railroad service as it believed railroad employees would not cross a picket line. Rail Management was consulted to create a solution to Southwest Forest Industries' potential problem and Rail Switching Services, Inc., an Earl Durden and Fred Fisher partnership, was the result.

In April 1981, Rail Switching Services began a one-year contract for in-plant-switching at the mill. The strike never occurred and at the end of the one-year contract, The Bay Line sought re-entry into the mill, but it was told no. Rail Switching Services provided such an outstanding service at a reduced cost, that the contract was renewed.

Rail Switching Services then began marketing the idea of a third-party switching service, which they thought was the first of its kind. In December 1984, Rail Switching Services picked up its second contract, which was with American Maize Products Co. in Hammond, Indiana. Rail Switching Services reached a high of twenty-two contracts in 1995.

Unlike Rail Switching Services, Rail Management's focus in the railroad industry was in acquiring railroad franchises. Rail Management's first venture came after the demise of the Rock Island Railroad in 1980. Green Bay Packaging in Perry, Arkansas one-day found itself without rail service and contacted Rail Management for a solution. Two months later, a joint venture between Green Bay Packaging and Rail Management began with the purchase of former Rock Island trackage between Perry and Little Rock, AR. The operation was called the Little Rock and Western Railway and began in June of 1980. To Green Bay Packaging's surprise, the Little Rock and Western turned a profit its first year. This set the wheels in motion for additional partnerships between Green Bay Packaging and Rail Management.

In the mid-1980's, Fred Fisher left Rail Switching Services and sold his half of the company to Earl Durden. During this same period, all locomotives operating for Rail Switching Services were transferred to a new corporation, Durden Leasing, Inc. This was done for tax and liability purposes and therefore, all locomotives were leased back to Rail Switching Services. More changes came in the early 1990's when Mike Durden acquired Rail Switching Services from his father and the offices of Rail Switching Services and Rail Management moved to Panama City, Florida.

Green Bay Packaging and Rail Management continued to accumulate shortline railroads for a number of years. On May 1, 1991, when all debts were paid, a holding company called Rail Partners L.P. was created. This was owned 50/50 by the two companies and was acquired in full by Rail Management in 1997, when it exercised its option to purchase Green Bay Packaging's half of the company. Twelve shortline operations were owned at that time.

Rail Management owned and operated up to fifteen shortline operations: AN Railway, L.L.C.; Atlantic and Western Railway, L.P.; Bay Line Railroad, L.L.C.; Copper Basin Railway, Inc.; East Tennessee Railway, L.P.; Galveston Railroad, L.P.; Georgia Central Railway, L.P.; KWT Railway, Inc.; Little Rock and Western Railway, L.P.; M&B Railroad, L.L.C.; Riceboro Southern Railway, L.L.C.; Tomahawk Railway, L.P.; Valdosta Railway, L.P.; Wilmington Terminal Railroad, L.P.; and Western Kentucky Railway, L.L.C. All but one operation were sold to Genesse and Wyoming Inc. in June 2005. The Copper Basin was sold to ASARCO in September 2006.

Getting back to Rail Switching Services, the contract switching operations were sold to Trackmobile, Inc. in November 1995 when Rail Management decided that it wanted to focus its attention on the railroad franchise business. The twenty-two Rail Switching Services switching operations were handed over to Railserve, Inc., Trackmobile's own contract switching subsidiary and the locomotives that were already in operation for Rail Switching Services were leased to Railserve on a net lease by Durden Leasing. Railserve leased forty-three locomotives, forty-one on long-term leases and two on short-term leases. Clauses in the leasing contract allowed a locomotive to be returned to Durden Leasing, only when a contract was lost and the locomotive was no longer needed. By September 1999, one long-term lease unit had been turned back and both of the short-term lease units had too, leaving forty engines being leased by Railserve. A November 1999 or November 2001 purchase option was also in the contract, but the option was exercised on November 19, 2000 and Railserve acquired forty locomotives.

Railserve has been the largest provider of in-plant rail services in the North America and offers the above mentioned contract railcar switching as well as unloading and loading services, locomotive leasing, car inspection and track repair. Railserve operates in nearly seventy locations in the United States as well as Canada.
Rail Switching Services locomotives were painted bright yellow with a black underframe and black lettering. The lettering was most often a simple "RSS" and road number painted on the cab sides, but many early locomotives also had a black diamond painted around the identification (please note that "RSS" was not their reporting mark, as that mark actually belongs to the Rockdale, Sandow and Southern Railroad). Railserve adopted the same yellow and black paint scheme, but by 1997, marked their locomotives with "RS" (this was not their reporting mark either as that mark actually belongs to the Roberval and Saguenay Railway). Due to the need to have an actual reporting mark for moving locomotives from one contract to another, Railserve acquired the mark RSSX on November 30, 2000.

---Randy Keller

 

7, SW1500, was built by Electro-Motive in December 1971, #38465, FN 7352-3 as Pittsburgh & Lake Erie 1556, Class ES-15.  It was sold as RSSX 7.

8, SW1500, was built by Electro-Motive in October 1972, #7376-6, FN 7376-6, as P&LE 1544, Class ES-15.  It was rebuilt by Peaker Services on March 21, 1991, and sold as Tennessee Eastman Corp 8.  It was resold as RSSX 8.

82, SW1200, was built by Electro-Motive in August 1965, #30514, FN 7812-2, as Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac 82.  It was sold as RSSX 82.

101, SW1200. was built by Electro-Motive in November 1954, #20049, FN 4284-9, as Chicago Milwaukee St Paul & Pacific 2056, Class 12E-S.  It was renumbered 608 in 1959 and retired in March 1984.  It was sold to Wilson Rail and sold as Georgia-Pacific Corp 101.  It was resold as RSSX 101. 

102, GP9, was built by Electro-Motive in June 1956, #21722, FN 5453-37, as Chesapeake & Ohio 6085, Class MRSE-17.  It became Class GP-9 in 1964 and sold as RSSX 6085 and renumbered 102.  It was sold as Bay Line RR 512.

103, TC10, was built by Electro-Motive in November 1958, #24955, FN 5583-8, as Norfolk & Western 513, a GP9.  It was rebuilt as 103, TC-10, in January 1987 and was sold as RSI 103 in December 2005.

106, GG10B, was built by Electro-Motive March 1956, #21347, FN 5436-29, as Southern Pacific 5654, Class DF-607.  It was renumbered 3487, Class EF418-6, in 1966 and rebuilt as 3348, Class EF418E-2, on May 1, 1987.  It was sold as RSSX 106 and rebuilt at Alstom, Calgary, in May 2005 as GG10B May 2005, #1RPGGB108510000015.

110, SW1200, was built by Electro-Motive in May 1957, #23361, FN 4363-2, as Baltimore & Ohio 9615, Class SE-6.  It was reclassified as Class SW-1200 in 1965 and retired on Septembe 8, 1986.  It was sold as RSS 351 via Wilson Railway Corp in February 1988.  It was renumbered 110 and leased as Bay Line RR 110.  It was sold to Conrad Yelvington Distributors as CYDZ 359.

168, NW2u, was built by Electro-Motive in July 1939, #944, FN E260-6, as Great Northern 5317. It was renumbered 117 in 1943 and became Burlington Northern 464, Class NW-2, in 1970. It was rebuilt in February 1975 as 14, Class NW-12, and retired on July 14, 1992.  It was sold as RSSX 168 and sold as Orange Port Terminal Ry 14.  It was renumbered 2214 and sold as Lone Star Locomotive Leasing Co 2214 in 2010.

401, SW9, was built by Electro-Motive in November 1952, #16209, FN 4154-2, as Detroit & Toledo Shore Line 121, Class ES.  It later became Grand Trunk Western 6121 and later sold as RSSX 401.

402, SW9, was built by Electro-Motive in November 1952, #16208, FN 4154-1, as DT&SL 120, Class ES. It was renumbered when GTW took over the D&TSL and later sold as RSSX 402.

430, GP9u, was built by Electro-Motive in January 1954, #18827, FN 5307-31, as Illinois Central 9030.  It was rebuilt at Paducah in May 1969 as Illinois Central Gulf 8030 and sold as Iowa Interstate RR 8030 in October 1984.  It was renumbered 430 in 1987 and sold to Helm Leasing as RSSX 430 in May 1994.

451, SW9, was built by Electro-Motive in March 1951, #12458, FN 4073-1, as DT&SL 119, Class ES.  It later became GTW 6119 and later sold as RSSX 451.

506, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in November 1951, #14244, FN 5091-7, as Saint Louis-San Francisco 598.  It was sold to Precision National Co and operated as PNC 598.  It was sold in March 1980 as Chicago & North Western  and became 4453 on May 13, 1980.  It was retired in May 1994 and sold to OmniTrax in October 1994 as GWRX 4453.  It was sold to  SP Construction Services as SPCX 506 and sold as Wichita Tillman & Jackson 506.  It was was sold as RSSX 506 in June 2012.

576, GP9, was built by Electro-Motive in October 1956, #22420, FN 5490-9, as Baltimore & Ohio 3421, Class PSE-2.  It was rebuilt as Class FSE-4 in June 1958 and renumbered 6614, Class GP9, in 1965.  It was assigned CSX Transportation 0614 but retired in 1987.  It was sold as Seminole Gulf RR 576 in October 1987 and sold as RSSX 576 in 2011.

575, Leaf, was built by Railserve, #21492.

577, GP9, was built by Electro-Motive in October 1956, #22423, FN 5490-12, as B&O 3424, Class PSE-2.  It was rebuilt as Class FSE-4 in June 1958 and renumbered 6617, Class GP9, in 1965.  It was assigned CSX 0617 but retired on September 18, 1987.  It was sold as SGLR 577 on October 19, 1987, and sold as RSSX 577 in 2011.

722, GP7u, was built by Electro-Motive in March 1953, #17721, FN 6495-1, as Illinois Central 8906. It was rebuilt at Paducah in January 1977 as 7722.  It was later sold to Arkansas Midland as AKMD 722 on January 13, 1992, and sold as RSSX 722.

754, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in February 1951, #13911, FN 5087-14, as Atlantic Coast Line 166.  It became Seaboard Coast Line 754 in July 1967 and sold as United States Sugar Corp 754.  It was sold as RSSX 754 in 2006.

821, S6, was built by Alco in June 1956, #81724, as Southern Pacific 1053, Class DS-11.  It was renumbered 1220, Class AS409-3, in 1966 and sold as Tacoma Belt Line 950 in 1976.  It became Vancouver Wharves Co 21 in 1996 and renumbered 821 in 1996.  It was sold as CRLX 821 in 1996 and sold to Dow Chemical Co as DOWX 1009 in 1997.   It was assigned to Fort Saskatchewan.

826, S6, was built by Alco in August 1956, #81806, as SP 1065, Class DS-11.  It was renumbered 1232, Class AS409-3, in 1966.  It was sold as VW 30 and renumbered 26 in 1986.  It was renumbered 826 in 1996 and sold as CRSV 826 in 1996.  It was sold as DOWX 1008 in 1997 at Fort Saskatchewan and as RSSX 1008.

900, SW1200, was built by Electro-Motive in March 1965, #29792, N 7766-3, as Missouri Pacific 1154.  It was sold as RSSX 903 and renumbered 900.

929, GP7u, was built by Electro-Motive in November 1950, #11345, FN 5033-5, as Seaboard Air Line 1749.  It became Seaboard Coast Line 929 in July 1967 and sold as USSC 929.  It was sold as RSSX 929 in 2007.

952, SW1200, was built by Electro-Motive in March 1954, #19534, FN 4272-1, as Oliver Iron Mining Co 941.  It was transferred as United States Steel Corp 941 and sold as RSSX 952.  It was sold as Georgia Central RR 952.  It was rebuilt by Brookville Equipment by BL14CG in 2010 as Buffalo & Pittsburgh 1401.

1078, GP9u, was built by Electro-Motive in March 1955, #20179, FN 5378-33, as  Illinois Central 9100.  It was rebuilt by Paducah in October 1971 as Illinois Central Gulf 8100 and sold as Gulf & Mississippi 8100.  It was sold as MidSouth Rail 1078 amd later sold as RSSX 1078.

1081, GP9u, was built by Electro-Motive in January 1957, #22295, FN 5480-23, as IC 9230. It was rebuilt by Paducah in June 1971 as ICG 8230. It later became G&M as 8230 and later as MSR as 1081.  It was sold as RSSX 1081.

 

1200 was built by Electro-Motive as an Illinois Central switcher and was rebuilt at Paducah. We have no further information on this unit.

1206, SW1200, was built by Electro-Motive in December 1955, #21016, FN 4325-1, as Ashley Drew & Northern Ry 176.  It was renumbered 1206 in 1989 and sold to J&L Consulting as JLCX 1206 and sold as RSSX 1206

1220, SW7u, was built by Electro-Motive in September 1950, #10761, FN 4038-10, as Union Pacific 1809.  It was retired in February 1977 and sold to Chrome Crankshaft Co.  It was rebuilt at Silvis in August 1979 and sold as Illinois Terminal RR 1220.  It became Norfolk & Western 1220 in November 1951.  It was returned to Chrome in August 1986 and sold as RSSX 1220.

1320, NW2u, was built by Electro-Motive in June 1949, #7325, FN E1045-32, as Texas & New Orleans 80, Class DS-109.  In 1966 it was renumbered Southern Pacific 1922, Class ES410-2.  It was rebuilt at Houston as 1320, Class ES410E-2, and was completed on January 28, 1972.  It was sold as Cargill Inc 1320 and was sent to Devore, CA.  It later went to Saginaw, TX.  It was sold as RSSX 1320 in January 2013.

1602, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in December 1952, #17087, FN 5211-2, as Missouri-Kansas-Texas 1529.  It was renumber 119 in 1958 and retired on June 9, 1989.  It was sold to Wilson Ry on July 19, 1989, and sold as Chicago Central & Pacific 1602 in 1989 and sold as RSSX 1602.

2451, SW1500, was built by Electro-Motive in September 1967, #33142, FN 4518-2, as Southern Pacific 2451, Class ES415-1.  It was wrecked in Tucson in 1978 and rebuilt.  It was sold to RSSX as 2451.

2584, SW1500, was built by Electro-Motive in December 1971, #7367-2, as St. Louis South-Western 2584, Class ES415C-4.  It was sold as Texas Gonzales & Northern 2584 and sold as RSSX 2584.  It was sold to Lattimore Materials Co as 1961 in 2001.

2600, SW1500, was built by Electro-Motive in October 1971, #4508-10, FN 4508-10, as SP 2600, Class ES415-4.  It was retired on October 29, 1999, and sold as RSSX 2600.

3016, 710ECO Leaf, was built by Electro-Motive in February 1963, #28045, FN 7640-3, as Denver & Rio Grande Western 3021, Class DE B-B 61, GP30.  It was reclassified as Class EF423D-2 and retired on May 30, 1995.  It was sold to Progress Rail Services on November 29, 1995, and sold as Hartwell RR 3016 in July 1996.  It was sold to RailServe in October 2012 and rebuilt in 2013 as RSSX 3016, 710ECO Leaf .

3021, GP30, was built by Electro-Motive in February 1963, #28050, FN 7640-8, as D&RGW 3021, Class DE B-B 61.  It was reclassified as Class EF423D-2 and retired on November 25, 1995.  It was sold to Progress Rail Services on November 29, 1995, and sold as HRT 3021 in July 1996.  It was sold as RSSX 3021.

3301, GP9, was built by Electro-Motive in May 1954, #19469, FN 5323-9, as Texas & New Orleans 408, Class DF-600.  It was renumbered Southern Pacific 3408, Class EF418-1, in 1966, and rebuilt on March 19, 1970, as 3301, Class EF418-1.  It was retired in February 1993 and sold as RSSX 3301.

3838, GP9, was built by Electro-Motive in March 1959, #25112, FN 5595-13, as SP 5812, Class DF-612.  It was renumbered 3675, Class EF418-8, in 1966 and rebuilt as 3838, Class EF418E-4, in 1976.  It was sold to RailServe Inc as RSSX 3838.  It was rebuilt as a LEAF locomotive in 2012.

3840, GP9, was built by Electro-Motive in February 1959, #25146, FN 5596-2, as T&NO 450, Class DF-612.  It was renumbered SP 3654, Class EF418-8, in 1966 and rebuilt as 3840, Class EF418-4, in 1988.  It was sold as NorthWestern Pacific 3840 in 1966 and sold as OmniTrax 3840 in 1966.  It was sold as RSSX 3840 in 2000.

4364, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in November 1950, #11991 FN, 5045-9, as Saint Louis-San Francisco 533. It was sold to Precision National and operated as PNC 533. It was sold in August 1976 as Chicago & North Western 4364. It was retired on February 8, 1991, and was sold to OmniTrax. It then became Wichita Tillman & Jackson as 4364 in 1991.  It was sold as RSSX 4364 in June 2012.

4367, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in January 1950, #9914, as SL-SF 514. It was sold to Precision National and operated as PNC 514. It was sold in August 1976 as C&NW 4367. It was retired on February 8, 1991, and was sold to OmniTrax. It then became WT&J as 4367 in 1991.  It was sold as RSSX 4367 in June 2012.

4443, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in March 1951, #13323, as SL-SF 590. It was sold to Precision National and operated as PNC 590 until sold to C&NW in March 1980. It entered service as C&NW 4443 on June 3, 1980. It was retired on February 8, 1991, as sold to OmniTrax. It then became WT&J as 4443 in 1991.  It was sold as RSSX 4443 in June 2012.

4451, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in November 1951, #14243, as SL-SF 562. It was sold to Precision National and operated as PNC 562 until sold to C&NW in March 1980. It entered service as C&NW 4451 on May 15, 1980. It was retired on February 19, 1991, and sold to OmniTrax. It then became WT&J as 4451 in 1991 but was painted later.  It was sold as RSSX 4451 in June 2012.

4454, GP7, was built by Electro-Motive in June 1950, #10190, as SL-SF 517. It was sold to Precision National and operated as PNC 517 until sold to C&NW in March 1980. It entered served as C&NW 4454 on May 9, 1980. It was retired on February 9, 1991, and sold to OmniTrax. It then became WT&J as 4454 in 1991.  It was sold as RSSX 4454 in June 2012.

4487, GP7u, was built by Electro-Motive in March 1951, #14306, as Chicago & North Western 1539.  It was rebuilt at Oelwein on September 28, 1987, as 4487.  It was retired on January 17, 1991, and sold to VMV Enterprises in February 1991.  It was sold as  RSSX 4487.

4929, GP9, was built by Electro-Motive in June 1955, #20316, as Northern Pacific 229.  It became Burlington Northern 1855, Class GP-9, in 1970 and retired in June 1983.  It was sold as Central Vermont 4929 in December 1983.  It was sold to RSS in December 1988 and leased to Fox River Valley RR in 1989.  It became Georgia Central 4929 on November 20, 1990. 

5049, GP7u, was built by Electro-Motive in January 1953, #16967, FN 5164-6, as Detroit Toledo & Ironton 960.  It was rebuilt at Paducah in 1973 as ICG 8049 and became IC 8049.  It was sold to Newbergh & South Shore on August 27, 1998, and sold as RSSX 8049.  It was renumbered 5049.

6052, GP9, was built by Electro-Motive in December 1955, #20835, FN 5411-3 as DT&I 982.  It became Grand Trunk Western  6052 in 1983 and sold to RSSX in July 1989.  It was leased to Fox River Valley RR for a short time and then sold as Georgia Central RR 6052.  It was sold to RailAmerica Inc and sent as Rail Link Ottawa Valley Ry 1701 in 1998.  It was transferred as Cascade & Columbia River RR 1701 in 1999.

7015, SW9, was built by Electro-Motive in January 1953, #17653, FN 4178-1, as GTW 7015, Class GS-12c.  It was retired in October 1988 and sold as RSSX 7015 in January 1989.

7016, LEAF, was built by Electro-Motive in January 1953, #17654, FN 4178-2, as GTW 7016, Class GS-12c, SW9.  It was retired in October 1988 and sold as RSSX 7016 in January 1989.  It was rebuilt by Railserve as LEAF in 2012.  It was leased to Big West Oil in 2014.

7983, GP7u, was built by Electro-Motive in December 1952, #16962, FN 5164-1, as DT&I 955.  It was rebuilt at Paducah as ICG 7983 in December 1972.  It was sold as Chicago Central & Pacific 7983 and assigned as 1583.  It was never renumbered and sold as RSSX 7983.

8301, GP7u, was built by Electro-Motive in November 1952, #17043, FN 5172-12, as Chesapeake & Ohio 5823, Class MRSE-15.  It was reclassified Class GP-7 in 1964 later later sold to Luntz Steel.  It was rebuilt at Paducah in September 1973 as ICG 8209 and sold as Paducah & Louisville 8209.  It was renumbered 8301 and sold to Railserve Inc as RSSX 8301.

8951, SW9, was built by Electro-Motive in July 1951, #14745, FN 4122-1, as Central RR of Pennsylvania 1084, Class SD-36.  It became Central RR of New Jersey 1084, Class SD-36, and became Consolidated Railroad Corp 8951, Class SW-9, in April 1976.  It was retired on September 25, 1990.  It was sold as RSSX 8951.

 

Roster information: Randy Keller, R L Kennedy, Bill McBride

 

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