Stefan Soloviev

USA: A federal judge has approved Soloviev Group’s purchase of the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad out of bankruptcy.

OmniTRAX had announced an agreement to purchase the railway’s assets in October, but was outbid by Soloviev Group’s KCVN subsidiary with a winning offer of $10·7m which was nearly double the opening bid at an auction on November 17.

The 245 route-km Class III network radiates in three directions from Alamosa in Colorado to Antonito, South Fork and Walsenburg. It was previously owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings, which had acquired it in December 2005 from RailAmerica, which had in turn acquired the network from Union Pacific in June 2003.

Traffic includes grain, minerals, rock products and farm produce.

‘We are planning significant upgrades to the service so the line can operate at the highest possible level of efficiency’, said Stefan Soloviev, Chairman of the Soloviev Group which also owns the Colorado Pacific Railroad and is a major US landowner with farm and ranchland in Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico.