BENSON, Ariz., Jan. 25, 2008–The Arizona Railroad Group (ARG), an Arizona-based railroad investment company and owner of the San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad (SPSR), has promoted Scott L. Parkinson from vice president and general manager to president and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2008. Headquarters for ARG and SPSR are located in Benson, Ariz.
Parkinson joined ARG in August 2005 and is a certified locomotive engineer. He was formerly an executive in commercial aviation businesses in New Mexico and Oregon and holds a BS in hotel and restaurant administration from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of New Mexico. He is a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
David L. Parkinson, who founded the Arizona Railroad Group in 2003, will continue as chairman and a director of the two companies. He is founder and former chairman of the Arizona & California, California Northern, and Puget Sound & Pacific railroads.
The Arizona Railroad Group acquired the San Pedro & Southwestern in November 2003 from RailAmerica, Inc. and currently serves regional businesses in Cochise County from connections with Union Pacific’s Los Angeles-Chicago main line at Benson and Willcox.
The railroad’s chief sources of traffic are agricultural chemicals, feed grains and building products. SPSR also performs local switching for a number of customers at Willcox, Ariz. SPSR recently opened a rail-to-truck transload facility at Benson, offering customers savings from lower rail rates and the convenience of truck delivery.
The railroad is laid with heavy 112-to-132 lb. rail, accommodating today’s heavier 286,000-lb. gross weight cars. SPSR replaced 3,000 crossties in 2007 and bridges were strengthened. Last week, a grinder crew recontoured track surfaces for safer operations.