Iowa Interstate Railroad mourns the passing of founding Chairman Dr. Paul H. Banner

Cedar Rapids, IA – Iowa Interstate Railroad, LLC (IAIS) is saddened to announce the passing of its Founding Chairman, Dr. Paul H. Banner, on June 17, 2024, at the age of 102.  Dr. Banner was instrumental in the efforts to save the railroad following the Rock Island’s liquidation which ultimately resulted in the thriving Class-II regional railroad it is today.

IAIS Chairman Henry Posner III commented, “To describe Paul Banner as a visionary would be an understatement. The idea of a fourth main line – and an abandoned one at that – between Chicago and Omaha at the dawn of deregulation was considered by many to be delusional. We are proud to stand on his shoulders, which were extremely broad.”

“While we send our condolences to the family of Dr. Banner, we remember his many contributions to this company and are very thankful to be able to carry on his legacy.  Locomotive #519, named the “Paul H. Banner” to commemorate his 100th birthday, serves as a reminder of our first Chairman as it moves freight on the line he helped to save”, added IAIS President, Joe Parsons. His enormous contribution to the restoration of the Rock Island’s core main line is his enduring legacy. IAIS expresses its sincere condolences to the Banner family and all those whose lives were touched by this industry visionary.

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

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 six Class-I railroads.

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Media Contact: Annie Schaub
(319) 491-4465