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2/13/2006



Rail News: M&A

New North Dakota small road assumes operation of two BNSF branch lines



BNSF Railway Co. recently leased two North Dakota branch lines to the newly formed Dakota Northern Railroad Inc. (DN). The lines totaling 70 track miles run between Grafton and Walhalla, and Grafton and Glasston in the northeastern part of the state. BNSF will interchange with the short line — which is owned by KBN Inc. — in Grafton.

“As part of BNSF’s ongoing review of our light-density lines, we identified the two lines as properties best transitioned to short line operations,” said BNSF Vice President of Network Development Pete Rickershauser in a prepared statement. “Our experience has shown that short-line operators can provide valuable and efficient service that can support our growth plans by feeding us traffic through service offerings closely tailored to their shippers’ needs.”

Yesterday, DN began operating the lines and serving BNSF’s customers in 12 cities.

“DN can operate these two lines efficiently because of [our] route structure,” said President Thomas Kotnour.

KBN also owns the St. Croix Railroad Inc. in southeastern Minnesota and Minnesota Northern Railroad Inc., which operates former BNSF lines between Warroad and Perley, Minn.


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