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 wigwagfan
 
Since this thread has been a bit dormant there's been a few updates to the Mount Hood Railroad.

First off, the MH has announced they are resuming passenger operations on March 20th, with a Groupon deal that will launch on March 16th.

Second, the website shows that there are planned excursions for March and April; however they had started to announce excursions for the past several weekends but apparently did not run them.

Now the website shows that the excursions will only run to Odell and not to Parkdale, and it seems the pricing has not been reduced to reflect the much shorter (and less scenic) route, so I'm not sure how successful that will be.

Finally, Western Rail announced on their Facebook page that they are in the process of delivering a new GP38 to Mount Hood, a former Coos Bay Rail Link locomotive... It's not clear what MH is using in terms of equipment or how much of the legacy MH equipment is still on the property - they used to own one GP38 and one GP9 locomotive and a good number of passenger rolling stock including two or three full-dome cars and some ex-LIRR commuter coaches among others.
  by woodeen
 
As of a few days ago the 02 (GP38-2) was still on the property, and it looks like most of the passenger cars are still here. There were what seemed like way more lumber racks full and empty than usual down at the interchange
  by wigwagfan
 
If anyone's still lurking it appears Mount Hood had a "grand re-opening" last weekend and has scheduled daily trains out of Hood River to the switchback. In my personal opinion, $30 to ride "first class" three miles each way behind a diesel engine for one hour ($20 for kids) and $5 to park, is not going to last very long.
  by woodeen
 
I missed that! The weeds up here in Parkdale by my place are tall and undisturbed.
  by woodeen
 
The status quo continues on the Mount Hood. Most if not all of the passenger equipment is still in the yard in Hood River. Western Rail 2250 is still on the property. The transload in Odell has been very busy with a lot of lumber moving out. Nothing has moved south of Odell, and the tracks are buried in weeds still here in Parkdale
  by woodeen
 
I was in Odell today and took this picture of the transload facility there. I noticed a month or two ago that they tore down the metal storage buildings that they used to put lumber in before shipping. It wasn't until today when I had reason to cross the tracks that I noticed they have put a new second spur for loading cars. Pretty cool, it says a lot (I think?) that they would make this investment while the railroad itself is in receivership. The google map image shows the old storage shed and only one track. My picture is at the west end of the transload siding, near Stadleman drive
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.6270324 ... =!3m1!1e3s
Image
  by wigwagfan
 
Just looked at an aerial view of the reload facility. That'll definitely help them load more cars.

I'm surprised the bankruptcy trustee is allowing the MH to run passenger trains still...guess it makes enough money to cover the costs, even though the new and improved train only runs to, or slightly past, the switchback. 90 minute excursion. Still want $40 for a "first class" ticket aboard one of the ex-commuter cars (3x2 seating...ugh).
  by woodeen
 
I'm not sure they even run to Odell, someone told me only to Pine Grove? Talking with an employee it sounds like someone is interested in buying the whole thing, hopefully there will be some positive movement soon.

One possible dark spot on the radar though is that the SDS Mill across the Columbia in Bingen is for sale, and the same company that owns the Mill serving the Odell transload (WKO?) is interested in the SDS mill. They have direct access to BNSF at the SDS mill. Right now the bridge over the Columbia has a weight restriction that won't be lifted until it is replaced, but after that who knows, maybe consolidate all operations at the SDS mill? Hopefully they will value access to both BNSF and UP and retain both operations