The Western Group, a short-line railroad company based in Ogden, UT, has assumed operation of the Texas State Railroad, the company announced May 4. The Texas State Railroad Authority recently awarded Western Group the contract to operate the East Texas tourist line.
The move signals the end of Iowa Pacific Holdings’ operator agreement with TSRA.
TSRA board member Steve Presley said the agreement was signed Wednesday and Western Group kicked off operations by running a special school train. More runs are scheduled Friday through Sunday, and officials are to gather for a photo shoot Monday in Rusk.
In April, TSRA and Western Group, selected from four companies that submitted bids to run the railroad, reached a tentative agreement.