The South Dakota State Railroad Board has finalized an agreement for the South Dakota Department of Transportation to sell the Sioux Valley rail line to the D&I Railroad Co. 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,” Interim Secretary Joel Jundt said 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,” Jundt added. “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.”
The agreement’s terms include transferring ownership of the entire 68 miles of the Sioux Valley line from Canton to Elk Point and Beresford to Hawarden, Iowa.
The Department and D&I Railroad Co. will equally share a 25 percent match on a federal FEMA grant for repair work due to the 2019 flooding, including reconstruction of the bridge on the Sioux Valley rail line in Canton. Additionally, the department and the board will support 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,” Jerry Cope, chairman of the South Dakota Railroad Board, said in a news release. “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.”
The D&I Railroad is a wholly-owned subsidiary of L.G. Everist Incorporated.