Ellis & Eastern to take over Minnesota Southern trackage

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SiouxFallsSD
Sioux Falls, S.D.
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In an exemption notice filed with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, the Ellis & Eastern Railroad said it has reached an agreement with the Buffalo Ridge Regional Railroad Authority to lease and operate 41 miles of track in southwestern Minnesota currently operated by short line Minnesota Southern. The ex-Chicago & North Western (Omaha Road) line extends from a junction with the Union Pacific at Agate, Minn. (just west of Worthington) to a connection with BNSF Railway at Manley, Minn.

Ellis & Eastern currently operates in the Sioux Falls area and is owned Sweetman Construction Co., primarily transporting aggregate products for Concrete Materials. The ex-C&NW lines were purchased by Sweetman in the late 1980s and reopened in 1989. The railroad operates from Brandon, S.D., through downtown Sioux Falls to Ellis, S.D. It also has trackage rights over BNSF from Sioux Falls to Corson, S.D., to serve the Concrete Minerals plant there.

Ellis & Eastern has filed another notice with the STB to acquire and operate approximately 7.6 miles of track between Manley and Brandon, S.D., from E&ER Co. According to Ellis, the line is in poor repair and in need of rehabilitation, and has not been operated since at least 1994, when E&ER acquired it. The ex-C&NW line would connect Ellis & Eastern with the Minnesota Southern line.

Both transactions are expected to be complete in June.
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