By Railfan & Railroad Staff
ALAMOSA, Colo. — Colorado Pacific Railroad has purchased the San Luis & Rio Grande, beating out OmniTRAX, which had previously been selected by trustee William Brandt as the winner of an auction for the Colorado short line. Colorado Pacific, which owns the Towner Line in southeast Colorado and has tried to acquire the legendary Tennessee Pass line in the past, is paying $10.7 million for SL&RG, according to Alamosa News.
The SL&RG operates 155 miles of former Denver & Rio Grande Western track, including over La Veta Pass. The railroad went bankrupt during the downfall of its owner, Iowa Pacific, a few years ago. Since then the railroad has been in a sort of limbo and earlier this year it was announced that OmniTRAX was going to buy it for $5.7 million, pending court and regulatory approval. But then Colorado Pacific entered the auction at the 11th hour offering more money and pushing all other suitors aside.
“The auction was very spirited,” Brandt, the bankruptcy trustee, told the newspaper. “This is great news. Colorado Pacific is a responsible operator for the railroad in the valley. And given the value that was created in the auction, the creditors and the others will be thankful. There will be some money to pay bills.”