Short Line

With over 60 years of experience assisting clients in the Short Line industry, R.L. Banks & Associates, Inc. (RLBA) provides expert business planning, transaction financing and due diligence services related to the acquisition, expansion and rehabilitation of Short Line railroads. The primary Short Line services offered by RLBA are described below:

Transaction Support & Due Diligence

The deregulation of the rail industry in the 1980s led to a surge in Class I branch line sales, resulting in a vibrant short line transaction market that continues today. With decades of experience assisting Short Line transactions nationwide, RLBA provides expert assistance in all aspects of Short Line transactions and acquisitions. RLBA has the experience and knowledge necessary to provide negotiation assistance and investment-quality due diligence on the operational, economic, and financial components of any Short Line transaction.

Business Planning & Development

Stable or growing freight volumes are essential to the success of a Short Line, as even minor fluctuations in business volumes can result in significant short-term consequences. RLBA assists Short Lines and their suppliers with planning and business development services tailored to each individual situation. RLBA performs financial and economic analyses in combination with face-to-face customer interviews to provide each client with the accurate and actionable information needed to sustain or grow freight business.

Short Line Feasibility Studies

Short Line projects involving reactivation, expansion, rehabilitation or development beyond current operations face a complex system of regulatory and economic hurdles in today’s rail industry. The experience RLBA offers assessing the feasibility and viability of proposed Short Line projects leverage on its expert understanding of the operational, economic, financial and environmental factors that influence Short Line performance. RLBA provides industry insight critical to successful Short Line projects through an individualized approach tailored to the circumstances of each unique project.

Short Line Operations & Service Planning

Due to the thinner operating margins of Short Lines as compared to Class I railroads, optimizing labor and asset utilization is one of the key components of an economically sustainable Short Line railroad. With experience assisting clients of all sizes, RLBA is experienced in providing Short Lines with comprehensive operations and service planning analyses. Services include analysis and optimization of current operations, relevant cost forecasting, operating agreement review and assessment of third-party railroad interactions.