Who is Midwest & Bluegrass Rail?
MBR was formed in 2019 when our partners saw an opportunity to combine resources to form a full service rail company with a unique approach. Our executive team has over 90 years of collective experience in the rail industry, with the ability to identify, acquire, market, develop, and efficiently maintain and operate railroads.
Midwest & Bluegrass Rail is focused on acquiring multiple regional and short line railroads in the next 48 months by utilizing existing contacts and developing new partnerships with industry leaders.
To Acquire or Partner with Regional and Short Line Railroads in North America.
Avory currently serves as a Managing Member of Midwest & Bluegrass Rail, LLC. Avory manages the day to day operations and serves as the Firm’s Chief Investment Officer. Before founding Midwest & Bluegrass Rail, LLC, Avory served as the Chief Financial Officer of Midwest Pacific Rail Net and Logistics and Railroad Materials Salvage, Inc. where she had an active role in underwriting new acquisitions, as well as participated in the development and preparation of short-term and long-range plans and budgets based upon broad organization goals and objectives. She also provided management oversight for all areas of the business, including industrial development, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, operations, and corporate affairs. Avory has over 10 years of experience in the railroad industry and has been involved in transaction totaling over $240 million.
Dustin currently serves as the Chief Commercial Officer for Midwest & Bluegrass Rail and is responsible for leading all the marketing and commercial efforts. Prior to joining MBR, Dustin served in many roles in sales, operations, and commercial development in both short line and class I railroad companies. Dustin’s most recent position was Director of Commercial Development for R.J. Corman Railroad Company where he was responsible for managing the commercial development team and daily operations. He oversaw all strategic planning and budget management and increased sales revenue for the railroads by 11% in six short months. During his time at RJ Corman he also managed 80+ customer accounts in nine states with approx. 80,000 carloads. He also held positions as General Manager and Division Manager for RJ Corman, along with starting in the industry as a conductor/Train Master for CSX and M.O.W. contractor for Norfolk Southern.
Brian Miller currently serves as Chief Operations Officer. Brian held various roles overseeing major railroad operations with both short line and Class I railroad companies. Brian brings over 25 years of experience to the group and has been in previous positions that include President of RJ Corman Railroad Company where he managed 11 short line railroads in nine states with 200 employees, and nearly 1000 miles of track with 80,000 carloads. In this role he also developed and executed annual operating and capital budgets, oversaw three distribution centers in two states that focused on transloading and storage for local customers, and assisted in obtaining funding from state/federal government for track, bridge and crossing improvements and rehabilitation.
Derrick currently serves as the VP of Transportation & Engineering for Midwest & Bluegrass Rail. He is responsible for the overall business strategy and operational planning of the MBR network. He joined MBR in 2020 as Chief Engineer to lead the Maintenance of Way efforts. Prior to joining MBR, Derrick served in Management roles at both CSX and RJ Corman Railroad. Derrick’s last position at CSX was Assistant Division Engineer of the Appalachian Division. Derrick joined RJ Corman Railroad in 2015 where he held Management roles in engineering and operations, in addition to Commercial Development & Sales roles. Derrick received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Union College, KY.
Jerry Darnaby serves as Director of Business Development and Risk Management for Midwest & Bluegrass Rail. In addition to this role he also serves as Vice President – Rail for Truss, LLC where he specializes in business development and risk management for the rail industry. During his time at Truss, LLC he manages the insurance and risk management programs for many short line railroads, railroad contractors, railroad industry suppliers, and locomotive and railcar repair facilities. Over the past 10 years he has been actively involved in many railroad related associations including the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, National Railroad Contractors Association, American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association, and many state and regional railroad related associations. Through his involvement in the railroad industry he has developed trusted long term relationships and partnerships within the railroad industry. He has also been involved with lobbying efforts on behalf of the rail industry, both nationally and statewide.