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.

Cathy Smith to Retire After 18-Year Railroad Career

Cathy Smith, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has announced she will retire effective May 31, 2021, after an 18-year career in railroading. Over the years she held various management positions within IAIS including Controller, VP of Finance and Accounting, and most recently, V.P. and Chief Financial Officer. Cathy also served as the Secretary for Iowa Interstate’s Board of Directors since 2012. Her contributions to Iowa Interstate’s success during her career were many and she is to be commended for her years of hard work and dedication.

Cathy began her accounting career in 1986 working for a start-up company which would eventually become McLeod*USA. She held various management positions in Accounting, Production and Sales Operations where her primary responsibilities included performing the due diligence process to analyze the viability of over 60 company acquisitions during her 15 year tenure. She held the position of VP of Sales Operations when she left the company.

Cathy graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA degree in Accounting and achieved her goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant in 2003.

Cathy is looking forward to spending time with her daughters and their families, fishing with her husband, Bert and some much-needed quiet time in her “She Room”.

Allen Polfer has served as our Controller since he was hired in March of 2017 and he has accepted the promotion of Chief Financial Officer as of June 1, 2021.

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

RDC forms partnership with iCON Infrastructure

Partnership positions Iowa Interstate Railroad as “A Platform for Growth”

For Immediate Release RDC forms partnership with iCON Infrastructure Partnership positions Iowa Interstate Railroad as “A Platform for Growth” Railroad Development Corporation (“RDC”) of Pittsburgh, PA, has today entered into a strategic partnership with iCON Infrastructure, pursuant to which iCON Infrastructure Partners V (“iCON V”) will become a 40% partner in Iowa Interstate Railroad (“IAIS”). RDC will remain the majority owner of IAIS and together with iCON V will continue to support its strong management team and dedicated workforce in providing best-in-class service to IAIS’ diverse customer base.

IAIS is a regional freight railroad operating in the agro-industrial heartland of the USA. Its main line runs between Chicago and Omaha, with a branch line to Peoria, connecting with each of North America’s seven Class I railroads, a number of short line railroads, and the Mississippi and Illinois river systems. Its customer base is diversified among agriculture, construction, and consumer products. Key products handled by IAIS include corn, soybeans, agricultural products such as ethanol and animal feed, construction stone, steel, sand and intermodal containers.

Recognized as a leader in safety and growth, IAIS’ location and independence provide competitive options for its customers and the railroad serves an important role in industrial development for its territory. IAIS was formed in 1984, with RDC acquiring a minority interest in 1991 and owning 100% since 2004.

Henry Posner III, Chairman of RDC and IAIS, commented: “RDC’s business model is based on partnerships, a model that originates from the business acumen of my father, Henry Posner Jr. In this case we are fortunate to have found a partner that shares our culture. Together we are well positioned to advance the interests of the customers and communities we serve, and the interests of our industry as part of one of the world’s great network businesses.

IAIS will now increasingly serve as a platform for growth. This can take many forms, ranging from partnerships with other railroad companies to industrial development and investment in infrastructure such as intermodal facilities and river ports.

We see in iCON a partner with a global reach and a focus on infrastructure, with resources that complement our own. We welcome iCON as a partner and appreciate this vote of confidence in our quest to earn the position of the most respected railway company in North America.”

Rory Hunter, Director at iCON Infrastructure, commented: “Over the years we have known RDC, we have been continually impressed with their commitment to driving growth at their investments, whilst requiring the highest safety standards and customer service levels. Through this partnership we are excited to support Joe, Henry and the broader team in achieving our shared objective of continuing the strong growth trajectory of IAIS.”

Joe Parsons, President and CEO of Iowa Interstate Railroad, commented: “All of us at IAIS are pleased with our new partnership with iCON Infrastructure and see this as a tremendous opportunity to further our mutual interests in safety and growth. When we combine the IAIS network and customer base with iCON’s resources and global experience, I am confident that we will achieve significant growth and be better positioned for future opportunities.”

Railroad Development Corporation (“RDC”) is a Pittsburgh-based railway investment and management company with interests in railways and related businesses in the Americas and Europe. Further information is available at: www.rrdc.com.

iCON Infrastructure LLP (“iCON Infrastructure” or “iCON”) is an independent investment firm focused on investments in core infrastructure businesses across North America and Europe. Investments owned by funds advised by iCON Infrastructure include interests in Mountaineer Gas Company and TruVista Communications in the US; Capstone Power and Vista Services in Canada; Verbrugge International and Combined Cargo Terminals in the Netherlands; Gruppo Spinelli, EGEA and Eco Eridania in Italy; Hannover Airport and USG in Germany; Nua Healthcare Services in Ireland; Arcadia Renovables in Spain; and Bristol Water, Gridlink, SELCHP, Choice Care Group and Green Recovery Projects in the UK. iCON Infrastructure is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Further information is available at: www.iconinfrastructure.com.

Iowa Interstate Railroad (“IAIS”) is a Cedar Rapids 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.

Iowa Interstate Railroad, LTD opens the William J. Duggan Bridge for rail traffic

Booneville, Iowa – The Iowa Interstate Railroad, LTD (IAIS) opened the new William J. Duggan Bridge in Booneville, IA to freight rail traffic on June 30, 2020. This new, state-of-the-art structure crosses the Raccoon River west of Des Moines, IA and replaces a 119-year-old through truss bridge. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funded half of the project costs through a Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant of $3.5 million. The project was completed in record-setting time and under budget.
“The William J. Duggan Bridge will ensure safe and efficient freight connections between IAIS customers and rail destinations across North America and around the world,” said IAIS President Joe Parsons. “Completion of this project is yet another step in our unending drive at IAIS to prioritize safety, resiliency, and reliability in everything we do.”
“This bridge is a fitting tribute to Bill Duggan’s ongoing lifetime of service to the industry in this country and around the world which continues to this day” said Henry Posner III, chairman of IAIS. “After the bankruptcy of our predecessor the Rock Island in 1980, the IAIS route was deemed unnecessary and nearly liquidated: in fact, parts of the railroad stood idle until 1984. Bill came to the Iowa Interstate from the Illinois Central in 1989, and was tasked with keeping the railroad running with very limited traffic and funding. The early years were tough, but we have evolved into today’s strong, stable, resilient route connecting Iowa and Illinois to the world because of the foundation-both physical and cultural- laid by Bill. It is especially appropriate that this bridge carry his name as our West End has historically been our lowest-density segment and was at one point a re-abandonment candidate.”
Bill Duggan served as IAIS’ VP-Engineering, then VP-Operations, from 1989 to 1999, and has since served as VP-Operations of IAIS’ parent Railroad Development Corp. (RDC), where his roles have included service as President of Ferrovias Guatemala and responsibility for passenger businesses in Germany.
IAIS, FRA, and US DOT successfully completed construction in under 17 months from the date of award. Fifty percent of funding for the William J. Duggan Bridge was awarded by FRA on February 8, 2019 with IAIS funding the remaining 50%. The William J. Duggan Bridge is 661′-6″ long and consists of eight 75′ steel beam spans set on nine cast-in-place concrete piers with two concrete bents supporting a pre-stressed concrete box beam. Unlike the antiquated predecessor structure, the William J. Duggan Bridge will support sustained 40-mph train speeds with modern 286,000-pound freight rail cars and no dimensional load limitations.
Project engineering was led by HDR, Inc. of Omaha, NE. Bridge general contractor was A.M. Cohron & Son, Inc. of Atlantic, IA. IAIS Chief Engineer Chad Lambi, PE and Assistant Chief Engineer Greg D. Mitchell, PE oversaw project construction for IAIS.

Valued Iowa Interstate Customers and Partners,

March 16, 2020

Valued Iowa Interstate Customers and Partners,

As the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I want to let each of you know that Iowa Interstate Railroad is watching the situation closely and engaged in business continuity preparation and planning.   As of this writing, we are open for business and have no plans to curtail operations.    We are committed to the safety of our employees while continuing to provide our valuable services to the nation’s freight rail customers and partners.

Since we became aware of COVID-19 and its possible spread in the US, we have been following all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as our local and state health officials.   This guidance includes, but is not limited to, informing our employees of recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ensuring facilities have the necessary supplies to disinfect and clean shared workspaces, and bolstering our contingency plans for business continuity by gearing up for more remote office work should the need arise.

Again, Iowa Interstate understands the important role we serve to not only each of you, but to our nation in this time of uncertainty.    Our goal is to continue safely providing these services in the face of this adversity and look forward to our continued partnership for many years under better circumstances.   I wish you all stay healthy and safe!


Joe B. Parsons