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Rail News: M&A

Oregon, Massachusetts short lines under new ownership


Earlier this month, Permian Basin Railways Inc. purchased Mount Hood Railroad (MHRR) from a group of local and regional investors. Terms weren't disclosed.

The 102 year-old MHRR provides freight-rail service on a 22-mile line between Hood River and Parkdale, Ore., and offers several excursion and dinner trains from April to December. In 1987, the local/regional investors purchased MHRR from Union Pacific Railroad.

An Iowa Pacific Holdings subsidiary, Permian Basin Railways owns the Arizona Eastern Railway, Chicago Terminal Railroad, Texas-New Mexico Railroad, West Texas & Lubbock Railway and San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad, which between May and October operates excursion trains over the La Veta Pass and through Colorado's San Luis Valley to connect with the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.

Permian Basin Railways plans to ensure MHRR remains a popular tourist train and develop the short line's local freight traffic, said Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis in a prepared statement.

"Our Rio Grande Scenic Railroad in Colorado and MHRR will mutually benefit from each other's expertise in complementary tourism markets," he said.

Meanwhile, South Barre, Mass., businessman John Pondelli Jr. has purchased the Massachusetts Central Railroad Corp. from Richard Close of Vancouver, British Columbia. Terms weren't disclosed.

Established in 1975, Massachusetts Central operates a 25-mile line between South Barre and Palmer, Mass., and interchanges with CSX Transportation, Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway, Norfolk Southern Corp. and New England Central Railroad.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/11/2008