Ag secretary backs S.D. railroad

Published 9:06 am Wednesday, September 25, 2013

PIERRE, S.D. — The U.S. agriculture secretary is backing the state of South Dakota in its effort to make sure the old Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad keeps operating west of Tracy, Minn.

Secretary Thomas Vilsack sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board urging the panel to support the state’s petition regarding the Canadian Pacific Railway and its subsidiary DM&E.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard filed a petition in August with the board to determine if the CP lived up to the representations it made while seeking to acquire the DM&E.

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Daugaard met with Vilsack Sept. 12 to discuss the potential loss of the only east-to-west rail in South Dakota and the impact it would have on agriculture.

Vilsack told the board that a full accounting of CP’s promised investment is reasonable.

The DM&E Railroad cuts east and west through Albert Lea.