Dinner train firm buying rail line through Frankfort

By ANDREW TANGEL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Trains chugging through Frankfort may soon haul a new array of commodities - and even passengers - as a Kentucky-based rail company plans to purchase the lone stretch of track through town in what could be a boon to local tourism and Central Kentucky industry.

R.J. Corman Equipment Company, based in Nicholasville, plans to buy about 90 miles of track from Winchester to Anchorage from CSX Transportation, Inc.

"We're pretty excited about it," Ron Boles, president of Short Line Operations, a Corman subsidiary, said of the deal to be finalized Oct. 1. "It's going to be a great deal for everybody."

Boles would not disclose the purchase price but said that most, but not all, of the approximately 100 miles of track will be bought at liquidation price, which he said is usually about $60,000 a mile. Boles said the deal will allow each company to use the other's track without charge. CSX officials could not be reached for comment.

Corman's purchase may help local industry, said Charles Bogart, a rail historian and president of the Bluegrass Railroad Company.

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