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Rail News: M&A

Iowa Interstate acquires Lincoln & Southern Railroad


Last month, Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. (IAIS) completed its third major transaction of 2006. On Dec. 31, the 552-mile regional closed a deal to purchase the Lincoln & Southern Railroad Co. (L&S) from PolyOne Corp. The Surface Transportation Board approved the transaction a week earlier.

L&S owns a 26.2-mile line between Henry and Peoria, Ill., which IAIS has operated under a long-term agreement since 1995. During the past two years, IAIS upgraded its mainline between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Utica, Ill. Now, the regional plans to upgrade the Henry-to-Peoria line to accommodate 286,000-pound rail cars.

“IAIS currently handles units trains of coal to Cedar Rapids and unit trains of grain to Peoria via the L&S,” said IAIS President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Miller in a prepared statement. “The L&S serves as our access to Peoria … [and] is our primary access to the Illinois River, which serves as an intermodal connection for grain and other products.”

Also in 2006, IAIS acquired the Great Western Railway of Iowa L.L.C. from OmniTRAX Inc. and leased a 32-mile Utica-to-Henry line from CSX Transportation.