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A Family Owned Company Since 1973.

In 1973, Richard J. Corman a native of Nicholasville, Kentucky started doing railroad construction right after graduating high school. In a little over 35 years, he turned a railroad service company with a single backhoe into one of the nation's leading railroad service providers.

Headquarted in Nicholasville, the R. J. Corman family of companies has divisions in 22 states as far west as Arizona, employing approximately 1,600 people.

 

1973

After graduating high school, Rick Corman rents the backhoe and dump truck that would come to represent the humble beginnings of R. J. Corman Railroad Construction. Rick develops a revolutionary method of unloading ties utilizing his backhoe and operator skills, thereby saving time and reducing injury to railroad employees.

1974

Rick Corman's innovative ability to operate a backhoe sometimes results in people testing him and making wagers. In Toledo, Ohio, Rick returns home $1,000 richer after winning such a wager by positioning his backhoe on the top of a train box car. Rick quickly becomes known for his fearless and superior operator skills.

1975-1978

Rick Corman purchases his first helicopter, teaching himself the basics of flight before attending Bell Helicopter School for formal training. In 1978 Rick begins doing derailment work for the L&N Railroad with two side booms, one backhoe and one end loader. This work expands into the Seaboard System, resulting in CSX retiring their derricks and going to Contractors for full time derailment work.

1979-1983

Rick Corman is shown unloading his trailer in Toledo, Ohio. Rick's truck is often his home while traveling for work along the railroads. Rick and his father, Jay Corman, work side by side on several projects. This work marks the beginning of R. J. Corman's current Storm Team and Disaster support services for the railroads. In 1983, R. J. Corman Derailment Services Company is born with the opening of the first Division in Columbus, Ohio.

1984-1985

Rick purchases Big Red, a vehicle used to remove and replace ballast on the railroad that requires a five-person team to operate it. The dangerous job of removing the retired L&N bridges in Cincinnati, Ohio is completed in 1985. Additionally, construction of the Denver Shuman building begins in Nicholasville, Kentucky and is completed a year later.

1986

Rick Corman appears on the cover of Ford Magazine driving the L-8000. Jay Station is built in Nicholasville, Kentucky and dedicated to Rick's father, Jay Corman. R. J. Corman Construction Company employees complete work on the North Coast Railroad in New Hampshire and a rail bridge job in Havre de Grace, Maryland.

1987-1989

Rick Corman acquires the Bardstown Shortline and a portion of the Memphis Shortline from Seaboard Coast Line, later obtaining the remainder of the Memphis line from CSX. With these acquisitions, R. J. Corman Railroad Company allows for continued service at Logan Aluminum. My Old Kentucky Dinner Train conducts its inaugural excursion run.

1990-1993

In 1990, R. J. Corman Railroad Company acquires the Cleveland Line from CSX Transportation. The rail gang in East St. Louis, Illinois is pictured in front of the first traveling office/cooking trailer. The Gateway & Western Railway construction project is completed in St. Louis, Missouri. Rick constructs the first Distribution Center in South Union, Kentucky. In 1993, R. J. Corman Railroad Company acquires the Western Ohio line from Norfolk Southern.

1994

The R. J. Corman Material Sales Company is launched when a contract is successfully negotiated to supply Conrail with full-service management and distribution of their track and mechanical materials. R. J. Corman Railroad Construction outfits their first hi-rail welding truck.

1995-1996

R. J. Corman Railroad Construction rail gang lays an unprecedented 100 miles of track in Miller, South Dakota in less than 100 days. R. J. Corman Railroad Company acquires the Allentown Lines and the Clearfield Cluster from Conrail, the latter of which consists of 300 miles of track primarily used to transport coal that eventually becomes known as the Pennsylvania Line.

1997-2000

R. J. Corman Derailment Services opens eight new divisions. Rick Corman purchases the Bell 407 Helicopter, which assists in the first major hurricane Response for CSX Transportation, Hurrication Floyd in North Carolina. Tammie Taylor is appointed President of R. J. Corman Railroad Group.

2001-2002

R. J. Corman launches its first Railroad Switching operation. R. J. Corman Storm Team responds to a historic blizzard in New York. Rick Corman purchases the Cessna plane and Learjet. Rick Corman is diagnosed with myeloma in May of 2001.

2003-2004

Rick Corman purchases the Red Challenger Jet. R. J. Corman Aircraft Maintenance is started in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Construction is completed on the Nicholasville Hangar and runway. R. J. Corman Railroad Company acquires the Central Kentucky and Versailles Lines from CSX Transportation. R. J. Corman Storm Team responds to Hurricanes Charlie and Ivan in Florida.

2005-2006

R. J. Corman Railroad Company acquires the West Virginia Line from CSX Transportation. R. J. Corman Storm Team responds to the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Shore, rebuilding 43 miles of CSX mainline in just a few months. R. J. Corman Railroad Company Acquires the Tennessee Terminal from BNSF. Coal shipments begin from Pax, West Virginia to Thurmond, West Virginia.

2007

A rail reconstruction project of the West Branch Valley is completed in Clearfield, Pennsylvania at the cost of $2.5 million. Railway Age magazine recognizes R. J. Corman's West Virginia Line as 2007 Short Line Railroad of the Year.

2008

Rick Corman cuts the ribbon at the dedication ceremony of the R. J. Corman Ambulatory Care Center in Nicholasville, Kentucky. R. J. Corman undertakes a massive Storm Team response when Hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit the Gulf Coast and a 500-year flood alights upon the Midwest. Rick Corman adds 70 new Peterbilt trucks to the fleet as well as the classic Steam Engine "Old Smokey".

2009

R. J. Corman acquires Railpower Locomotive manufacturing company. Tunnel expansion work is completed on Norfolk Southern's Heartland Corridor in Welch, West Virginia. Rick Corman purchases the White Challenger 605 Jet. R. J. Corman Railroad Company begins the Ashland Switching operation. R. J. Corman Storm Team responds to mountain blizzards in West Virginia and Virginia.

2010

R. J. Corman Railroad Company is awarded Federal TIGER Grants for shortline track improvements in three states. The challenging Bergen Tunnel Clearance project is completed in New Jersey. R. J. Corman acquires its 10th railroad with the purchase of the Oneida Line from National Coal, which later becomes known as the Eastern Tennessee Line. Meanwhile, R. J. Corman Storm Team responds to 100-year blizzards in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

2011

Fortune Magazine features an American classic self-made success story on Rick Corman. R. J. Corman Railroad and Switching companies start doing business with Georgia Pacific and Toyota. R. J. Corman Storm Team responds to the 500-year floods in the Midwest as well as the impact of Hurricane Irene.

2012

R. J. Corman Construction Company begins construction on the S-Line in Florida. R. J. Corman Storm Team responds to Hurricane Isaac. R. J. Corman Railroad Company adds Switching for Toyota in Georgetown, KY. Hangar 2 in Nicholasville opens with a new Employee Cafeteria and Health & Fitness Center. Craig King assumes the position of President, an appointment that becomes effective in 2013.

2013

Rick Corman passed away at the age of 58 after a remarkable 12-year battle with multiple myeloma. Although he is no longer with us, he leaves behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. While working tirelessly to grow his company, he also found time to impact people in an exceptional way. His genuine, caring personality along with his infectious laugh left a lasting impression on countless people, including his family and friends who loved him the most.