NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Officials have picked a new operator for a portion of a central Indiana rail line in a step that would permanently end the longtime Indiana State Fair Train.

Officials from Fishers and Noblesville voted Monday to start negotiations with Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad, which would run trains only on the northern portion of the 37-mile Nickel Plate line between the communities of Arcadia to Tipton. That would allow the cities to tear out the tracks in Noblesville and Fishers to build a planned 9-mile recreation trail.

The Indiana Transportation Museum operated the annual fair train on the corridor for more than 30 years before being sidelined last year. It has been fighting plans to remove the rails, but a federal judge denied a requested restraining order.