The Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway (MM&A) filed for bankruptcy protection last August following the accident, which killed 47 people. MM&A operates a 1199km network in Maine, Vermont and Quebec, and was previously part of the Chicago-based Rail World group.

According to local media in Maine, Railroad Acquisition Holdings submitted a winning bid of $US 14.25m during a 40-minute auction that involved up to 18 interested bidders.

Fortress Investments Group owns the Florida East Coast Railway and previously owned shortline and regional rail operator RailAmerica until its sale to Genesee & Wyoming in 2012.