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

  by Rockingham Racer
John_Perkowski wrote:As an aside, I went to the Pullman Rail Journeys website and found this:

That's fairly recent. The site was up not too long ago.
  by gokeefe
Wow ... "Saturday Night Massacre" ... I will be interested to see what happens to prices in the equipment market if they are forced to liquidate ...
  by John_Perkowski
Where is IPH and its passenger operations going? Yesterday I went to the Pullman Rail Journeys site and found this:
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  by JimBoylan
At facebook.com/pg/PullmanRailJourneys/posts, I found this link: travelpullman.com/ride/pullman-ski-train/. It brings me to the same result:
This site is no longer available.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Stand by for the Petition. Anyone care to bet "Triple E" is meeting with lawyers at this time?
  by dgvrengineer
With Iowa Pacific potentially needing to liquidate some equipment and the RB Circus liquidating all their equipment there may be some bargains out
there for passenger equipment. Trouble is not too many outfits that need equipment can afford it. Most tourist RR's operate on a shoestring and
I doubt Amtrak is in the used car market. Maybe NC or some other state might be interested.
  by JayBee
The Circus train cars are gutted and would require plenty of investment to install seats for coaches or compartments for sleepers.
  by John_Perkowski
That's not how they are being marketed, JayBee. Go to the auction website. It's under Global items.
  by Jeff Smith
Relocated to IPH Forum from General Passenger Rail.
  by Gilbert B Norman
.....can it be?

TRAINS Newswire (subscriber access)

IPH has nothing.that can be construed as "essential service", so I hold that.WHEN the Bankruptcy Petition is filed, it will simply be a "that's all folks:
RUSK, Texas — Texas officials confirm that an Iowa Pacific subsidiary operating the Texas State Railroad owes more than $250,000 in unpaid sales taxes from late 2016 and early 2017.

In emails and conversations with Trains News Wire, an official with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts confirms that the Rusk, Palestine & Pacific Railroad owes $252,374 in taxes on Texas sales between October 2016 and January. The Texas official also confirms that the RP&P also owes $684 for a franchise tax, a net worth-based tax imposed on businesses organized in the state of Texas. That fee was due in May 2016.

Iowa Pacific acknowledges that it controls RP&P on its website and that the subsidiary operates under the Texas State Railroad name for excursion trains. Any freight the railroad hauls is under the Rusk, Palestine & Pacific name
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Cape Rail is one subsidiary that would be held intact as a bargaining chip, for these reasons:

1) Cape Cod Central RR's excursion service is profitable. Not the most profitable New England excursion carrier (that's Valley RR and Conway Scenic by a country mile), but they're safely in-the-black with patronage on a long-term upswing.

2) Mass Coastal freight's energy train trash haul contract with Commonwealth of Massachusetts guarantees the carload counts over life of the contract. All of the Cape's garbage truck loads end up as MC carloads, so the business is as constant as the in-season + offseason population of the Cape. Term-of-contract is still several years away from needing renewal or re-bid.

3) IP has a new long-term contract for dispatching and various MOW services on all the MassDOT-owned non-passenger lines in Southeast MA. Another fixed revenue source for them like the freight contract. They've gained lend-lease access to MBTA MOW equipment and Keolis lease power as a perk of that deal, which gave them the bandwidth to send CCCR/MC's loco fleet out for complete overhaul in 2015.

4a) MassDOT is upgrading the two state-owned branches that bring CSX from Framingham to the Mass Coastal interchange in Middleboro to 286K loading weight (Framingham Secondary work now in closeout, Middleboro Secondary work beginning this summer, NEC connecting trackage Mansfield-Attleboro already uprated). IP has the construction contract for performing the on-the-ground upgrade work (so far their handiwork of the Framingham Sec. looks pretty spiffy). All part of a longer-term MassDOT installment plan to bring 286K through MC territory to ports of Fall River & New Bedford as an IOU to CSX for the 2008 branchline sale and operating rights package, so that MC can generate more business for them at the interchange. The most expensive parts of those South Coast branch uprates have already been paid for with major bridge replacements in New Bedford; future installments will pay for rail/tie replacements that finish the job. Both ports also have planned dredgings for bigger ships due to take place over next dozen years.

4b) State has ~$50M in programmed funds FY2017-2021 for upgrades in Cape Rail territory on the Middleboro-Hyannis main, Falmouth Branch, and Yarmouth freight stub. Yard reconfig for CCCR/MC in Hyannis, MC in Rochester at the trash-to-energy plant. Rail/tie, speed and crossing upgrades on the main and Falmouth Br. for Cape Flyer and the excursion trains. Major bridge replacement in Wareham. IP is very likely to get this MOW contract if closeout on the CSX branch upgrades proceeds without incident.

5) Likely bidding war for acquisition. Grafton & Upton RR's owner nearly bought a controlling stake in Cape Rail prior to IP's involvement, before the deal fell through over some details. And Seaview, the shortline and truck logistics company that runs the terminal RR @ Quonset Point in Rhode Island, is in acquisition mode. They bought the Newport Dinner Train in 2015 when the original mom-'n-pop owners opted for retirement. The ports-to-CSX and trash train fit Seaview's freight biz model for 'captive' terminal switching, CCCR and Newport have obvious synergies being in the same regional tourist market, and they've taken on maint outsourcing for the T @ Quonset Point so have capability of taking on some of IP's outsourced dispatch and MOW tasks.

So if I had to guess all these contractual tendrils with State of MA for guaranteed carloads & work plus full-funded upgrades on their turf give the Cape Rail subsidiary a level of business certainty worth firewalling by keeping full-staffed...while other IP reporting marks around the country get hibernated during the crisis. Either CCCR/MC become a prime bargaining chip shaping a bankruptcy reorg, or it's a sell-high showcase piece in a company liquidation given the high likelihood of multiple aggressive local bidders egged on by MassDOT to take the whole thing.
  by Jeff Smith
This is one piece of IP, that being Texas State. I can certainly attest that Sales Tax obligations are the last tax you want to be late on; they'll padlock your door and sell your stuff faster than an Acela in CT. But will one single sub bring down the entire operation? I don't know enough about bankruptcy law to say.
  by John_Perkowski

It's not just Texas. There seem to be debts at multiple operations. There are news articles about debt in the passenger operations since 2013.

Pullman Rail Journeys is shuttered.

The bad part is IPH appears to be closely held. I cannot find any financials out on the web, no SEC registration, nothing.

@Gilbert B Norman: Anything your CPA nose can sniff out?
  by Gilbert B Norman
Colonel, I've tried in the past @ the SEC and STB sites with negative results.

Otherwise, I respect Mr. F-Line's thoughts that much of the IPH Massachusetts operations appear viable.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by John_Perkowski
Amazing. Even Warren Buffett writes a few pages of notes on why BNSF is a wholly owned subsidiary each year...