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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 40 years, he turned a railroad service company with a single backhoe into one of the nation's leading railroad service providers. 

Headquartered in Nicholasville, the R. J. Corman family of companies has divisions in 23 states as far west as Arizona, employing approximately 1,400 people. 

In 2023 we celebrated 50 years – half a century's worth of stories of people that shaped the company and our industry as we know it. We reflected with gratitude on the legacy of Mr. Corman and many others that contributed to leading R. J. Corman to where we are today. We Continue to celebrate today's accomplishments as we keep building for a brighter future!


Rick Graduate

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

ford magazine 1986 cover

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.

fall train

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.

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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.

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material sales

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.

miller south dakota 1996 construction
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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.

shop fix

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, Hurricane Floyd in North Carolina.


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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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".

facility tucson

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.


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.


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.


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.


R. J. Corman Signaling, LLC is founded.

- 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.

CSX S-Line

The Texas Southeastern Railroad is purchased from Georgia Pacific and named R. J. Corman Railroad Company, Texas Line (RJCD).

Roadway Worker Training (RWT) is acquired along with subsidiaries Railroad Protection Services, Signal Services and Focal Point.

Work is complete on 50 miles of CSX’s S-Line and 50 miles of Florida Central.

Carolina Lines
Railpower Bluegrass 1

The Carolina Southern Railroad is purchased and named R. J. Corman Railroad Company, Carolina Lines (RJCS).

Railpower completes construction of the GenSet locomotive, ‘Bluegrass 1’ – the first locomotive built entirely in the state of Kentucky.

Railroad Services

An additional emergency response division is established in Jacksonville, Florida.

R. J. Corman Railroad Company is awarded a $9.7 million TIGER Grant for rehabilitation of the Carolina Lines.

R. J. Corman Railroad Construction and R. J. Corman Derailment Services merge to form R. J. Corman Railroad Services, LLC.

Railroad Company 30th Anniversary
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R. J. Corman Railroad Company celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Storm Team responds to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma on the East Coast.

R. J. Corman Railroad Services completes the KCS Mossville Yard project, which earns NRC’s Large Project of the Year Award.

Nashville & Eastern Railroad
Storm Team repair work

R. J. Corman Switching Company, LLC is awarded work as the automotive loading provider at four of Toyota’s North American locations: Georgetown, Kentucky, Tupelo, Mississippi, Princeton, Indiana, and San Antonio, Texas.

R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC acquires the Nashville & Eastern Railroad (NERR), the Nashville & Western Railroad (NWR), and Transit Solutions Group.

Storm Team responds to the floods across the Midwest throughout the summer of 2019, constituting the third largest response in company history and receiving the Large Project of the Year Award from the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association.

R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC agrees to a long-term lease and begins operation of the Childersburg Line (RJAL) near Birmingham, Alabama.


Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, R. J. Corman offers the use of its Nicholasville headquarters campus for unconventional local high school graduation parades.

R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC acquires the Lehigh Railroad (LRWY) of Pennsylvania, the Luzerne & Susquehanna Railroad (LS) of Pennsylvania, and the Owego & Harford Railroad (OHRY) of New York.


The R. J. Corman Carolina Lines (RJCS) wins the 2021 American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) Business Development Award.

The R. J. Corman Memphis Line (RJCM) is named the 2021 Short Line of the Year by Railway Age magazine.

The R. J. Corman Central Kentucky Line (RJCC) wins ASLRRA’s President’s Award for Safety in the Southern Region.

After two years of extensive construction, the TIGER project on the R. J. Corman Carolina Lines is successfully completed.

R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC rebrands its transloading services as Transload Connect.

In a seven-month-long project, R. J. Corman Railroad Services Emergency supports Norfolk Southern with its yard operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC adds its 18th short line by acquiring two branch lines from Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC) and establishing the Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad (KXCG).

R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC is awarded more than 7 million in CRISI Grant funds to benefit the R. J. Corman Central Kentucky Lines (RJCC).

R. J. Corman Railroad Services Construction takes part in the multi-phase construction of the high-speed rail project, creating the Miami-Orlando-Tampa rail corridor for Brightline, the first privately held intercity passenger railroad in the U.S. in decades.

R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC acquires the Raleigh and Fayetteville Railroad (RFCC) in North Carolina from Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC), adding its 19th railroad to its operational portfolio.

R. J. Corman Railroad Services Emergency successfully relocate numerous railroad assets for MxV Rail (formerly known as TTCI Inc.) to their new location in Pueblo, Colorado, staging a derailment for first responders training. 

R. J. Corman Railroad Services Construction builds MxV Rail's largest test loop, a 5.8-mile Class 6 high-speed track specially constructed for testing freight and passenger trains.


R. J. Corman Railroad Group celebrates its 50th Anniversary, half a century of striving to be the best service provider for all facets of railroading.