Iowa Pacific Holdings

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Iowa Pacific Holdings
Industry Railroad
Founded 2001
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, USA
Key people
Edwin E. Ellis, Jr, CEO
Products U.S.A.
Permian Basin Railways
Texas – New Mexico Railroad
West Texas and Lubbock Railway
Chicago Terminal Railroad
Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
Mount Hood Railroad
Saratoga and North Creek Railroad
Dartmoor Railway
Weardale Railway
Revenue Increase US$50 million
Number of employees

Iowa Pacific Holdings is a holding company that owns railroad properties across North America and the United Kingdom, as well as providing services such as railcar repairs and leasing and management and consulting services to other operators.[1] The company was founded in 2001 with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois;[1] the current CEO is Edwin E. Ellis, Jr.[1]


Iowa Pacific's North American freight services are operated by subsidiary Permian Basin Railways, which was formed in 2002 to operate the Texas – New Mexico Railroad and the West Texas and Lubbock Railway;[2] since then, Iowa Pacific through Permian Basin has acquired the Arizona Eastern Railway in 2004,[3] (sold September 1, 2011 to Genesee & Wyoming Inc.[4]) the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad in 2005,[5] the Chicago Terminal Railroad in 2006[6] and the Mount Hood Railroad in 2008.[7]

In addition to freight operations, Iowa Pacific operates several passenger train operations through North America. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad began operations in 2006,[8] the Mount Hood Railroad, which operates both freight and passenger services, was purchased in 2008,[7] the same year Copper Spike Excursion Train service began over Arizona Eastern trackage.[9][10] The Saratoga and North Creek Railroad began operations in the summer of 2011, offering scheduled passenger rail service, as opposed to excursion trains.[11]

Iowa Pacific also fully owns the Dartmoor Railway and a controlling stake in the Weardale Railway, both shortlines in the United Kingdom that operate freight and passenger services; Iowa Pacific purchased the companies in 2008, operating them under the name British American Railway Services.[12]

In May 2012 Iowa Pacific acquired operating rights on the Santa Cruz Branch Line between Watsonville and Davenport. The company established the Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Railroad to run freight and passenger services on the line, supplementing the existing Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway operations.[13] In November–December 2012, SCMB ran "The Train to Christmas Town," a holiday train based on a story written by Peggy Ellis and illustrated by Jeff Lee (video game artist).

In October, 2012, Iowa Pacific purchased Cape Rail Inc., a company that runs Massachusetts Coastal Railroad and Cape Cod Central Railroad.[14]

In February, 2014, Iowa Pacific began test commercial runs of the Eastern Flyer, a passenger train service between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. [15]

In April 2015, Iowa Pacific announced a deal with INDOT and Amtrak to take over the Hoosier State Line, which runs between Chicago and Indianapolis.[16][17]


  1. ^ a b c "Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Permian Basin Railways". Iowa Pacific holdings official website. Archived from the original on 31 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "STB approves new line for Arizona Eastern". Trains Magazine. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Genesee & Wyoming Inc to acquire Arizona Eastern Railway". 2 August 2011. Archived from the original on 2 August 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad Company SLRG #416". Union Pacific Railroad. Archived from the original on 31 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Last run made on Chicago's Lakewood Branch". Trains Magazine. 13 February 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Permian Basin Railways buys Oregon tourist, freight hauler". Trains Magazine. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rio Grande Scenic Railroad". Archived from the original on 31 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Globe Miami Times & Copper Spike brings Visitors". Globe Miami Times. 3 December 2010. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Passenger Train arrives in Miami, Az". Globe Miami Times. 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Iowa Pacific introduces intercity passenger-rail service in New York". Progressive Railroading. 27 July 2011. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Iowa Pacific buys British railroads, contractor". Trains Magazine. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  13. ^ Iowa Pacific chosen to operate rail line; unanimous vote should lead to passenger service
  14. ^ Bowen, Douglas (23 October 2012). "Iowa Pacific acquires Cape Rail, Inc". Railway Age. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Eastern Flyer train from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City sells out all three trips" Tulsa World, Jan. 9, 2014
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