Watco’s Blue Ridge Southern Railroad (BLU) recently was recognized by the Haywood County Commission for a Clean County for their efforts in sprucing up the depot in Canton, North Carolina.

The committee recognized the BLU Team for its leadership role in beautification and in inspiring other businesses to participate, mainly due to the face lift they gave the depot.

“We are situated along two of the busiest streets in Canton, so there are a lot of eyes on us,” said General Manager Darl Farris.  “We’re proud to be among the honorees. The BLU was the only business that received such an award — all other awards were given to individuals for their community contributions.”

Before the BLU took over operations, the Canton depot was a fairly drab looking place that served more in function than in form. Since then, the team has painted the roof and trim in their signature blue, cleaned up trash, planted greenery, and organized things so there is more curb appeal.

Several BLU Team Members and their  families have devoted their time and efforts to this cause and continue to do so.

“We make it a part of our job briefings to discuss the impact our housekeeping has not only on our safety, but also our image in the eyes of the communities we serve,” Farris said.

“BLU Team Members and citizens alike seem to really appreciate this extra effort to make the holidays more festive. Canton is a proud community with a rich heritage of hard-working people at its core. Blue Ridge Southern team members fit right into that heritage and are proud to do it with a little flare that we are happy to share with the rest of the community. ”


With its name derived from the Blue Ridge Mountains which overlook this scenic North Carolina railroad, the BLU was Watco’s first property located in the state of North Carolina beginning in 2014. It operates 92 miles of track and primarily ships commodities such as wood chips, various paper products, plastics, concrete, coal, aggregate, and products used in the manufacture of Epsom Salt.