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CP, RCP&E to provide more grain trains in South Dakota


Canadian Pacific and the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad (RCP&E) have committed to providing three additional grain trains per week in South Dakota following a meeting held last week in Washington, D.C., South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced on Aug. 15.

The railroads have been trying to meet grain shippers' service needs despite grain-car backlogs in part caused by severe weather last winter. Car availability likely will remain tight since the upcoming harvest is projected to be another record-breaker after last year's bumper crops, state officials believe.

"With historically large harvests back to back, South Dakota needs the best service it can get from its rail carriers, so this is a welcome development, and it should provide some relief to those who depend on the RCP&E line," said Daugaard in a press release.

Rail service issues arose in June and July due to some complications in train hand-offs from CP to the RCP&E, said South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch.

"It was unfortunate that these service issues [happened] when we were getting ready to take in the 2014 harvest," he said. "I am pleased to see train volumes increasing now, though, and this addition of three more grain trains a week should give producers and shippers some relief."

In addition to measures taken by the railroads, grain producers and shippers need to help manage the large harvests, such as by making room now to store grain wherever they can, said Lentsch.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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