• Ex-MILW line through South Dakota

  • Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM
Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM

Moderator: Komachi

  by mtuandrew
We were discussing the Milwaukee Road Lines West in http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9541, and someone was wondering whether it could be rebuilt. This is a pretty far-fetched idea, but brought up that BNSF uses the ex-MILW main from Terry, MT to Appleton, MN. How much traffic and what kind of traffic generally uses this line? Does the state of South Dakota still own the line, or does BNSF officially own it? Finally, what kind of rights does the Twin Cities & Western have, and do they get much interchange traffic? Thanks.

  by brianpwestgate
About a year ago I was along the line from Mobridge east to 1-29. BNSF has owned this trackage for a while. There is plenty of coal for the power plant near Ortonville, and probably also heading east avoiding the heavily used NP to the north, as well as heavy agricultural business, for example in Selby and Aberdeen. Last I knew, TCW had rights to interchange with Sisseton-Milbank.

  by dhaugh
I thought I heard BNSF was in the process of buying some of the South Dakota owned exMilw lines. Don't know if that includes all of the ex mainline. As for what runs there, I've followed it on occasion, and the big trains are the coal trains bound for Big Stone plant near the Minnesota/S. Dakota border. A regular westbound only Z-train runs on it from Chicago to Laurel, MT. Also I saw a unit grain train heading west out of Aberdeen. Rumor had it that BNSF wants to or is upgrading track so they can run coal to Aberdeen, then south and east. Not sure where these would be heading.