Appeals Court Upholds STB’s DM&E Decision

December 29, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The Surface Transportation Board’s decision granting final approval to Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) to construct a 280-mile rail line into Wyoming’s Powder River Basin was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is seeking the largest federal loan to a private company in American history — a $2.3 billion in tax money from to finance a major rail expansion project through the Midwest. The loan guarantee from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) would allow the DM&E to expand and improve a rail line that

Genesee & Wyoming Reconfigures North American Operating Regions

December 27, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

GREENWICH, Conn. – Genesee & Wyoming Inc. has offered up a “rebalancing” of its North American operating regions, which company officials say is needed as a result of growth. “The value of our regional structure is its responsiveness to customers and business opportunities in each of our operating units,” said Mortimer B. Fuller III, Chairman and CEO of Genesee & Wyoming. “This realignment, effective Jan. 1, 2007, reflects our focus on maintaining these advantages.” Under the “rebalancing,” a new Southern Region will consist of 13 railroads that were formerly part of the company’s Rail Link Region, which has grown significantly

BNSF: DM&E Plan Could Cause Delays

December 16, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

FORT WORTH, Texas – If the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad were allowed to haul coal over the Powder River Basin (PRB) along the former I&M Rail Link’s (IMRL) line, it could cause substantial delays to time-sensitive BNSF Railway Co. trains at Savanna, Ill., the company said this week in a filing with the Surface Transportation Board. BNSF’s transcontinental main line between the Pacific Northwest and Chicago crosses the former IMRL line at grade at Savanna en route to the Chicago Gateway, where delays could be substantially increased by the addition of PRB coal trains regardless of what route into

STB Issues Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Southwest Gulf Line

December 10, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The Surface Transportation Board’s Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) has issued the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the Southwest Gulf Railroad Company’s construction and operation of a roughly seven mile line in Medina County, Texas. SEA previously issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public review and comment in this proceeding in 2004. The DEIS assessed four potential rail routes for Southwest Gulf’s proposed rail line to connect a proposed Vulcan Construction Materials, LP limestone quarry and the Del Rio subdivision of the Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP), near Dunlay, Texas, as well as the

Citizens Against Government Waste Names Sen. John Thune Porker of the Month

November 23, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the Porker of the Month for helping a railroad company secure a record $2.3 billion federal loan guarantee. The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DM&E) is seeking the largest federal loan to a private company in American history — a $2.3 billion in tax money from to finance a major rail expansion project through the Midwest. The loan guarantee from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) would allow the DM&E to expand and improve a rail line that is used primarily to transport coal from Wyoming to Minnesota.

Iowa Northern Railway Receives $25.5 million RRIF Loan

November 23, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The Iowa Northern Railway (IANR), a short line freight carrier located in northeastern Iowa, is receiving a $25.5 million loan from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The funds will be used to: upgrade mainline track from Linn to Waterloo and from Cedar Falls to Manly; construct new sidings at Palo, Shell Rock, and Nora Springs; and rehabilitate rail yards in Waterloo and Manly. These improvements will allow the railroad to accommodate heavier railcars and move freight more quickly, safely, and efficiently, according to the FRA. Agricultural products account for most of the cargo carried by the IANR, but

Brookings Residents Reject DM&E Agreement at Polls

November 12, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Fifty-six percent of Brookings voters rejected the city’s Community Partnership Agreement (CPA) with the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern (DM&E) Railroad. The results show that many Brookings residents were dissatisfied with the railroad’s mitigation proposal, some pundits say. DM&E has requested a $2.3 billion federal subsidy to upgrade and expand the private railroad’s tracks to haul large volumes of coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to distribution points in the East. If approved, the project could result in as many as 34 coal trains passing through Brookings each day at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

Opponents of $2.3 Billion DM&E Loan Voice Concern as Public Comment Period Draws to a Close

October 12, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – As public comments came to a close, a distinguished group of national leaders has voiced their opposition to the loan and called on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to deny a Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DM&E) proposal. “The American taxpayer is being railroaded again,” George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom Institute, a public policy foundation dedicated to promoting free market principles, said in a statement during the comment period. “The DM&E railroad has a history of failing to live up to its financial obligations. American taxpayers deserve to know who the money is going to and

Rochester Coalition: Largest Federal Loan in U.S. History Relying on Faulty Environmental Impact Statement

September 19, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) erred in adopting the environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) concerning the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad’s (DM&E) coal train expansion proposal, the Rochester Coalition said in comments filed today. “The FRA is relying on a dated, insufficient EIS that the Department of Transportation’s General Counsel’s Office has indicated is problematic,” said Steve Ryan, of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP and legal counsel for the Rochester Coalition. “When considering granting a $2.3 billion taxpayer-funded loan – the largest federal loan to a private company in U.S. history

Surface Transportation Board Approves DM&E Request

August 15, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) has approved DM&E’s application to utilize a separate subsidiary to build and operate a new 280-mile rail line into the Powder River Basin. “We’re pleased with this latest victory,” said Kevin V. Schieffer, DM&E president and CEO. “It’s another step closer to our goal of creating the best, safest, most efficient and most modern railroad in the United States.” The STB’s decision, released late yesterday, will help expand the market for financing the $6 billion project. “We have to attract a lot of private financing regardless of the outcome of

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