North American rail infrastructure group Regional Rail is acquiring Carolina Coastal Railway for an undisclosed sum.

The 3i-backed operator of railroads and rail-related businesses said it has agreed to buy Carolina Coastal, a company which operates 180 miles of freight railroad in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Carolina Coastal provides freight transportation and car-storage services to customers, operating across a variety of end markets (including aggregates, food & agriculture, chemicals and metals), primarily in eastern North Carolina.

Al Sauer, CEO, Regional Rail, said: “Carolina Coastal is a great fit with Regional Rail as it benefits from an attractive mix of industrial customers and further diversifies our existing freight-rail platform from an end-market and geographic perspective.”

Rob Collins, managing partner, 3i North American Infrastructure, said: “We’re delighted to announce a second acquisition for Regional Rail as the company continues to consolidate its position in the US short-line railroad industry.”

Following this acquisition, Regional Rail will operate 25 line segments across five states, with almost 550 miles of track, Collins said.

Doug Golden, president, Carolina Coastal, said: “I had been looking for the right partner to continue our legacy in North Carolina and am pleased that Carolina Coastal is becoming part of the Regional Rail family. I have known Al for many years.

“He and his team have been great to work with on this transaction, and I believe they will be good partners in supporting our employees, customers, and all future developments.”