Denver-based freight-rail company Alpenglow Rail LLC yesterday announced it completed the acquisition of VIP Rail LLC, a short line in Sarnia, Ontario.

The transaction is the first for Alpenglow Rail, which is backed by private equity firm Stonecourt Capital, and recently was formed to seek acquisitions of and partnerships with short lines and related transportation businesses.

The company was founded by four former railroad executives with extensive North American short-line experience:

  • Rich Montgomery, Alpenglow’s chief executive officer, who spent the past 10 years as senior vice president of OmniTRAX Inc.;
  • Darcy Brede, the firm’s chief operating officer, who formerly was president and COO of OmniTRAX;
  • Henning von Kalm, Alpenglow’s executive VP of corporate development, who previously headed corporate development for OmniTRAX; and
  • Josh Huster, the company’s EVP of strategy, who was a director at OmniTRAX.

Located in Sarnia’s chemical valley, VIP Rail has strategic access to key U.S. populations and major Quebec and Ontario markets, including Toronto and Montreal, Alpenglow Rail officials said in a press release.

“The strategic placement of their assets and the tremendous growth opportunity for the business made this a natural platform investment for [us],” said Montgomery.

VIP — short for Vidal Street Industrial Park Inc. — offers switching, transloading, trucking, warehousing and railcar storage, inspection, cleaning and repair services. The short line interchanges with CN and CSX.

“I am excited about the opportunity to bring VIP Rail to the next level by leveraging Alpenglow’s growth expertise,” said VIP Rail President Jon McEachran. “[We’ve] been approached by many companies over the years, but we felt Alpenglow was uniquely suited to be both creative on this complicated transaction and an excellent partner in the growth of the company.”

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