IPH Passenger Operations

Discussion about Iowa Pacific Holdings and their various railroad operations. For passenger trains see also regional or tourist forums below. IP no longer operates the Hoosier State, see this topic in Amtrak: http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=104574
Official site: http://www.iowapacific.com

Moderator: Aa3rt

Gilbert B Norman
Posts: 14080
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:05 am

John_Perkowski wrote:Amazing. Even Warren Buffett writes a few pages of notes on why BNSF is a wholly owned subsidiary each year...
The BNSF is a Class I and as such is required to file Form R-1, Annual Report, with the Surf Board. They also file a 10K with the SEC:

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data ... 16-10k.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:07 am

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by Safetee » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:31 am

This 2013 article spells out some of the history of IPs struggle

Limited Fair Use Quote
Santa Cruz Sentinel

POSTED: 08/03/13, 12:01 AM PDT | 1 COMMENT
By Jason Hoppin

SANTA CRUZ -- The Chicago-based railroad company operating the county's Branch Rail Line has unpaid debts locally and across the nation, raising questions about the company's finances and long-term viability.

From scenic upstate New York to sunny Southern California and across the Midwest, Iowa Pacific Holdings, owner of the Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway, is struggling to keep up with its bills. It owes tens of thousands of dollars to Central Coast businesses alone, from large media outlets to small railroad support crews to even a tool rental shop.

"There's companies all over," said Mark Buchol, owner of St. Louis-based D & M Transportation Consultants, which repairs passenger cars. "I'm not bad-mouthing any one person there, but they had a lack of a business plan. I not sure what anyone was thinking when they started spending all this money without any plan to pay it back."
Last edited by John_Perkowski on Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fair Use Limitations

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:10 am

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by forthdeck » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:11 am

Iowa Pacific - as of '14 - 80% was sold to Sam Zell, real estate billionaire. No idea how much money went into company but Zell buys cheap and will probably debt/equity fund the company's growth. He is comfortable with debt so will use leverage to grow and eventually sell it.

Zell is well known as bankruptcy-distressed asset buyer. He controls IP. What he does is anyone's guess. He has hit home runs in the past like buying com'l RE cheap post 1990 RE crash and parlayed that into national portfolio of commercial office buildings known as Equity Office and more recently blew-up badly doing leveraged buyout (too much debt) of Tribune Companies (Chicago) which went bankrupt only a couple of years after he bought. He resides in Chicago area so he is on the ground when it comes to dealing with IP. If he thinks asset value still there he will find ways to salvage best assets and will potentially throw CEO out and find new mgnt.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:10 am

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by forthdeck » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:57 am

I was incorrect on IP ownership. I don't think Zell deal ever closed. I don't think Ellis really knows how to operate rail when it comes to actually making money. Given his ex-Amtrak background that should say something about lack of profit focus.

fr recent story where IP gave-up Hoosier State rail - "Ellis says he didn’t realize the contract would swing the payments so far in Amtrak’s favor, and says he’ll learn from the experience if his company enters into another public-private partnership."

Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:13 pm

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by bardk321 » Wed May 03, 2017 6:12 pm

I used to work in IPH's corporate office in 2012 and 2013. Quit on my own accord. The company was rife with nepotism, incompetence and illegal activities back then and it still is now. Ed is very good at making himself the victim in the press releases, but he's quite manipulative.

Posts: 760
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:34 pm
Location: South of the moon. North of hell.

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by scoostraw » Sun May 07, 2017 11:24 am

When IOU Pacific was starting up all these operations I remember asking a buddy of mine "Where is all this money coming from?".

I feel that I have my answer now. What a shame.

Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:19 pm

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by rhallock » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:32 pm

Does anyone know what ever happened to the "Lion Gardiner" passenger car which used to be stored on the Catskill Mountain Railroad? Supposedly it was sold to Iowa Pacific and destined for some place in the midwest. Was it ever restored? It is in rather poor shape on the CMRR.

User avatar
Posts: 9493
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by Tadman » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:11 am

scoostraw wrote:When IOU Pacific was starting up all these operations I remember asking a buddy of mine "Where is all this money coming from?".

I feel that I have my answer now. What a shame.
I've had the same question for years now. No bank is going to loan you money to buy every E8 and super dome that rolls for such a speculative venture.

And in further news, the SNC b-boat is for sale at $99k. Seems a bit cheap.
Dig the new rr.net Instagram account: @railroad_dot_net

Posts: 6280
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by Backshophoss » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:08 pm

Big Shoulders(lead lender) put a good chunk of IP's passenger car fleet on the market at Ozark Mountain Railcar
Along with some of the Locos.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

User avatar
Rockingham Racer
Posts: 3510
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:25 pm

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by Rockingham Racer » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:06 am

Mount Hood Railroad is still running, at least for the time being. They are trying a wine train.

Posts: 11847
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:28 pm
Location: Winthrop, Maine

Re: IPH Passenger Operations

Post by gokeefe » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:50 am

Should be interesting to see if any operators try to get all of the full length domes as a single pool.

Return to “Iowa Pacific Holdings Class III Lines”