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State Railroad Board Acts on Sale of One State-owned Railroad Line

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Contact: Kristi Sandal, Public Information Officer, 605.773.7179


PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota State Railroad Board (Board) acted today (Aug. 19, 2020) on a proposal to sell one of the states short line railroads.


The Board’s decision was to authorize the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) to finalize terms of a purchase agreement with Dakota and Iowa Railroad (D&I Railroad) for acquisition of the Sioux Valley Line which is located between Canton and Elk Point with a spur to Beresford. The D&I Railroad is a wholly owned subsidiary of L.G. Everist Incorporated.

“We are appreciative the Board agreed to move forward with defining the terms of a purchase agreement for the Sioux Valley Line and we look forward to collaborating with the D&I Railroad to finalize the sale of this railroad asset,” says Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist.


Final action on the Sioux Valley Line sale will be made at a future Board meeting, sometime around the end of this year, where the final purchase agreement terms will be provided to the Board by SDDOT and D&I Railroad.


“D&I Railroad, the current operator of this line, has a proven track record of providing excellent service to their shippers and we have no doubt this same service will continue. The sale will also place the line back into private ownership where additional opportunities exist for further development – a key to supporting the state’s economy,” says Jerry Cope, Chairman, South Dakota Railroad Board.


The Board has also been acting on lease holder proposals that were received to purchase excess railroad properties along the state-owned lines. At today’s meeting, the Board decided to authorize the sale of numerous leased properties along the Mitchell to Rapid City line. The remaining line for the Board to act on is the Napa to Platte line.


“These properties have been held by the State for many years and the Board’s recent action will allow current lease holders to own the rights to these properties and use them in a manner that best serves the community and our state”, says Deputy Secretary Joel Jundt. “I’d also like to thank SDDOT staff for their diligent work with the lease holders to organize the sale of these parcels.”


More information regarding background on the process or proposals that were received can be found on the department’s website or by contacting Joel Jundt at 605-773-8397 or Jack Dokken at 605-773-7045.