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Public-Private Partnerships Result In $56 Million Investment In SD Rail

            Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212



Public-Private Partnerships Result In $56 Million

Investment In SD Rail


PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today that a total of $56 million in public and private funds will be invested in four rail projects across the state. Because of these investments, a new $40 million grain handling facility in Britton and a $40 million grain shuttle loading facility in Kennebec will be opened. 


“The state has long recognized the importance of rail transportation as part of an integrated component of South Dakota’s intermodal transportation plan. The investments we make in rail today will have a positive impact for decades to come,” said Gov. Daugaard.


The first project is the reconstruction of the Mitchell to Rapid City (MRC) Rail Line. The $29.9 million project between Chamberlain and Presho will upgrade 42.6 miles of rail line to handle modern rail traffic.


The MRC project is being funded by $12.7 million in federal TIGER funds; $7.2 million appropriated by the Legislature during the 2014 session; $7 million in grants and loans from the Railroad Trust Fund; $1 million from the farmers and private investors of Rails to the Future; $1 million from Dakota Southern Railroad; and $1 million from a Future fund grant.


The second project is an agreement with the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad (RCP&E) to construct two new railroad sidings along the old DM&E line. The $7.5 million project includes a 10,000-foot siding in the Huron area and a 7,500-foot siding near Aurora. RCP&E has committed to giving $3.75 million for the project, which the state will match with Future Funds.


For the third project, the state will partner with Dakota & Iowa Railroad to invest $7.3 million to upgrade the Sioux Valley Line in southeast South Dakota. The project will include upgrading nine bridges on the line, which will allow the line to handle 286,000-pound rail cars. In addition, a section of track that is currently in an area subject to landslides will be moved.


The last project, an upgrade of the Britton Line in northeast South Dakota, will include $5.25 million in funds from the Dakota Missouri Valley & Western, as well as $5.25 million in loans from the state Rail Board and $1 million in Future Funds. The $11.5 million project includes constructing the south leg of a wye at Jarrett Junction and replacing 29 miles of light rail with heavy rail to enable the railroad to handle heavy modern traffic.   


“I especially want to thank our partners in the private sector for making these projects possible,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Their investments and ongoing commitment will go a long way in giving South Dakota farmers better access to the market.”


The Governor also announced today that $4 million in Future Funds will be available to match other South Dakota rail investments made by private entities. Interested parties should prepare proposals and submit them to the state Department of Transportation.