State Transportation Department Completes Sale Of Mitchell To Rapid City Rail Line

PIERRE — The South Dakota Department of Transportation has finalized the sale of the Mitchell to Rapid City Rail Line. Ringneck and Western Railroad L-L-C is buying the line for 13 million dollars. Five million of that will be paid at closing with the balance to be paid over the next five years at one-point-six million dollars per year. Watco Transportation Services, the largest privately owned short line railroad holding company in the United States will operate Ringneck and Western. Once the closes, Ringneck and Western will assume operations and shippers along the line will get a 25-dollar reduction in the loaded rail car surcharge currently at 50-dollars. Ringneck and Western will also spend at least two-million dollars per year on maintenance. The railroad will also work with D-O-T officials to finish a siding near Kimball that is partially funded by a federal grant. If Ringneck abandons the line or stops service the state can buy it back.