The Warren County board just recently cut ties with its former sightseeing train operator, the Upper Hudson River Railroad.
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 talks between the two companies are underway.
But he cautioned nothing concrete has been hammered out.
"We have no immediate plans," McAndrews said. "But we would like to see the tracks preserved because they might accommodate potential future products."
McAndrews noted the garnet mine is currently trying to develop a market for its tailings and other byproducts of its operation.
Iowa Pacific currently operates 11 freight and commuter railroads in the American Midwest and Southwest as well as in Europe.
Adirondack Journal's Thom Randall contributed to this report.