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The South Dakota State Railroad Board yesterday finalized an agreement that allows the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) to sell the Sioux Valley Rail Line to D&I Railroad Co. for $10 million.
The agreement transfers ownership of the entire 68 miles of the Sioux Valley line from Canton to Elk Point and Beresford to Hawarden, Iowa, SDDOT officials said in a press release.
The agreement also calls for the department and D&I, the rail line's operator, to equally share the required 25% match on a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for repair work stemming from flooding in 2019; and the SDOT and board supporting the submission of a Special Transportation Circumstances grant application for a bridge structure replacement project on the rail line.
"This sale fulfills our original goal to preserve rail transportation in the state and eventually return the railroad lines back to private ownership," said Interim Transportation Secretary Joel Jundt. "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."
State officials are confident that D&I will continue to provide the same level of "excellent service" to shippers that it has consistently provided in the past, said South Dakota State Railroad Board Chair Jerry Cope.
"The sale will enable additional opportunities to occur that just wasn't possible with state ownership," Cope said.