- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

SNOWFLAKE, Ariz. (AP) - A short-line railroad that has operated in northeastern Arizona for nearly a century has been purchased in a deal that officials say removes the threat of closure.

Apache Railway announced Tuesday it was purchased Monday from a foundation by an ownership group led by Phoenix-based Aztec Land and Cattle Co. Ltd.

The 98-year-old railroad operates 40 miles of track between Snowflake and Holbrook, where it connects with the BNSF Railway.

Officials said the purchase culminates an effort begun following the 2012 closure of a paper mill.

Fearing that the railroad would be scrapped, Navajo County leaders formed the foundation to purchase the railroad from an investment group.

The foundation filed for bankruptcy protection in May. A bankruptcy judge on Nov. 25 approved the $4.7 million sale of the railroad’s stock.

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