South Dakota finalizes sale of rail line

South Dakota Department of Transportation
Farm Forum

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

“I’d like to thank the board for their due diligence in finalizing the sale of this section of state-owned railroad,” said Interim Secretary Joel Jundt in a news release. “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:

  • Transfer of ownership of the entire 68 miles of the Sioux Valley line from Canton, S.D., to Elk Point, S.D., and Beresford, S.D., to Hawarden, Iowa.
  • 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.
  • 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,” said Jerry Cope, chairman of the South Dakota Railroad Board.

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