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Governor Questions Rail Company Action

DM&ELine.jpg

Governor Dennis Daugaard is questioning the Surface Transportation Board on the operation of the former DM&E Rail Line now owned by a Canadian company.

State officials say when Canadian Pacific purchased the DM&E in 2008 they agreed to make about $475-million dollars in investment to the rail infrastructure.  But state officials say it’s unclear if any expenditures have been made.  

Matt Konenkamp is a policy advisor in the governor’s office.   He says the state is concerned whether or not Canadian Pacific is living up to its promises to upgrade rail lines.

Konenkamp says the rail line is a very important part of South Dakota Infrastructure – not only for moving farm goods from East River – but also industrial goods from the west.

“On the west end of the line we have a number of shippers who without the service really can not get their product to market.  And, that’s a detriment to them, but it’s also a detriment to the businesses that ened the product that their shipping,” says Konenkamp.

Konenkamp says this issue isn’t about the proposed DM&E expansion which planned for new rail line across Western South Dakota to the Powder River Basin.  Rather he says this is about upgrades that were promised to the already existing rail line. 

He says the governor has no regulatory authority here; rather he is just raising a concern and questioning federal authorities.

Officials with the Canadian Pacific Railway declined to comment at this time.

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