PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Governor Dennis Daugaard announced Friday that railroad lines serving South Dakota shippers have committed to providing three additional grain trains per week. Daugaard was notified of the commitment during a recent meeting in the nation’s capital with leaders from Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad (RCP&E) and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP). Daugaard said in a statement late last week that the state has had historically large harvests back-to-back and needs the best service it can get from its rail carriers. He calls the development a welcome one and says it should provide some relief to those who depend on the RCP&E line. Although RCP&E has purchased the line, the Canadian Pacific will still be a part of South Dakota’s agriculture shipping because CP moves RCP&E freight from Tracy, Minnesota to consumers in Minnesota, Illinois and other states. South Dakota’s Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch says in a statement that the complications with the rail sale from CP to RCP&E were not unexpected, but says it was unfortunate that the issues arose in June and July when the state was getting ready to take in this year’s harvest. Lentsch believes the addition of three more grain trains a week will give producers and shippers some relief. He goes on to say that railroads are just part of the story however, so producers and shippers need to plan for what they can do to manage these large harvests and make room now to store grain wherever possible.
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