Palmetto Railways names Patrick McCrory new President and CEO

Palmetto Railways, an enterprise agency of the state of South Carolina and a division of the S.C. Department of Commerce, has announced that Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Patrick McCrory will succeed Jeffrey McWhorter as president and chief executive officer effective January 4, 2022. McWhorter recently announced plans to retire following nearly four decades with the organization.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead the Palmetto Railways team after learning from and working alongside Jeff for nearly a decade,” said incoming President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick McCrory. “During my time here, Palmetto Railways’ and South Carolina’s freight rail infrastructure and volumes have continued to grow, with an increasing emphasis on the importance of safety, economic development and efficient and reliable rail service.”

Prior to joining Palmetto Railways in 2013, McCrory served in management roles with CSX Intermodal Terminals and APM Terminals. McCrory has a Bachelor of Science degree in logistics and intermodal transportation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and a Master of Science degree in transportation management with a focus in supply chain operations from the University of Denver. Additionally, McCrory is a member of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, the Intermodal Association of North America and the Maritime Association of South Carolina. McCrory is a nine-year veteran of the United States Navy Reserve serving as a Strategic Sealift Officer.

“Patrick’s executive leadership service with Palmetto Railways, coupled with extensive rail transportation and logistics experience throughout his career, has prepared him to lead one of South Carolina’s oldest rail providers,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “Separately, we’re deeply grateful for Jeff’s service to Palmetto Railways, maintaining a track record of success and aligning the organization and our state for long-term success in rail transit.”

McCrory’s promotion comes as long-time President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey McWhorter announced his retirement after 37 years with Palmetto Railways. McWhorter began his tenure as a part-time switchman on the extra board, working his way up the ranks until his 2007 appointment as head of the organization. McWhorter’s unwavering commitment to the critical dual railyard infrastructure project in Charleston will position South Carolina’s economic competitiveness for years to come.

Palmetto Railways, a Class III short line railroad, serves some of South Carolina’s largest companies, handling more than 100,000 carloads annually.

About Palmetto Railways
Palmetto Railways, established in 1969, promotes the economic viability of the State of South Carolina by providing safe, efficient and cost-effective rail solutions to facilitate the movement of freight and to support economic development efforts. Palmetto Railways also provides technical assistance and consulting services in railroad matters to state, local and municipal governments. As a division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Palmetto Railways is a Class III terminal switching and short line railroad located in Charleston, S.C., serving the Port of Charleston and multiple industries based in the five-county region of the Lowcountry. Palmetto Railways lines have direct access to both Eastern Class I railroads, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway. For more information, visit

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