Eddie Brown to Retire After 46-Year Railroad Career

Eddie Brown, Locomotive Engineer and Conductor, has retired effective July 3, 2023, after a 46-year career in railroading!  Eddie began his railroad career for the Rock Island Railroad in July of 1977 working as a Clerk.  Eddie’s lack of seniority had him bumping around Illinois and Iowa; starting in Bureau, Illinois to Culver Tower in Muscatine, Iowa back to Bureau, then into Joliet, Illinois eventually to Ottawa, Illinois until he was furloughed. 

In November of 1978, Eddie entered Rock Island Railroad’s engineer trainee program in Blue Island, Illinois and was promoted to engineer in May of 1979.  In 1980, Eddie was furloughed with approximately 9,000 other Rock Island Railroad employees after a federal judge ordered the railroad to liquidate.  Eddie bounced back into the industry in 1981, when he accepted a position with the Burlington Northern Railroad working in the Maintenance of Way Department until furloughed later that same year. 

When furloughed, Eddie continued his education in drafting while also working at a local gas station.

In 1982, Eddie was hired as an armed security officer keeping watch at the LaSalle Nuclear Station until 1986 when he was hired by Metra working as a Towerman.

On March 2, 1988, Eddie began working for Iowa Interstate Railroad as a conductor / engineer.  Eddie held jobs in Rock Island, Blue Island, Silvis and Bureau.

Eddie has also been the face of Iowa Interstate Railroad for Operation Lifesaver since 2002 and has conducted many training events for schools and various community gatherings.  We are grateful that Eddie is committed to continuing this valuable training throughout our community.

Eddie has received twelve IAIS Presidential Awards since the program began in 2015!

All of us at IAIS wish Eddie the best in retirement!

Continued Collaboration to Provide for Passenger Rail Between Chicago and the Quad-Cities

With increased interest from recent media reports, Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) reiterates our long-standing commitment to and collaboration with local, state, and federal stakeholders to work towards reinstating passenger rail between Chicago and the Quad-Cities. We have always been and continue to be committed to working with IDOT to bring our 50 miles of freight railroad in line with the higher safety requirements required for passenger railroad infrastructure.  We have met with Amtrak, IDOT, and many other stakeholders, both here at home and in Washington D.C. We continue to engage IDOT in a manner consistent with the parties’ agreement and await their response to our latest submission. We will continue in good faith to abide by the signed agreement with IDOT that neither party will unilaterally publicly discuss the details of this project.


Cedar Rapids, IA Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC (IAIS) today announced its recent purchase of approximately 30 acres at Iowa City’s Industrial Campus to develop a new rail to truck transloading facility. The site, located on the southeast side of Iowa City and including an existing rail spur, connects to the 573-mile IAIS network, providing shippers with direct access to all 7 Class-I Railroads and numerous short line railroads. The site is conveniently located to I-80, US 6, and US 218.

Transloading of commodities between transportation modes is a growing segment of the national supply chain; IAIS is proud to provide another option in the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids corridor to shippers lacking direct access to rail service. Shippers can utilize this additional optionality to leverage multiple modes and connecting rail gateways to drive value to the end user.

“As part of our continuing growth strategy, Iowa Interstate Railroad is excited to have successfully acquired this parcel from our friends and neighbors at the City of Iowa City for the development of this new transloading facility. As we have seen with the numerous other transloading sites existing along our network, these facilities provide significant value to our customers and open the door for many other companies to become rail shippers,” said Joe Parsons, IAIS President and CEO.

Rail transportation is the most fuel-efficient way to move freight over land. The City, by partnering with IAIS to develop this facility, recognizes this increased fuel-efficiency both reduces shippers’ long haul freight costs and provides public environmental benefits. According to the EPA, moving freight by rail versus truck lowers greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75%. In 2021, IAIS joined the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, demonstrating its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

“The City is proud to partner with Iowa Interstate Railroad on this project, which will both support existing industry and help attract new business to the Iowa City area. The transportation sector accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions nationally and a quarter of our emissions locally. Projects like this are an excellent example of how actions on the local level contribute to solutions at a larger scale. As we look for ways to continue to bolster our economy while making significant progress towards achieving our climate action goals, this partnership reflects the values and collaborative spirit of Iowa City,” said City Manager Geoff Fruin.

Founded in 1984, Iowa Interstate Railroad is a Cedar Rapids, IA, based Class-II regional railroad company operating in the Midwest region between Chicago, Peoria, and the Omaha areas. It is one of the only regional railroads in the country with direct connections to all 7 Class-I railroads.

For more information about IAIS, please visit www.iaisrr.com.
For information about the City of Iowa City, please visit www.icgov.org.

IAIS Honors Bob Pietrandrea with Dedication of its Silvis Yard

Concurrent with the operation of a special train on October 18 honoring the retirement of Robert A “Bob” Pietrandrea from his position as President of Railroad Development Corp. (RDC), the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) has taken the opportunity to name its Silvis yard in his honor.

IAIS & RDC Chairman Henry Posner III commented, “While Bob has retired from his job as President of RDC, he remains a board member of IAIS. He set the tone for the trajectory of the company with his focus on investing in both our people and facilities, and this is reflected in Silvis, which as our eastern gateway also represents growth and connectivity.”

IAIS President Joe Parsons added, “We have continued to add tracks on the footprint of what was at one time the Rock Island’s most important hump yard and eastern gateway. We do blocking for both the Chicago and Peoria gateways at Silvis, and it was also our first major new-build facility with our combination car repair shop and yard office. With that significance to the IAIS system in mind,

naming this key facility after Bob is only natural due to his many contributions over the years that allowed IAIS to not only survive, but thrive.”

IAIS director and iCON Partner Rory Hunter concluded, “Bob’s involvement was critical to getting the IAIS to where it is today, and a key element of our investment in the company. We are proud to be part of the recognition of his contributions through the dedication of Pietrandrea Yard. We look forward to having Bob on the IAIS Board for many years to

For these reasons the IAIS board at its October 19 meeting formerly affirmed the naming of Silvis yard as Pietrandrea Yard.

RDC (www.rrdc.com) is a family-owned railway investment and management company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Its business model is based on partnerships, including interests in the Iowa Interstate Railroad; Peru’s Ferrocarril Central Andino; UK Battery train manufacturer Vivarail; German passenger & freight rail operator RDC Deutschland; French first/last mile freight operator RegioRail; and Belgium-based multimodal logistics integrator Eurorail. In addition, RDC is now launching Pop-Up Metro in North America, an innovative approach to fast-start transit deploying battery trains on existing light-density freight rail lines. For further information, please contact: Henry Posner III, Chairman t: +1 (412) 928-7704 RDC e: hposneriii@rrdc.com.

IAIS Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Carrie Evans, Elected President of the Midwest Association of Rail Shipper

Cedar Rapids, IA – Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) is proud to announce that Carrie Evans, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, was elected as President of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) at the conclusion of their recent Winter Meeting in Lombard, IL.   Carrie had served as Vice President on the MARS Board of Directors for the past several years.   Joe Parsons, IAIS President and CEO commented: “Carrie’s election to President of MARS is a clear vote of confidence by the rail industry in her demonstrated abilities and another great achievement in a very successful railroad career.”   Carrie will begin her first official acts as President in July at the upcoming 2022 MARS Summer Meeting at Lake Geneva, WI. 

IAIS Chairman Continues Support of Operation Lifesaver as it Celebrates 50th Anniversary!

Left: ASLRRA representatives (back row, L to R) Chuck Baker and Sarah Yurasko, along with (front row L to R) Crystal Gitchell and Jo Strang pose with ASLRRA member Henry Posner, III (top right) in front of an Amtrak locomotive commemorating Operation Lifesaver’s 50th anniversary. Strang, who is also OLI’s board chair, spoke at the locomotive’s unveiling today at Union Station. (Photo from Views & News, ASLRRA)

IAIS Chairman, Henry Posner III, was present at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on January 12, 2022 to witness the unveiling of the Operation Lifesaver commemorative Amtrak Locomotive. Operation Lifesaver is celebrating its 50th anniversary in a yearlong celebration in 2022. The Locomotive is painted in a custom paint scheme with the organization’s slogan on the side, “See Tracks? Thank Train!”.

Operation LifeSaver (OLI) is a non – profit organization that was established in 1972 to address the rising number of Highway Grade Crossing accidents. BY 1986 this non-profit expanded to help support and coordinate the efforts of Operation Lifesaver Nationwide. Today this program is sponsored by various federal, state, and local agencies, as well as America’s railroad systems.

IAIS Chairman, Henry Posner III, continues his support through funding, grants and volunteering. This effort assists in the creation of media related resources, distribution of resources and education.

Left: OLI’s commemorative locomotive is painted in a custom black and yellow color scheme with one of the organization’s slogans on the side, “See Tracks? Think Train!” (Photo from media.amtrak.com)

See the full details at https://oli.org/about-us/news/amtrak-unveils-commemorative-operation-lifesaver-50th-anniversary-locomotive


Cedar Rapids, IA – Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC (IAIS) today announced that it joined the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry that provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.

IAIS will contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 312 million barrels of oil, $41.8 billion on fuel costs,133 metric tons of CO2, 2.6 million tons of NOx and 109 million tons of PM. This is equivalent to eliminating annual energy use in over 20 million homes. By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, IAIS demonstrates its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

“Iowa Interstate Railroad is proud to partner with the U.S. EPA by joining the SmartWay® Transport Partnership.  Our participation, along with our continued investments in energy management technologies, reaffirms our commitment to recognizing environmental issues and continuing to reduce our carbon footprint.”, said Joe Parsons, IAIS President / CEO.

Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, American Trucking Associations, and Business for Social Responsibility, this innovative program was launched in 2004. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce emissions and fuel use from goods movement.

The Partnership currently has over 3,000 Partners including shipper, logistics companies, truck, rail, barge, and multimodal carriers.

Founded in 1984, Iowa Interstate Railroad is a Cedar Rapids, IA based class-II freight railway company operating in the Midwestern region of the USA between Chicago, Peoria and Omaha.  

For more information about IAIS, please visit www.iaisrr.com.

For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit www.epa.gov/smartway.

Iowa Interstate honors Paul H Banner’s 100th Birthday

June 30th, 2021

The Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) today celebrated the 100th birthday of its founding Chairman Dr. Paul H Banner with a reminder to the railroad community of his numerous contributions to the industry. This was commemorated with the naming of its most recently purchased locomotive, Wabtec ES44AC #519, the “Paul H Banner” upon its delivery in December of 2019.

IAIS Chairman Henry Posner III commented, “I have been honored to follow in Paul Banner’s footsteps, and am proud that we are in a position to commemorate his contributions to the industry in such a manner. It is easy to forget the audacity of the formation of our company from the abandoned main line of the Rock Island in 1984: the fact that new locomotives are being bought by a railroad that began under such dire circumstances is testament to many things, including the remarkable story of railroad deregulation. But on this day we focus on the vision and tenacity of its founders, Paul Banner being the first among equals, and celebrate the fact that he is alive and well in retirement.”

Dr. Banner’s service to the industry prior to IAIS includes leadership roles at Southern Railway and the Rock Island.

IAIS President Joe Parsons added, “The Iowa Interstate Railroad survives today as a critical part of the nation’s freight rail network because of a few key railroaders who saw something in our footprint that many others did not.  Dr. Banner is one of those visionaries.”

The Iowa Interstate Railroad is a Cedar Rapids, IA based freight railway company operating in the Midwestern region of the USA between Chicago, Peoria and Omaha. Further information is available at: www.iaisrr.com.

Allen Polfer promoted to Chief Financial Officer

The Iowa Interstate Railroad is pleased to announce that Allen Polfer has accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer effective June 1, 2021 reporting to Joe Parsons, President / CEO. As CFO, Allen is responsible for the overall management of the Accounting department.

Allen began his career with us in March of 2017 as Controller. He started his finance and accounting career with GMAC Mortgage as a Loan Counselor. After receiving his B.A. in Accounting at the University of Northern Iowa and successfully becoming a Certified Public Accountant he began auditing at Deloitte & Touche LLP and worked there for two years before accepting a position with BerganKVD, working there as a senior auditor before accepting employment with us in March of 2017.

Allen also has a B.A. in Finance and Real Estate.