The LakeTerminal Railroad was incorporated in the State of Ohio on September 13, 1895. It was originally chartered to operate as far west as Sandusky, OH and east to Cleveland, OH. The Lake Terminal’s purpose was to serve the iron-making mill of The Johnson Company. In 1900, the name of the Johnson Company was changed to the Lorain Steel Company. In 1902, the National Tube Company purchased the Lorain Steel Company. Thus, the Lake Terminal found its way into United States Steel Corporation; but, the Lake Terminal’s reach never significantly extended beyond plant boundaries at Lorain.

In 1988, the Lake Terminal Railroad became part of Transtar, Inc. Transtar is a privately-held transportation holding company with principal operations in railroad freight transportation, dock operations, Great Lakes shipping, and inland river barging. The Transtar subsidiary companies formed over the years to meet the transportation needs of various steel-making facilities that were the predecessors of today's United States Steel Corporation. Prior to 1989, the Transtar companies were wholly owned transportation subsidiaries of United States Steel Corporation. In December, 1988, these transportation companies were acquired by a new holding company, Transtar, Inc.

The Transtar companies have a long business history, more than 100 years in many cases. The companies provide a broad mix of specialized transportation services, by rail and water. In addition, some of the rail and water carriers own and operate bulk commodity docks and port facilities. Transtar's core business is serving the transportation needs of the steel, utility, mining, and chemical industries, although other business supplements this core.

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