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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Does Amtrak ever divert via South Dakota?

   
Author Topic: Does Amtrak ever divert via South Dakota?
mr williams
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To date I have visited exactly 25 of the 50 states on Amtrak (plus the District of Columbia)and have been formulating some plans to visit the rest over the coming years. 21 of the remaining 25 pose no problem, leaving four that do.

OK, so Hawaii & Alaska will need special arrangements and Wyoming can be accommodated when the CZ takes its occasional detour due to engineering work in the Rockies.

However, that leaves South Dakota.

I've been scratching my head, as I can't see any way that a temporary detour would cause either the EB or CZ to get remotely close to it. Presumably there is freight track there - when did they last have passenger service and is there (clutching at straws) a tourist service eg American Orient Express to the Black Hills or something like that?

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RRRICH
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Mr. Williams - South Dakota is one of the 2 states in the "lower 48" that has 0 regularly-scheduled passenger rail service (the other state is Wyoming, which only has passenger service when the CZ is detoured, but it doesn't "really" have any passenger service, since the detoured CZ makes no stops in the state). One of my choices for future passenger rail service (see numerous other threads where we have discussed such things) would be a train from Chicago to Rapid City (Black Hills area) on UP (former CNW) trackage, which would serve southern Minnesota, Sioux Falls, and other smaller communities.
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rresor
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The last passenger service in South Dakota was probably the remnant of the MILW "Olympian Hiawatha", which ran until the mid-1960s. There has never, to my knowledge, been any need to detour an Amtrak train through SD. The only remaining "through" line is what's left of the MILW Pacific Extension. It's now owned by BNSF (which bought it from the state), and extends from Millbank, SD to Terry, MT, where it joins the former NP line. East of Millbank, BNSF ownership extends to Ortonville, MN, where trains use the BNSF line from Sioux City to reach Wilmar, MN. It serves mainly as a relief route during the grain harvest, and to provide local freight service.
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bill613a
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THE LAST REGULARLY SCHEDULED PASSENGER TRAIN IN SOUTH DAKOTA WAS THE CB&Q OMAHA-BILLINGS TRAIN WHICH SERVED EDGEMONT IN THE SW CORNER OF THE STATE AND LAST RAN IN THE SUMMER OF 1969. THE OLYMPIAN HIAWATHA REMNANT RUN MINNEAPOLIS-ABERDEEN AND WAS DISCONTINUED EARLY IN 1969.
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zephyr
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Which reminds me of a wine tasting trivia question asked on the Builder last month:

What's the name of the rock group that still draws hundreds of thousands of fans each year, even though all of the group's members are dead?

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cubzo
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Mt. Rushmore?
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zephyr
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Great job, Cubzo. You got it. You da' Man. Go Cubs.
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George Harris
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It is doubtful that BNSF would ever detour the Builder over the old Milwaukee main. You would be on a completely different route all the way from about Minneapolis to about Sandpoint, Idaho. The Milw segment is limited to 40 mph, don't recall what the speeds allowed on the ex NP part are, but it would be a really slow trip if they took the Milw.
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mr williams
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So what's the nearest (practical) point to South Dakota served by Amtrak (practical being the proviso that it has a bus service to complete the journey!)
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RRRICH
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Probably either St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN or Fargo, ND
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delvyrails
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mr williams,

Suggest you refer to www.jeffersonlines.com bus schedules serving Minneapolis, Fargo, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Pierre, and Rapid City, there connecting to Gillette, WY and points beyond.

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John Pawson

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mr williams
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I have fond memories of Jefferson Lines - they run the Des Moines - Osceola route and I took them on my first ever trip to the States when I picked up the CZ in rural Iowa!
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Mr. Toy
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quote:
Originally posted by cubzo:
Mt. Rushmore?

Shouldn't that be the Rushmore Four?

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The Del Monte Club Car

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MikeC
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A couple of points about passenger rail travel to South Dakota.

1.There is a freight line that goes across the state. It was ran by Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern. They tried to get a loan to upgrade the line and extend it in to the power river basin. The deal fell apart, and DM&E sold out to CP.
2.There are parts of that line were the speed is reduced to 5 (five) MPH. It is now operated by Rapid City Pierre and Eastern, a part of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. They have been trying to get the rails upgraded. Of course it all takes time and money.
3.The soil west of Pierre is a gumbo type soil. The railroad was built using manual labor and horse drawn equipment. The ground isn't very stable and neither are the rails
4.BNSF is more interested in pulling coal out of the powder river basin, and oil out of the Balkans (North Dakota) than they are about pulling soybeans out of South Dakota. Rail maintenance show that.
5.There isn't enough of a market in South Dakota to justify any passenger rail (outside any tourist traps)

I would like to see Amtrak have a line run from Minneapolis, through Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Huron (SD State Fair), Pierre, Rapid City, then on to Cheyenne, then either Denver,or Salt Lake City. However the rails are barely safe enough for freight.

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chrisg
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I got South Dakota on a Milwaukee Road 261 trip North KC to the Twin Cities back in 1992. If you need a train ride the Black Hills Central runs trains in the Black Hills.


Chris

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Mike C, thank you for choosing to join this site.

In addition to the quite active Amtrak Forum, there are others around here that could be of interest. I'd like to mention the Open Discussion Forum at which topics, such as politics, away from railroading are welcome and discussed maturely and respectfully.

Otherwise, allow me to leave it with a "welcome aboard".

Posts: 9389 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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