Sunset over Mt. Adams - Yakima Central Railway

Executive Management Team

Paul Didelius

After finishing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, Paul worked in management for Union Pacific in Chicago, IL. In 2006, Paul founded his first railroad business called Frontier Rail with a leased SD9 locomotive and a single rail switching contract in Wallula, WA. Thirteen years later, Paul owns Rainier Rail, the Columbia Rail group of short lines railroads in Eastern Washington State, and the Cincinnati Eastern Railway – just the beginning.

Robert Didelius

  • CFO of Columbia Rail, Rainier Rail co-owner and General Manager, railroading with Paul Didelius since 2012
  • Senior Auditor, SEC practice, Marcum LLP, Los Angeles, CA, 2006 – 2011
  • MA Accountancy, University of Southern California
  • BA Economics, Northwestern University

Derek Reid

Graduated from Western Washington University in 2013 with a degree in Political Science / Economics. Spent 5 years in Colorado working in logistics / supply chain before moving back to Washington and joining Columbia Rail in 2019. Derek is based out of the Walla Walla, WA office.

Stuart Smith

Started railroading in 1994 on the DRGW in Salt Lake City, which merged with the Union Pacific in 1997. Stuart left the Union Pacific and joined Columbia Rail in 2020. Stuart has 25 years of railroad operating management experience in flat switching yards and intermodal facilities, along with service design experience.

Nick Zamantakis

Graduated from Utah State University in 2022 with an MBA specializing in Operational Excellence. He spent 10+ years working for Union Pacific as a Yard Master in Utah before joining Columbia Rail in 2023. Along with managing daily operations, Nick oversees railroad activities at the Port of Benton and is based out of the Richland, WA office.

Chief Mechanical Officer Charles Osborn

Chuck brings 31 years of locomotive mechanical experience to Columbia Rail / Rainier Rail. Starting as a laborer, Chuck completed a 3 year machinist apprenticeship, eventually working his way up into senior management roles at Union Pacific and CIT’s locomotive leasing division. In addition to directing maintenance and development of Columbia Rail / Rainier Rail’s fleet of 30 locomotives, Chuck is also building a locomotive services division offering loco repair and leasing to other railroads and industry (launching later in 2019).