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DM&E sale on way?

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Another green light for DM&E

Here's a little from a story by Jeff Pieters in today's print edition:

A sale announcement may be coming soon from the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad , a rail industry magazine reports.

Trains magazine, in a report posted to its Web site on Tuesday, said that DM&E’s parent company, Cedar American Rail Holdings, is accepting bids from about 10 different bidders. The bidders are finalizing their offers this week, the magazine reported.

Among the bidders are three railroad companies: Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and a shortline railroad company that was not named.

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Cedar American Rail Holdings owns both the DM&E and Iowa, Chicago & Eastern railroads, which together make up a 2,000-mile-plus railroad system.

DM&E was denied on Feb. 26 in its application for a $2.3 billion federal loan.

Selling all or some of its assets is apparently how the company now plans to finance a $6 billion upgrade and expansion project that would extend DM&E’s reach from near Winona to Wyoming coal fields. The project would create the most direct rail route from the Powder River Basin to the Upper Midwest.

The line passes through Rochester , whose leaders have objected to the project over fears that coal-train traffic would hurt the city.

DM&E President and CEO Kevin Schieffer could not immediately be reached.

According to Trains, however, Schieffer said last week in a letter to employees that "in the coming weeks, we will have potential investors and possible partners on the property."

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