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Rail operator looks to buy rail line into Newcomb

Ellis said he has been in contact with Barton Mines and the discussions about freight service have begun.

"I can't really say that we have a firm plan for it other than we believe it ought to be preserved. We have spoken with Barton Mine," he said. "If we were going to load product, they would want to load it at their facility in North Creek, which is adjacent to the line."

Barton Mines spokesman Jim McAndrews confirmed that talks between the two companies are under way.

But he cautioned that nothing concrete has been hammered out.

"We have no immediate plans," McAndrews said. "But we would like to see the tracks preserved because it might accommodate potential future products."

McAndrews noted that the garnet mine is currently trying to develop a market for its tailings and other byproducts of its operation.

Iowa Pacific currently operates numerous freight and commuter railroads, largely in the American Midwest and Southwest.

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