CPF363 wrote:Where are and who are the largest consignees on the D.M.&E today? Are they largely east of Pierre? Would another railroad be interested in the D.M.&E whole or in pieces? CP has been buying a right-of-way into the PRB, what will happen to these purchases? Will this line ever make into the PRB and would it be worth it? Physically, what is the condition of the track structure; is it CWR or jointed 100# and 115# rail?
The largest customers on the original DM&E are the Ethanol plants at Redfield, Huron, and Aurora, SD. In Minnesota there are several more Ethanol plants and a couple of Shuttle Grain elevators. CP has stated that they have no interest in the Powder River Basin. The rail is gradually being converted to welded rail, some new, some relay, as far as Huron, SD. Beyond that point it will remain stick rail for now. CP has been has been upgrading the track from Huron to the east. Cutting the west end at Pierre eliminates the Missouri River bridge at Pierre, but doesn't alienate the State of South Dakota. It wouldn't surprise me if the State of South Dakota bought the line west of Pierre.
With respect to the D&H, any predictions as to what will happen with this line? Will Norfolk Southern go for the whole thing, Rouses Point to Sunbury or will it be split, NS south of Mechanicville and CSXT north, or will CP retain the north end?
I don't see either NS or CSX as being interested enough to buy the north end of the D&H, as long as the Oil and Ethanol traffic to Albany holds up I think that at a minimum CP would retain at least that much of the D&H. I don't see any reason at this time why NS would want to buy the south end, unless or until they would want to make a major upgrade somewhere.