CP seeking operator for west end of Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern

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MINNEAPOLIS – Canadian Pacific said today it is seeking interested parties to take over the west end of the former Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern. CP would divest all the DM&E lines west of the division point of Tracy, Minn., which would include all its trackage in South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. The railroad said it was “inviting expressions of interest from prospective partners” for the lines.

Included are approximately 660 miles of former Chicago & North Western track that was sold to DM&E in 1986. It includes the lines from Tracy to Rapid City, S.D.; north of Rapid City to Colony, Wyo.; and south of Rapid City to Dakota Jct., Neb. Also included are three South Dakota branch lines: a 27-branch from Redfield to Mansfield, a 15-mile line from Blunt to Onida, and 12-mile line east of Huron toward Watertown, S.D. CP has operated the lines since it assumed operational control of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern in 2008. A number of grain, ethanol, clay, and merchandise customers are served by the lines. Also included is the roundhouse/shop facility in Huron, S.D.

“This portion of the CP network would be an attractive and highly viable opportunity for a low-cost operator. There is a strong long-term franchise here for an operator willing to maintain high quality service and explore growth opportunities with existing and future customers,” said E. Hunter Harrison, President and CEO. “CP has successfully built many partnerships with short line and Class 1 railroads throughout its system and we look forward to assessing the ways interested parties could work together with us to deliver quality service to customers on the west end of the DM&E through an innovative partnership.”

CP said will be contacting interested parties seeking expressions of interest this month, and would continue to serve al shipper on the lines while it works with interested parties and evaluates proposals.

“We have undertaken similar reviews on other portions on our network in the past that have resulted in positive outcomes for shippers, employees, and operators,’’ Harrison added.
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