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Port of Brownsville gives OmniTRAX 30-year franchise
Posted On: June 12, 2014


June 12, 2014


Economic benefits for community include new industries, jobs and community investment


DENVER – OmniTRAX, one of the North America’s largest private railroad and transportation management companies, will manage the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad, a short line railway based in Brownsville, TX.  OmniTRAX will also develop a large-scale industrial park on land owned by the Brownsville Navigation District (BND) of Cameron County, the parent governmental body of the Port of Brownsville.

The Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad will continue to be led by President & COO Norma Torres, and OmniTRAX expects to retain all personnel. The strategic partnership between the BND and OmniTRAX covers a 30-year period and will deliver significant economic development for the Rio Grande Valley.

“This is a great opportunity for OmniTRAX, the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad and the people of Brownsville to bring in new industries, create new jobs, increase the tax base and boost the local economy. We are honored to be selected for the project by the Brownsville Navigation District and look forward to working with Norma Torres and the team at the railroad, the port and all other parties to reach these goals,” said Kevin Shuba, CEO of OmniTRAX.

The Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad runs through 45 miles of the Brownsville Navigation District and five miles into the city of Brownsville itself, providing the port and its customers with access to two Class 1 railroads — Union-Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The railroad also has an intermediate connection via Union Pacific to Kansas City Southern De Mexico routes across the Rio Grande.

“The professional rail and industrial development team at OmniTRAX helps us take advantage of our proximity to Mexico and other strategic assets to drive economic growth in the Brownsville region. Their experience and the best practices they use position us for mutual success,” said Ralph Cowen, Chairman of the Board of Canal Commissioners of the Port of Brownsville.

The Port of Brownsville currently has about 40,000 acres of land available for development. OmniTRAX will work with the BND to develop 1,200 acres for a world-class industrial park. The land is well-suited for light and heavy manufacturing, logistics, energy services, technology development and export/import warehousing.

“With recent energy reforms in Mexico, the anticipated development of the Burgos Basin just south of Brownsville and the energy expertise of OmniTRAX affiliate The Broe Group, we expect to take advantage of related opportunities for the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad and the Port of Brownsville,” said Brad Skinner, Chairman of OmniTRAX.

The Broe Group and OmniTRAX have been in Texas for more than 15 years, and have received a warm welcome to Brownsville from many officials, business people, and citizens, including the Port Commissioners, Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad officials, Mayor Tony Martinez, the Brownsville Economic Development Council, Brownsville Public Utilities Board and U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, among others.

“I would like to congratulate the Port of Brownsville and The Broe Group for entering into this significant agreement,” said Congressman Vela, who represents the 34th District of Texas, which includes Brownsville. “The Port Commission’s decision to partner with the Broe Group to spur economic development in our region has my full support.  The Broe Group and OmniTRAX have been operating in Texas for more than 15 years and I join our community in welcoming them to Brownsville. I am sure that their presence and insight will be beneficial to our region.”

Note to Editors: Photos of the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad and the Port of Brownsville are available.

About OmniTRAX

As one of North America’s largest private railroad and transportation management companies, OmniTRAX’s core capabilities range from providing management services to railroad and port services and to intermodal and industrial switching operations. Through its affiliation with The Broe Group and its portfolio of managed companies, OmniTRAX also has the unique capability of offering specialized industrial development and real estate solutions, both on and off the rail network managed by OmniTRAX. More information is available at www.omnitrax.com.

About Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad

The Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad (the “Railroad”) is a short line railroad, organized for the purpose of providing exclusive common carrier rail transportation to all facilities located within the Brownsville Navigation District of Cameron County, Texas. The Railroad is operating and will continue to be operated on behalf of the Brownsville Navigation District, but under separate management and control from the District. All traffic is being interchanged with the Union Pacific Railroad Company at its Olmito yard. Interchange with the Mexican Railroad carrier KCSM is done via an intermediate switch with UP at the Brownsville & International Matamoros Bridge. More information here.

About Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville is the only deepwater port located on the U.S. and Mexico border, providing a full range of services to ensure efficient and timely cargo delivery worldwide. With abundant land for development and seventeen miles of waterfront access, the Port of Brownsville offers easy access to non-congested international bridge crossings and rail connections. More information about the Port of Brownsville is available at www.portofbrownsville.com.

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