Our History...  Conserving your recreational future...

About Us

The Iron Horse Preservation Society was founded in 2005 with the goals to better preserve our railroad heritage and find a better use for antiquated railroad track.

Our founders had observed many times where railroad track materials had been buried, destroyed, or used as a rally point for illegal dumping.  These Abandoned railroad corridors didn't improve our economy by moving goods, nor did they move people, instead the steel rusted and ties rotted away.  These  railroad tracks had a purpose once, they were the backbone of the  United States economy.  The tracks that made our country a world  superpower had become a public nuisance.  The decision was made to take  on the task of converting these rails to trails.  The dream is simple  really, we aim to breath new life into these corridors; so they can rise  again and assist the communities they were built serve.

The decision was made to address these problems. IHPS was formed so that we could give our country a better place for tomorrow. We put rail trails in place for education, access, recreation, and health. Unsightly corridors are cleaned up and made accessible for maintenance and better security.  Track materials are put to new uses including reuse as rail for historic rail operations, and are liquidated to fund the deconstruction and trail building processes.

Iron Horse was an important partner to the U.S. government as a no-cost supplier of rail to the border for anti-vehicle barriers. IHPS was dedicated to teaming with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security in delivering unused DoD rail to the border for barrier construction and installation.


Founders and Key Personnel

Jim Hattrup, Co-Founder

Jim Hattrup, a graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, has over 30 years experience in engineering, manufacturing, sales, and management. 

Jim was very successful in his business career since MIT and now sees an opportunity to use his expertise to help give back to the country. Iron Horse Preservation Society was the vehicle that Jim and his brother Joe Hattrup created to make this a reality and provide benefits for the public good.

Jim is a key member of our team and has extensive experience with both commercial and government customers on mission critical projects. Jim evaluates, designs, plans, and reviews our project activity, including our growing rail-trail work. He has developed efficient, economic, and safe techniques in track removal, material handling, and trail development.

Pictured to the right:  Jim is addressing Joint Task Force VISTA: CA National Guard and US Border Patrol, at a ceremony in which IHPS received a teamwork award.


Joe Hattrup, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder

Joe Hattrup, majored in Marketing and Finance at Portland State University and has over 30 years of experience in field operations, marketing, sales, and management. 

This experience includes over 12 years of railroad track removal experience and 30 years of steel and forest products sales. 

Identifying and developing opportunities with our government and commercial customers is Joe’s strongest attribute for IHPS. He will take an idea or possibility and turn it into a real work plan that shows in detail how a project can be done.

Joe’s hands-on method of management starts with being the point man from a projects inception and carries through the engineering of it until completion. 

Joe’s vision for IHPS is of an organization that exists to educate and  improve the well being of the general public by creating more  recreational areas around the nation.

Pictured to the right:  Joe Hattrup, IHPS COO, receives Award Recognition Plaque for US Border Patrol and CA National Guard for outstanding teamwork on Operation Jump Start, Joint Task Force VISTA.