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DM&E Expansion Mothballed


The Canadian Pacific Railway is officially mothballing the proposed DM&E Powder River Basin Expansion project.

The rail line expansion was first proposed in 1997 to carry Wyoming coal to markets in the East.

The company cites a poor outlook for the future of domestic coal as the main reason for quashing the project.  

The DM&E expansion proposal garnered opposition among many ranchers along the proposed route. Darrell Nelson, who raises cattle in Wyoming, argued that rail line would devalue property.  But in the end Nelson says it’s not rancher opposition that killed this proposal--he says the DM&E Expansion died due to the fact that coal can’t compete with natural gas in the marketplace.

“The economics were not there to do it.  And, yes I’m pleased that they did not do it, because it would have just been something that was started but was never finished – never used you know a great expenditure of time and money.  It was enough of a  burden on society as it was really,” says Nelson.

Canadian Pacific bought DM&E in 2007 with the option to continue the project.  Before the sale DM&E company officials had overcome several regulatory hurdles, and even secured federal loan guarantees.   But after years of trying, company officials failed to raise the large amount of private capital needed to fund the project.