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News Wire: Polar Express license holder sues Iowa Pacific

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 8:38 AM

Durango, Colo.-based Rail Events claims $3 million in unpaid royalties; Iowa Pacific questions 'unfair practices'

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/02/27-ip-lawsuit

Brian Schmidt, Assistant Editor Trains magazine

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 9:53 AM

Just more bad news for the boys at Iowa Pacific.  And some really thought they could run passengers trains for a profit. Seems like the are bleeding cash every where.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 10:00 AM

Seems as if they were signing 'bad contracts' right and left and are now trying through a variety of means to extracate themselves from those onerous contracts.  It gets dirty and expensive once you get into lawyer fights over contracts.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:05 AM

Wasn't the head of Iowa Pacific the person who 15 years ago or so turned some Amtrak trains into mixed trains trying to compete with Fed Ex and UPS by tacking on express box cars to each train?

My understanding is it did not work out so great because it delayed schedules due to the need to do switching moves to add the cars from their loading location after the train had left the originating station and then dropping the cars at their unloading location before arriving at the destination station.

is it the same person?

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Posted by GERALD L MCFARLANE JR on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 3:48 PM

kgbw49, Yes, it's the same person, Ed Ellis, but that isn't how the process worked, Amtrak Express cars were added onto the consists before the trains departed, however, you can't load and unload passengers during switching moves...so that might have been the problem. Technically though the service did earn extra revenue for Amtrak at the time, the biggest problem was knowing how to market the service in the correct origin/destination pairs(I worked at a 3rd Party Logistics firm at the time that moved freight[fresh oranges] from Southern California to Florida via Amtrak Express).

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, March 02, 2017 6:39 AM

The mail & express service did generate extra revenue for Amtrak, but much of it was eaten up by the extra terminal expenses involved.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Friday, March 03, 2017 3:51 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

The mail & express service did generate extra revenue for Amtrak, but much of it was eaten up by the extra terminal expenses involved.

 

it also generated many, many late trains. The additional revenue never justified the many  hassles it created. Many of the host railroads thought Amtrak was taking thier  freight business didn't help matters.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, March 03, 2017 6:23 PM

Could this be the continuation of a house of cards falling ?

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Sunday, March 05, 2017 8:20 AM

Bingo

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, March 05, 2017 9:04 AM

It seems the dominos started falling when they sold their profitable freight railroads in the Permian Basin but did not know they were going to have to repay the US government for the RRIF loan they had taken out to fix up the properties.

As much as I hope Brightline succeeds (and perhaps it will if the investment group also controls the development real estate along the right of way and all the apartment-condo-office space leases on those sites), it still seems that passenger railroading has an awfully hard time turning a profit. And most of IP's ventures seem to circulate around passenger operations.  

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Posted by schlimm on Sunday, March 05, 2017 9:35 AM

Some (mostly HSR) passenger services can generate a profit above the rail, but when overhead and the debt servicing for equipment and infrastructure are figured, even those lose.  Many believe the latter should be subsidized, same as highways and air travel infrastructure.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

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Posted by GERALD L MCFARLANE JR on Monday, March 06, 2017 9:46 PM

kgbw49
~snip~

And most of IP's ventures seem to circulate around passenger operations.

Technically, with the exception of the Hoosier State operation most of IP's "passenger" business is in tourist operations, so though they do haul passengers I wouldn't consider them the bellweather of real passenger operations like the Hoosier State or Brightline.  A lot of tourist operations are seasonal, costs are lower than operating a real passenger service(thought not non-existant) and passenger loads are less...it can be done, but I think he expanded much to fast for the amount of backing he had.

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Posted by Brian Schmidt on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 4:25 PM

Brian Schmidt, Assistant Editor Trains magazine

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