Genesee & Wyoming Inc. has said that its newly formed subsidiary, the Columbus & Chattahoochee Railroad, Inc. (CCR), has signed an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) to lease and operate a 26-mile segment of NS track that runs from Girard, Alabama, to Mahrt, Alabama.

The CCR will interchange with NS in Columbus, Georgia, where GWI’s Georgia Southwestern Railroad also has operations.

It is thought the CCR will commence operations on the leased line in July 2012 with 17 employees and six locomotives.

The CCR anticipates handling approximately 17,000 carloads per year, consisting primarily of coated paperboard-related traffic as well as other general merchandise shipments.

The railroad will be operated as part of GWI’s Southern Region under the leadership of Gerald T. Gates, Genesse & Wyoming said.