The Utah Department of Transportation has offered to purchase the Heber Creeper scenic railroad line for $1,130,150, following nine months of negotiations with New London Railroad and Village Inc.

New London, which owns and operates the antique steam tourist and recreation attraction, has been asked to respond to the offer by Oct. 15, according to a prepared statement released Friday. Officials hope to close the deal by Dec. 31."Our offer is the result of some tough bargaining sessions," said UDOT Executive Director Eugene H. Findlay. "We've taken an exhaustive look at the railroad's operation, assets and liabilities and have made an offer which we believe is in the best interest of the state of Utah and is fair to the seller."

Negotiations began after the 1990 Legislature appropriated up to $1.6 million for the possible purchase and repair of the Wasatch County-based railroad, the statement said.

The balance of funds not used for the purchase of all properties and equipment will go toward maintenance, start-up and operating costs.