Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E), one of the longest regional railroads in the United States, began operations in September, 1986 with track acquired from the Chicago & North Western Transportation Co.
The railroad's mainline extends from the Mississippi River at Winona, Minnesota across southern Minnesota and central South Dakota to Rapid City. In 1996, the DM&E acquired more than 200 miles of track from Union Pacific Railroad, extending from Colony, Wyoming through Rapid City to Crawford, Nebraska. Grain currently accounts for more than 40 percent of the railroad's 60,000 annual carloadings, which have increased more than 40 percent since 1987 -- DM&E's first full year of operation.In 1997 we embarked upon an exciting new challenge to build almost 1,000 miles of new railroad from end to end. That includes approximately 280 miles of new rail construction from our existing line into Wyoming's coal rich Powder River Basin. It will also include building approximately 600 miles of new track on our existing right of way, and upgrading 220 miles of the remainder of our system.
Our PRB project is estimated to involve approximately 6,000 construction jobs over a two year period, and approximately 2,000 permanent rail related jobs. Many more coal mining jobs and other economic benefits would also spring from the project including $50 million in construction related taxes, and $35 million in ongoing taxes throughout the three affected states (South Dakota, Wyoming and Minnesota).
Other major commodities include bentonite clay, canned goods, cement, fertilizer, iron and steel, kaolin clay, lumber, paper products, scrap iron, soybean oil and meal, crushed stone, wheat flour and wood chips. DM&E began operations with 130 employees, 37 locomotives and no freight cars.
With headquarters in Brookings, South Dakota, DM&E now employs 350 people, and owns or leases approximately 70 locomotives and almost 3,200 freight cars.
Last Update 01/28/01
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