Agency RSS

State Finalizes Sale of Sioux Valley Rail Line

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Contact: Kristi Sandal, Public Information Officer, 605.773.7179



PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota State Railroad Board (Board) acted today (Dec. 16, 2020) to finalize the sale agreement between the South Dakota Department of Transportation (Department) and D&I Railroad Co to purchase the Sioux Valley rail line for an amount of $10 million.


“I’d like to thank the Board for their due diligence in finalizing the sale of this section of state-owned railroad,” says Interim Secretary Joel Jundt. “This sale fulfills our original goal to preserve rail transportation in the state and eventually return the railroad lines back to private ownership. We know how critical rail transportation is for moving freight, and the capital investments from the sale of this line and others will benefit the state for many years to come.”


Terms of the agreement include: (1) Transfer of ownership of the entire 68 miles of the Sioux Valley line from Canton to Elk Point and Beresford to Hawarden, Iowa, 2) the Department and D & I Railroad Co. equally sharing  the required 25% match on a federal FEMA grant for repair work as a result of the 2019 flooding, including reconstruction of the bridge on the Sioux Valley rail line in Canton; and (3) the Department and the Board supporting the submission of a Special Transportation Circumstances grant application for a bridge structure replacement project on the Sioux Valley rail line.


“D&I Railroad, the current operator of this line, has consistently provided excellent service to their shippers, and with this sale of the Sioux Valley line, we are confident that this same service will continue. The sale will enable additional opportunities for development to occur that just wasn’t possible with state ownership – a key to supporting the state’s economy,” says Jerry Cope, Chairman, South Dakota Railroad Board. 


The D&I Railroad is a wholly owned subsidiary of L.G. Everist Incorporated.


More information regarding background on the process or proposals that were received can be obtained by contacting Jack Dokken at 605-773-7045 or Joel Jundt at 605-773-5105.