The G&W growth story is steeped in a carefully crafted acquisition strategy

Since Mortimer Fuller III bought a controlling interest in the Genesee and Wyoming Railroad Co. 40 years ago, the company he formed and molded has grown exponentially from one small railroad in upstate New York to well more than 100 regionals and short lines in North America, Europe and Australia. Now named Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), the company essentially is the size of a small Class I and owns or leases 122 freight railroads.

Fuller retired from G&W May 24 after serving 30 years as chairman and chief executive officer, and 10 as chairman. But by the time he departed, he had helped guide the company through a long period of acquisitions and expansion. His efforts, plus countless contributions from several key executives over the years, have forged a short-line holding behemoth that now employs 8,000 people and serves 3,000 customers, and generates about $2 billion in operating revenue and close to 3 million carloads annually.

The company has grown successfully via acquisitions because the leadership team was always disciplined about making purchases, according to Fuller. And it’s a discipline that’s prevalent in several ways.

To decipher what those ways are — and learn much more about the G&W growth story — read my article in our September issue.

If you have anything to share about G&W and its amazing path to a hundredfold holdings, please do so in the comment section.

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