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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Iowa short line connects with UP through trackage transaction


Pioneer Railcorp March 28 announced that 38-mile Keokuk Junction Railway Co. (KJRY) Feb. 18 started operating a 12.1-mile portion of 290-mile Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad's (TP&W) line, and established interchange rights with Union Pacific Railroad.
Pioneer Dec. 21 acquired the line, which runs from LaHarpe to Lomax, IL, and includes an additional 15.5 track miles across Burlington Northern Santa Fe's mainline from Lomax to Fort Madison, Iowa.
KJRY recently established an interchange with UP at Fort Madison under rights the short line received in 1997, when UP purchased Southern Pacific Railroad.
Since Pioneer purchased KJRY in 1996, officials have tried to take advantage of the small road's UP trackage rights as well as provide Keokuk-area shippers access to an additional western Class I, but were inhibited because of several TP&W ownership changes, according to a prepared statement.
KJRY plans soon to complete its 10-acre Twin Rivers Yard just west of Keokuk. The 350 rail-car capacity facility would enable the short line to move about 2,000 carloads this year over the new connection.
About 75 percent would be existing KJRY traffic, previously handled over a Keokuk switch but now more-quickly reaching UP.
Pioneer — which owns and operates 16 short lines and one tourist railroad in 10 states — expects the remaining 25 percent to be new traffic resulting from KJRY's direct access to UP traffic lanes in Kansas City, Mo., and Chicago through the short line's new Fort Madison interchange.

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More News from 4/1/2002