Patriot Rail Company has agreed to take over Denver-based railroad holding company Pioneer Lines from BRX Transportation Holdings for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is awaiting regulatory clearance.

Founded in 1986, Pioneer Lines owns and operates 15 short-line railroads across 12 states in the US.

The purchase will enable Florida-based Patriot Rail to increase its short-line operations to 31 railroads from 16.

It will also allow the company to serve customers in new markets in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

The acquired business is also said to enable Patriot to deliver improved service options across more locations throughout the country.

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Patriot Rail CEO John Fenton said: “Pioneer Lines’ safety culture and focus on operational excellence aligns directly with Patriot Rail’s vision and mission.

“These synergies position us to continue to exceed customer expectations as a best-in-class rail partner to meet their freight shipment and logistics needs.”

Serving as the link for more than 100 industries, Pioneer Lines helps connect rural and small-town America to domestic and global markets.

Pioneer’s railroads directly or indirectly are said to support more than 17,000 jobs in the US, helping transport agricultural and food products, iron and steel, chemicals, and forest products, among others.

Pioneer Lines president and CEO Alex Yeros said: “Building Pioneer into one of North America’s best-performing and most-respected short line rail companies could not have been possible without the trust of our customers and our talented team of experts.”

Patriot Rail has 16 regional and freight short line railroads, a scenic rail excursion train, as well as services companies associated with rail having a presence in more than 15 states.

Its services consist of railcar storage, contract switching, transloading, railcar cleaning, engineering services, excursion railroads, real estate, and track access.