Iowa Pacific is bidding for Nickel Plate Section

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Iowa Pacific is bidding for Nickel Plate Section

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:40 pm ... hest-score

The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority has ranked a proposal from Iowa Pacific Holdings as the top choice among those submitted by potential operators of the Nickel Plate Railroad line.

On Tuesday night, the Port Authority publicly released the five responses it received to its request for proposals. Four out of the five proposals outlined plans to use the full 37-mile stretch from Tipton to Indianapolis, despite plans from local governments to rip up a major section of the rails for a recreational trail.

The Port Authority is searching for a company to handle operations on the line because it terminated its policy-of-use agreement with the Indiana Transportation Museum in March 2016 amid concerns about the not-for-profit’s financials and maintenance of the tracks.

The owners of the track—Fishers, Noblesville and Hamilton County—announced plans in February to convert 9.2 miles of the track into a pedestrian and bike path called the Nickel Plate Trail.

But officials with the Port Authority, a quasi-government agency that oversees the railroad, said the trail is not a done deal and released a request for proposals for a new operator in April.
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Re: Iowa Pacific is bidding for Nickel Plate Section

Postby erie910 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:07 pm

U.S. Rail has submitted a request to the Surface Transportation Board to buy all the track owned by the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority. Two of the Authority's owners, Noblesville and Fishers, petitioned the Surface Transportation Board for complete abandonment so that the track between Noblesville & Fishers can be torn up and converted into a trail. U.S. Rail submitted a petition to the STB to require the Authority to sell the line to U.S. Rail, per requirements of federal law, so that it can develop freight business on it. After NS sold the line to the Authority, the Indiana Rail Road was the designated freight operator. Except for coal shipment to a power plant, INRD never developed any other business on the line. U.S. Rail says that it has commitments from four shippers to use freight service. How the freight would get there is another question, since the line is isolated from the rail system. On the north, the interchange with NS was north of a diamond, which NS removed. On the south, the interchange was via the Belt, but the Belt crossed the CSX main line to Anderson and points east on two diamonds, both of which were removed. While reinstallation of the diamonds is a money issue, there is the issue of distant and home signals for the diamonds, and the added fuel cost from reducing throttles to notch 4 or 5 while the engines cross the diamonds and then accelerating afterwards.

From what I can determine, the STB has made no final decision yet.
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