Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad
The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is a Class II railroad operating across South Dakota and southern Minnesota in the northern plains of the United States. Portions of the railroad also extend into Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa. The DM&E and the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad (IC&E) are both jointly owned by Cedar American Rail Holdings , making the combined system the largest Class II network in the US.
The DM&E began operations on September 5 1986 over tracks that were spun off from the Chicago and Northwestern Railway in South Dakota and Minnesota. Much of the negotiations were handled by the office of Senator Larry Pressler and his legal counsel Kevin V. Schieffer . After a successful decade of growth for the DM&E, Schieffer succeeded J. C. McIntyre as president of the railroad on November 7 1996.
In 1997 the DM&E announced plans to build into Wyoming's Powder River Basin to become the third railroad (after Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Union Pacific Railroad) to tap into the region's rich coal deposits. The Surface Transportation Board (STB) released the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on November 19 2001; with the final EIS in place and approval from the STB, as of 2004 DM&E is undertaking the expansion as proposed. The construction is planned to be completed in 2007 and the addition of the revenues gained from hauling coal along the new line has the potential of elevating the combined DM&E/IC&E system from AAR's Class II to Class I.
The DM&E purchased the I&M Rail Link railroad in 2002, renaming it Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad and combining its management and dispatching duties with those of the DM&E under the holding company Cedar American Rail Holdings . Schieffer serves as president and CEO of Cedar as well as serving as president of the DM&E. The combined system directly connects Chicago through Iowa to Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul and continues as far west as Rapid City, South Dakota. Smaller branches extend into portions of Wisconsin, Wyoming and Nebraska.
1986–1996: startup and initial expansion
In the early 1980s, the Chicago and Northwestern Railway (CNW) announced plans to abandon a section of railroad through Minnesota and South Dakota that dates to 1859. Due to pressure from customers and Senator Larry Pressler from South Dakota, a deal was reached creating the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad out of sections of the CNW from Winona, Minnesota, to Rapid City, South Dakota. This deal also included buildings, rolling stock and locomotives, mostly rebuilt EMD SD9s , from the CNW. The DM&E began operations on this track on September 5 1986. The railroad was expanded in 1995 when it acquired additional former CNW branch lines from Rapid City, South Dakota, to Colony, Wyoming , and Crawford, Nebraska.Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad Working Group in 2001 showed support among customers and freight shippers, but DM&E's expansion plan led to complaints among residents in communities along the railroad's right-of-way.final EIS was issued on November 19 2001. In this final approval, the STB agreed with the DM&E that no new bypasses around cities would be required even though the cities of Rochester, Minnesota, Brookings and Pierre, South Dakota, had requested them.
In April 2004, the DM&E was awarded the power of eminent domain in South Dakota by the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Pierre, South Dakota. The ruling overturned part of South Dakota legislation passed in 1999 (two years after the railroad first announced its intentions to expand) that would have impaired railroad operations and construction in the state. This decision restores the legal process by which the railroad can effectively force landowners along the proposed new route to sell their land to the railroad.DM&E official website
- South Dakota Office of Railroads: DM&E facts
- Surface Transportation Board, DM&E Final Environmental Impact Statement
- DM&E photo gallery
- Unofficial DM&E Home Page
- Cedar American Rail Holdings, Inc. (2004), Serving the Heartland of America (PDF). Retrieved January 5 2005.
- ^ City of Mankato, DM&E Railroad Proposal. Retrieved January 5 2005.
- ^ Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (September 13 1996), DM&E Marks 10th Anniversary. Retrieved January 5 2005.
- ^ Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad, DM&E/PRB/IC&E Overview. Retrieved (April 3 2005).
- ^ Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (November 11 1996), Schieffer named president and CEO of DM&E Railroad. Retrieved April 2 2005.
- ^ Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad Working Group; Minnesota Department of Transportation and Minnesota Planning (April 2001), DM&E Expansion in Minnesota (PDF). Retrieved January 5 2005.
- ^ Duff, Diane C., Alliance for Rail Competition (November 13 1998), Letter of Support for DM&E. Retrieved January 5 2005.
- ^ Galbally, Erin, Minnesota Public Radio (March 11 2002), DM&E - Towns on the line. Retrieved April 15 2005.
- ^ Gilchinski, Steve (February 2002), Coming: A third Powder River Basin player, Trains Magazine, p. 10-11.
- ^ Gilchinski, Steve (May 2002), DM&E begomes "a significant national player", Trains Magazine, p. 14.
- ^ Hetland, Cara; Minnesota Public Radio (June 11 2003), DM&E builds railroad empire while it awaits court approval. Retrieved January 5 2005.
- ^ Hildebrand, John (November 2001), The Appraisal - Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern Railroad and Rochester, Minnesota, debate bypass route, Harper's Magazine. Retrieved April 15 2005.
- ^ Kafka, Joe; Associated Press (April 15 2004), Ruling moves railroad's plans forward (PDF), Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, p. 3B. Retrieved January 20 2005.
- ^ Mayo Clinic (July 15 1998), DM&E Proposal. Retrieved January 5 2005.
- ^ Office of Freight, Railroads & Waterways; Minnesota Department of Transportation (2005), DM&E. Retrieved January 5 2005.
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