Dakota & Iowa - Milwaukee Road

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Dakota & Iowa - Milwaukee Road
Posted by cbqer on Monday, September 11, 2017 9:34 AM

Several years ago, a group representing the SiouxLand Historic Railroad Association held the Milwaukee National Convention in Sioux City, IA. A great deal of the focus was around the Historic Assn.'s acquisition of the Milwaukee yards in Sioux City. All the planning went well even scheduling a D&I diesel (x Milwaukee GP) and cars from the 261 set to make a run from Sioux City, IA to Sioux Falls, SD, about 90 miles during the convention. (See article on the D&I in the Sept. 2017 Trains.)

Comes Monday of  convention week and the BNSF, some of the trackage was BNSF, called and notified us if we were planning on using BNSF track, we had to provide liability to the tune of $80,000,000. Eighty million dollars. Right. For a two hour train ride. Back to the drawing board. BNSF was going to deliver the cars to Sioux City. 

Someone came up with the idea of using busses to get from Sioux City to Hawarden, IA about 40 miles north of Sioux City and in D&I area. Fine. We bused to Hawarden, got on the train and head north. By the way, the sack lunches were still in Sioux City. We get to Canton, SD where there is joint trackage rights, yep. BNSF and D&I. So we continue to Sioux Falls on track owned by the BNSF with rights to the D&I. Well, we got to Sioux Falls where our lunches met us about 3 in the afternoon. All was forgotten and forgiven, the ride was great but so much for the legal team of the BNSF.

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Monday, September 11, 2017 10:24 AM

Is there a point to this post?

Either the BNSF thought they were dealing with honorable people, obviously they were not, or they forgot to tell the Dispatchers. This is the kind of behavior that rightly gives railfans a bad name and the carriers every encouragement to not deal with them ever, at all at all, because the carriers do not trust them.

If something had happened who do you think the plaintiff's lawyers would go after? A judgement proof group of foamers or deep pockets BNSF.

 

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Posted by Norm48327 on Monday, September 11, 2017 10:34 AM

PNWRMNM

Is there a point to this post?

Either the BNSF thought they were dealing with honorable people, obviously they were not, or they forgot to tell the Dispatchers. This is the kind of behavior that rightly gives railfans a bad name and the carriers every encouragement to not deal with them ever, at all at all, because the carriers do not trust them.

If something had happened who do you think the plaintiff's lawyers would go after? A judgement proof group of foamers or deep pockets BNSF.

You nailed it. BNSF would, by virtue of having deep pockets, be 'on-the-hook'.

Norm


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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 11, 2017 11:48 AM

     I have to believe there are some details missing from the story. Didn't D&I have rights to run from Sioux City to Elk Point on the former state owned trackage and from there to Sioux Falls on BNSF owned trackage?

     I'm guessing there were some communication problems involved and BNSF is just getting the blame for someone's poor planning. I doubt that BNSF made a last minute decision to ask for proof of liability inusrance.

      This line runs a half mile from my office and a half mile from my home. Given a multiple choice test, I think I could pick out the D&I trains horns.

   

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, September 11, 2017 11:54 AM

PNWRMNM

Is there a point to this post?

Either the BNSF thought they were dealing with honorable people, obviously they were not, or they forgot to tell the Dispatchers. This is the kind of behavior that rightly gives railfans a bad name and the carriers every encouragement to not deal with them ever, at all at all, because the carriers do not trust them.

If something had happened who do you think the plaintiff's lawyers would go after? A judgement proof group of foamers or deep pockets BNSF. 

I was going to say much the same.    Back in college when I was night auditor of a prominent brand hotel they insured the Airport Shuttle Vans up to 5,000,000 in liability that was for 1 year  24 by 7 operation.    $80,000,000 in liability is very reasonable request and the premium for a 1-2 day trip, though steep should not have been astronomical for a railfan group to make...... a number of firms offer short term coverage for large amounts like that.    

I've heard other railfan groups complain about insurance coverage and really there is no law stopping them from forming their own insurance company for fan trips and the like.    C'mon folks your hauling the general public here, lets not stoop as low as Uber and Lyft with inadequate insurance coverage.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, September 11, 2017 12:06 PM

CMStPnP
I've heard other railfan groups complain about insurance coverage and really there is no law stopping them from forming their own insurance company for fan trips and the like.

I've been involved with several groups that may not have had their own insurance company, but did have insurance that membership in the group allowed them to use.  

One might wonder if such a program might just benefit all of the tourist operations, large to small.

LarryWhistling
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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, September 11, 2017 4:53 PM

The major 'bone of contention' of the railroads dealing with non-railroad entities as well as other railroadds is the assumption of liability.  Nobody wants to assume liability.  eg. Insurance and at high values.  Catastrophic incidents run up $$$$$$$$ quickly.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:35 PM

Murphy Siding

     I have to believe there are some details missing from the story. Didn't D&I have rights to run from Sioux City to Elk Point on the former state owned trackage and from there to Sioux Falls on BNSF owned trackage?

... 

I would guess that the trackage rights don't include passengers.

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Posted by cbqer on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:37 PM

PNWRMNM

Is there a point to this post?

Either the BNSF thought they were dealing with honorable people, obviously they were not, or they forgot to tell the Dispatchers. This is the kind of behavior that rightly gives railfans a bad name and the carriers every encouragement to not deal with them ever, at all at all, because the carriers do not trust them.

If something had happened who do you think the plaintiff's lawyers would go after? A judgement proof group of foamers or deep pockets BNSF.

Yes there is a point to the post. I was simply telling a story. I am sorry you didn't see it that way.

Dick Donaway 

 

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Posted by cbqer on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:39 PM

The BNSF told us that week.

Dick

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Posted by cbqer on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:42 PM

Yes, they have trackage rights. How else would they bring 4-6 loads of rock weekly.

Dick

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Posted by cbqer on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:43 PM

MidlandMike

 

 
Murphy Siding

     I have to believe there are some details missing from the story. Didn't D&I have rights to run from Sioux City to Elk Point on the former state owned trackage and from there to Sioux Falls on BNSF owned trackage?

... 

 

 

I would guess that the trackage rights don't include passengers.

 

Yes, they have trackage rights. How else would they bring 4-6 loads of rock weekly.

Dick

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Posted by Dakguy201 on Monday, September 11, 2017 8:53 PM

Murphy Siding

     I have to believe there are some details missing from the story. Didn't D&I have rights to run from Sioux City to Elk Point on the former state owned trackage and from there to Sioux Falls on BNSF owned trackage?

     I'm guessing there were some communication problems involved and BNSF is just getting the blame for someone's poor planning. I doubt that BNSF made a last minute decision to ask for proof of liability inusrance.

      This line runs a half mile from my office and a half mile from my home. Given a multiple choice test, I think I could pick out the D&I trains horns.

 

There are actually various owners of that line.  From Sioux Falls to Beresford it is BNSF.  From there to Elk Point (including the portion in Iowa) it is SD state owned but operated by the D&I.  At Elk Point it joins the BNSF to Sioux City.  All of it plus a great deal more was acquired by the state in the Milwaukee bankruptcy.

As South Dakota sold pieces of the Milwaukee to BNSF, it attempted to insure at least one other operator had access to both the line and customers along it.  In most cases that is the D&I although I don't think they actively utilize everything for which they have rights.

A couple of years ago, there was a proposal to add a connecting track to the northwest quadrant of the place in Sioux City where this line crosses the UP.  That would have the effect of allowing the D&I to deliver its trains, in particular the rock trains, to the UP yard for servicing UP customers.  I believe that idea is on hold or perhaps died by BNSF's hands.

 

 

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Monday, September 11, 2017 10:22 PM

Dakguy201

 

 
Murphy Siding

     I have to believe there are some details missing from the story. Didn't D&I have rights to run from Sioux City to Elk Point on the former state owned trackage and from there to Sioux Falls on BNSF owned trackage?

     I'm guessing there were some communication problems involved and BNSF is just getting the blame for someone's poor planning. I doubt that BNSF made a last minute decision to ask for proof of liability inusrance.

      This line runs a half mile from my office and a half mile from my home. Given a multiple choice test, I think I could pick out the D&I trains horns.

 

 

There are actually various owners of that line.  From Sioux Falls to Beresford it is BNSF.  From there to Elk Point (including the portion in Iowa) it is SD state owned but operated by the D&I.  At Elk Point it joins the BNSF to Sioux City.  All of it plus a great deal more was acquired by the state in the Milwaukee bankruptcy.

As South Dakota sold pieces of the Milwaukee to BNSF, it attempted to insure at least one other operator had access to both the line and customers along it.  In most cases that is the D&I although I don't think they actively utilize everything for which they have rights.

A couple of years ago, there was a proposal to add a connecting track to the northwest quadrant of the place in Sioux City where this line crosses the UP.  That would have the effect of allowing the D&I to deliver its trains, in particular the rock trains, to the UP yard for servicing UP customers.  I believe that idea is on hold or perhaps died by BNSF's hands.

 

 

 

I'm not sure I follow the Beresford part. I believe Beresford is served by a branch line from Hawaden Iowa that I thought was and still may be state owned?

     I'm trying to visualize this from the context of the OP who said this was "several years ago". Since BNSF has purchased some state owned former Milwaukee Road track, the time-frame gets a little fuzzy.

     In the near past, I thought BNSF owned the track from Sioux Falls down through Canton then west over to Mitchell, and the track from Mitchell through Yankton to Elk Point and maybe on down to Sioux City. D&I owned, and still owns the tracks from Dell Rapids to Sioux Falls. I thought they had trackage rights on the BNSF portions mentioned above, but that the state owned from Canton to Elk Point, but sold it to BNSF in the last few years. It all gets a little hazy after too much thought.

     Are you close to this line?

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Posted by Dakguy201 on Monday, September 11, 2017 10:38 PM

When I wrote the post above, I confused Beresford with Canton.  It is Canton to Elk Point that is still state owned.  There is a branch of that track that starts at Hawarden and runs over to Beresford -- also state owned.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 8:52 AM

cbqer

 

 
MidlandMike

 

 
Murphy Siding

     I have to believe there are some details missing from the story. Didn't D&I have rights to run from Sioux City to Elk Point on the former state owned trackage and from there to Sioux Falls on BNSF owned trackage?

... 

 

 

I would guess that the trackage rights don't include passengers.

 

 

 

Yes, they have trackage rights. How else would they bring 4-6 loads of rock weekly.

 

Dick

 

The question is if their rights include passengers.  You are going to have to show me the wording in their documents that allow passengers.

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