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CPR, Mayo Clinic officials meet to discuss DM&E transaction


Canadian Pacific Railway is trying to establish a common ground with the biggest foe to the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp.'s (DM&E) proposed Powder River Basin project — the Mayo Clinic. The hospital also is leery of CPR's acquisition/integration of the DM&E.

On Monday, CPR and clinic officials conducted their first face-to-face meeting on the transaction and committed to keeping an ongoing dialogue between the parties and the city of Rochester, Minn., as the acquisition/integration progresses. CPR officials emphasized that they've made no decisions about accessing new coal haulage business in the Powder River Basin per the DM&E's long-proposed PRB project.

Clinic officials have opposed the project for years, questioning the safety risks the proposed coal line would pose to the hospital, Rochester and other communities along the route.

"This meeting was the beginning of a long-term constructive relationship based on open dialogue, mutual understanding and compromise," said Mayo Clinic Chief Executive Officer Glenn Forbes in a prepared statement. "I look forward to hosting CPR officials in Rochester to build on the progress we made."

In September, CPR and the DM&E reached an agreement under which the Class I would acquire and control the 2,500-mile regional and its subsidiaries — including the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad Corp. — for $1.5 billion. A month later, the parties completed the transaction, pending Surface Transportation Board (STB) approval. The board plans to conduct a public hearing or hear arguments in June and issue a final decision on the transaction by Sept. 30.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/28/2007