The Jacksonville Daily Progress reports months of uncertainty over the future of the Texas State Railroad have been laid to rest.  All the official paper-work has been signed and the historic east Texas railroad is now under new ownership and management.


The Texas State Railroad with its old steam engine train has been carrying tourists back and forth between Rusk and Palestine for decades, but it has also been in almost constant financial trouble for years.  The former owners, American Heritage Railways, were unable to make it profitable, so the TSRA has been sold to Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC.

Ed Ellis, CEO of Iowa Pacific, says they will add short-line freight operations to the tourist trade, in hopes that commercial revenues will help keep the popular train in business and profitable.

This might just work for the old railroad.  The former owner, American Heritage Railways, is a tourist rail operator that relies exclusively on historic railroads for its income.  The new owners, Iowa Pacific, is primarily a commercial rail freight company that carries several historic railroads on the side.