canada africa partner reservation Pinsly Lives: Gulf & Atlantic rebrands itself with an iconic short line name

Pinsly Lives: Gulf & Atlantic rebrands itself with an iconic short line name


By Justin Franz

Gulf & Atlantic Railways, an independent south-east short-line operator owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, has rebranded itself as Pinsly Railroad Company, reviving the name of the iconic short-line operator.

In 2023, Gulf & Atlantic purchased the Pioneer Valley Railroad of Massachusetts, the last railroad owned by Pinsley. The Florida-based shortline holder also owns Florida Gulf & Atlantic, Grenada Railroad, Camp Chase Rail, Chesapeake & Indiana and Vermilion Valley Railroad Company. The transaction marked the end of an era for Pinsley, which once had operations along the East Coast. Long before Genesee & Wyoming orange and black and Watco black and yellow became the symbol of shared short lines, there was Pinsly red and yellow.

Pinsly was founded in 1938 when Samuel M. Pinsly purchased his first railroad, the Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington Railroad in western Massachusetts, nicknamed the “Hoot, Toot & Whistle.” In the 1940s and 1950s, Pinsly’s operation would expand to include several notable short lines in New England, including the Sanford & Eastern in Maine, the Claremont & Concord in New Hampshire, and the St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County in Vermont. In the 1980s and 1990s, it expanded south by making acquisitions in Florida and Arkansas. Over the decades, the company would own more than a dozen short lines. Operations came and went and by the 2000s there were only the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts and the operations in Arkansas and Florida. In 2015, the Arkansas Midland was sold to G&W, and in 2020, the Florida Central, Florida Midland and Florida Northern were sold to Regional Rail.

In a press release, Pinsley’s ‘new’ CEO Ryan Ratledge said: ‘It is under this iconic name that we are excited to operate and grow our portfolio of rail, warehousing, transshipment and trucking businesses. Our team is committed to continuing Pinsly’s admirable track record of safety and service.”