Ed Ellis, president of Iowa Pacific, in a prepared statement said, “We are very excited about this opportunity to build on the substantial achievements that American Heritage has made, in cooperation with the Texas State Railroad Authority, in improving the Texas State Railroad's infrastructure and in developing the tourist ridership. We are already taking steps to continue this progress by further developing passenger services, reconnecting the railroad with the national rail network at Palestine, and implementing freight service.”
Allen Harper, chief executive officer of American Heritage Railways, in a prepared statement said, “We have had a tremendous experience developing the Texas State Railroad, and appreciate all the assistance we have enjoyed from the Texas State Railroad Authority and from local communities and supporters in this process.”
The president of the Texas State Railroad Authority, Steve Presley, in a prepared statement said, “We are genuinely excited about the opportunities this creates for the only historic steam railroad in Texas. In addition to creating tourism for local communities, the planned restoration of freight service will aid industrial development and employment growth. We look forward to working with Iowa Pacific to achieve these goals.”
As part of the transaction, American Heritage Railway of Texas LLC will be renamed Rusk, Palestine and Pacific Railroad LLC, although it will continue doing business as the Texas State Railroad, which runs between Palestine and Rusk.
Iowa Pacific operates six short line railroads in the United States and, through an affiliated company, operates three railways and related businesses in the United Kingdom. American Heritage Railways operates three railroads in the U.S. and one railroad in Mexico.