Iowa Pacific Holdings
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Edwin E. Ellis, Jr, CEO|
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
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. The company was founded in 2001 with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois; the current CEO is Edwin E. Ellis, Jr.
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; since then, Iowa Pacific through Permian Basin has acquired the Arizona Eastern Railway in 2004, (sold September 1, 2011 to Genesee & Wyoming Inc.) the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad in 2005, the Chicago Terminal Railroad in 2006 and the Mount Hood Railroad in 2008.
In addition to freight operations, Iowa Pacific operates several passenger train operations through North America. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad began operations in 2006, the Mount Hood Railroad, which operates both freight and passenger services, was purchased in 2008, the same year Copper Spike Excursion Train service began over Arizona Eastern trackage. The Saratoga and North Creek Railroad began operations in the summer of 2011, offering scheduled passenger rail service, as opposed to excursion trains.
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.
In 2012 Iowa Pacific acquired three railroad operations during the year:
- In April it acquired the Texas State Railroad, an excursion train operating between Palestine, Texas and Rusk, Texas.
- In May it 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. 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 it purchased Cape Rail Inc., a company that runs Massachusetts Coastal Railroad and Cape Cod Central Railroad.
In April 2015, Iowa Pacific announced a deal with the Indiana Department of Transportation and Amtrak to supply rolling stock and on-board services personnel for the Hoosier State, which runs between Chicago and Indianapolis. Indiana announced on January 30, 2017, that Amtrak would resume providing rolling stock for the Hoosier State on March 1, as Iowa Pacific was no longer able to fulfill the contract.
It should be noted that despite its name, the Iowa Pacific Railroad does not serve, and has never served, the state of Iowa.
Trouble is brewing, however, as Iowa Pacific is undergoing serious financial difficulties.
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