Thursday morning rail news:
South Dakota to sell Mitchell-Rapid City route to Watco short line
The South Dakota State Railroad Board has authorized the sale of the state-owned route between Mitchell and Rapid City to Watco’s Ringneck & Western Railroad. The Mitchell Republic reports the board authorized the state Department of Transportation to sell the line for $13 million. It will become the first Watco property in the state, and the new owners have committed to spend at least $2 million annually on track maintenance for 10 years. Some 190 miles of the line, between Mitchell and Kadoka, S.D., are currently active on the 285-mile route, which has been operated by Dakota Southern Railway on a lease from the Mitchell-Rapid City Regional Railroad Authority.
Fredericksburg, Va., officials complain of long-term tank car storage, but CSX says cars are part of daily service to customer
Officials in Fredericksburg, Va., are seeking federal intervention in long-term storage of railroad tank cars in the city’s Mayfield neighborhood, but CSX Transportation says the only cars at the location in question are part of daily service of a local business. The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star reports the Fredericksburg City Council has passed a resolution asking the railroad to immediately discontinue the storage, and will forward it to a local member of Congress in hopes he can get the Federal Railroad Administration to intervene. But in a letter to the council, a CSX representative said the cars are delivered and removed daily as part of service to a local business; that business is seeing a seasonal increase in business, leading to more tank cars. City officials were not mollified: “We won’t tolerate it,” City Manager Tim Baroody said.
Judge extends temporary order halting work on Mexico’s Maya Train
A federal judge in Mexico has made definite a temporary order suspending work on two segments of construction of the Maya Train, the project championed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that would connect tourist destinations and archaeological sites on the Yucatan Peninsula. Mexico News Daily reports Yucatan-based Judge Karla Dominguez Aguilar, who issued the provisional suspension a month ago, made the latest ruling in response to an injunction request from residents who say the project will cause irreparable environmental damage. While the federal government will likely appeal, no work can take place until that process is resolved.