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Short Line/Regional

Settlement for South Dakota Core Line Announced

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Mike Rounds and BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) on Nov. 28 announced a settlement has been reached for the sale of the state-owned Core railroad line to BNSF. “South Dakota producers and shippers will benefit by enhanced transportation access to markets,” Rounds said. “As a condition of the sale, we negotiated a settlement protecting and expanding access to the Core line for our South Dakota shippers. This is access to worldwide markets that our smaller carriers have never before had.” The state will collect approximately $40,337,295 from BNSF for the sale of the Core Line. The proceeds

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Side Tracks

Short-line rail companies continue to carry their weight on routes that otherwise might have been abandoned The train grinds to a halt, and engineer Eddie Pitchford breaks out his cell phone. Two locomotives with coal cars in tow sit idle in a wooded area north of downtown Athens, and the train’s progress rests on the word of an anonymous dispatcher 300 miles away. “Some days we get hung up here,” Pitchford said. The Hartwell Railroad freight train must cross CSX Transportation’s main rail line running between Atlanta and Wilmington, N.C., before it can proceed into downtown Athens. From his cell