By Randy Keller/photos from author’s collection
Trans-Global Solutions (TGS)/Econo-Rail, formerly Econo-Rail Corporation, got its start in April 1978 in Port Arthur, Texas, with brothers William and Dick Scott providing in-plant rail maintenance. As the company grew, rail construction, rail switching, railcar storage services, plus railcar and locomotive leasing were added to the portfolio. The company later expanded beyond rail-related services and began providing bulk material services, from deepwater terminaling and barge services to contract operation of bulk terminal facilities. As this expansion occurred, the name Econo-Rail Corporation no longer described the broad capabilities of the company; therefore, Econo-Rail Corporation became Trans-Global Solutions, Inc., April 1, 1998, and the full-service rail division became TGS/Econo-Rail.
To provide rail service in its early years, Econo-Rail acquired a handful of Alco, General Electric, and Electro-Motive Division locomotives. A few came from local industrial operations, while others were surplus locomotives from Midwest and eastern U.S. railroads. Econo-Rail made a significant addition to the roster in 1986, when 25 CF7s were acquired from Santa Fe and the stage was set to provide third-party switching services and have locomotives available for any type of lease. Six Grand Trunk Western SW900s were acquired in mid-1988 and six former Southern Pacific NW2Rs were purchased from two sources to close out the 1980s…
ABOVE: ECRX 2516 CF7 (EMD 18918, blt. 11/53 as F7A, 6523-A8), ex-ATSF 2516 (6/74), ex-ATSF 272C,. Shown at Beaumont, Texas, February 5, 2001, assigned to Port of Beaumont; became ECRX 1601 in 2014. — Roger Bee photo, Randy Keller collection