The Town of North Judson is moving closer to finding a company to lease its short line railroad. Eleven potential operators expressed interest in leasing the line. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins says the town has now narrowed that list down to two, to proceed in the negotiating process.
According to the proposed timeline for the lease process, North Judson hopes to secure a lease by the end of next week. However, Collins says no specific date has been set for final approval from the town council.
The town’s operating agreement with the current operator, Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad, expired in December. Since then, Chesapeake and Indiana has continued to operate the line under short-term extensions.
However, the terms of those extensions have severely restricted the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum’s ability to run excursion trains beyond English Lake and into LaCrosse. Town officials have expressed hope that they will be able to include more protections for the museum’s excursions in the new lease agreement.