South Carolina Public Railways (SCPR) recently announced a name change to Palmetto Railways, in a move designed to streamline operations and better reflect the state-owned agency’s expanding economic development mission.
SCPR has consolidated its distinct common carrier authorities (Port Utilities Commission of Charleston, Port Terminal Railroad of SC and East Cooper & Berkeley Railroad), which will operate and market all of the rail lines under the name “Palmetto Railways.”
The reorganization and name change will clarify ambiguities regarding the regulatory status of the railroad while streamlining various administrative and marketing functions. The transaction will not affect service levels, existing operations, or the competitive balance with Class I or short line carriers outside the SCPR corporate family.
“Our various rail operations have diversified, including our proposed intermodal facility in North Charleston,” stated Jeff McWhorter, president and CEO of Palmetto Railways, referring to the planned intermodal container transfer facility on the former Navy Base. “Combining these entities under one name more effectively communicates our increased economic role within our state and the region.” Palmetto Railways will continue to provide safe, efficient, and cost-effective freight transportation, while facilitating further development efforts in and around South Carolina.
Palmetto Railways serves not only the state port facilities, but it also serves a number of other companies that include BP Chemicals, Nucor, MeadWestvaco, Santee Cooper, DAK, Frontier Logistics, Lansing Group, CMMC, SSA Marine, Neil Brothers, Norfolk Southern and CSX.
A state-owned utility, Palmetto Railways is a division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce. It also provides technical assistance and consulting services in railroad matters to state, local and municipal governments.