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Sioux Falls South Dakota

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Sioux Falls South Dakota
Posted by aricat on Friday, February 19, 2010 9:18 AM

I recently read that Sioux Falls South Dakota is the fastest growing city in the Midwestern United States with over 125,000 people. It is at the junction of I-90 and I-29 but it seems to have rather limited rail service; and is not on a transcontinental main line.How does Sioux Falls rail service impact business wishing to re-locate there. It has no corporate or state income tax, but is that enough for business to go to Sioux Falls?

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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, February 19, 2010 9:54 AM

I guess that our resident expert and authority on all things SOUIX FALLS will be needed here!Bow

 

 


 

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Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, February 19, 2010 10:49 AM

If it's like most other cities trying to attract new business, rail service won't be high on the list.  Most places want to attract white collar, professional type businesses.  They want the headquarters staff, not the production facilities.  Good highway access and a good airport is what they care about most.     

Some places, and I wouldn't presume to guess about the good people of Sioux Falls, are down right hostile to the kind of industrial developement that would require or support rail service.  I'd bet that the level of service SF receives now from rail would be adequate for new developement for the forseeable future.

Jeff

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Posted by CANADIANPACIFIC2816 on Friday, February 19, 2010 10:50 AM

I live in Sioux Falls and was born and raised here. And while I am not in a position to provide you specific answers to your question, I can tell you that Sioux Falls was once served by fife different railroads; Chicago & Northwestern, Great Northern, Illinois Central, Milwaukee Road and the Rock Island. I was born in September of 1954 and I think the Rock abandoned their operations here either before I was born or while I was very young. The Illinois Central abandoned operations here about 1972 or shortly thereafter. The Chicago and Northwestern pulled out of Sioux Falls for the last time in 1988. And the Milwaukee Road abandoned their operations here a year later.

I don't think Sioux Falls was ever on the mainline of any of these roads, although Murphy Siding might be able to tell us otherwise. Today Sioux Falls is served by the BNSF, we have the Dakota & Iowa which runs rock trains over the BNSF between Dell Rapids and Sioux City, Iowa, the Dakota,Minnesota & Eastern has trackage rights over the BNSF here and we have a shortline known as the Ellis & Eastern which is owned and operated by Concrete Materials. The Ellis & Eastern runs over trackage which was originally laid by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. The Chicago & Northwestern used to service the local Concrete Materials cement plant up until 1988.

I have a friend who was a founding member of the Sioux Valley Model Engineers Society here in Sioux Falls who's knowledge of our railroad history is considerably better than mine, but at his age he is now suffering from alzheimers disease or something similar and he probably would not know who I am if I were to approach him and try to talk with him. But my friend had once worked for the Milwaukee Road and was a telegraph operator.

I think Sioux Falls has a population of roughly 140,000 people, or close to that.

Ray Loftesness II

 

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, February 19, 2010 12:30 PM

    As the other forum member from Sioux Falls,  I'd say Ray covered the railroad history quite well.  I guess you could say that we're on a BNSF secondary(?) mainline.  A fair amount of traffic, mostly grain, ethanol, and pink rocks passes through town, comming from somewhere else, headed to somewhere else.

   How does Sioux Falls rail service impact business wishing to re-locate there ?   In short, it doesn't.  The main industies are medicine, banking, meat packing,  and being a regional distribution center.  Being a distribution center is tied to being at the crossroads of the state's only 2 interstates.  With the exception of lumber,  most products for trade are shipped in and out by truck.

     As pointed out in another post above,  most cities want the office jobs, not the manufacturing jobs.  From that standpoint, rail service is a non-issue.

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Posted by gopherstate on Friday, February 19, 2010 3:32 PM

A little additional history on the railroads in Sioux Falls.  As Ray stated in his post, SF was served by five railroads up until the early 1970's  The first to arrive was a predecessor of the Omaha (CNW) from Worthington (Org) MN.  The first to leave was the Rock Island in 1972 when a bridge washed out by Lester IA on their branch from Ellsworth MN to SF. 

      The last train to run east out of SF on the Illinois Central was in the summer of 1981.  The vast majority of the IC's business from 1909 until 1969 were reefers full of swinging meat from the John Morrell packing plant. IC's branch ran from Cherokee IA to Sioux Falls thru my home town of Hills MN.  I believe the Milw stopped running thru town around 1982. They operated on a branch from Canton SD to Egan SD. Up until the 1930's the MILW had a branch off the Egan line at Renner SD that ran northwest to Madison SD.  The Omaha  pulled out last. At one time the Omaha continued west from Sioux Falls to Mitchell.  That branch was abandoned around 1977. 

      I worked for the Buffalo Ridge RR on the former Omaha line into SF during the summer of 1988.  Shortly after I left their employ a junction was installed with the BN at Manley MN and they stopped running into Sioux Falls. The BNSF (fromer GN/BN) is still serving the remaining customers in town.  The BNSF lies on a branch from Garretson SD that at one time ran all the way to Yankton SD.  The portion south of SF was abandoned around 1976.  The GN also had a branch from SF to Watertown SD.  This line was cut back from Watertown shortly after the BN merger. 

      Today BNSF still operates whats left of it to Wentworth SD where it connects to the former Milw west to Madison.  The Ellis & Eastern operated on the former Omaha line east to west thru SF.  They served the SD Cement Plant terminal, a small scrap metal dealer, and a few other small business's along with their owner, Concrete Materials.  Except for Concrete Materials, the BNSF now serve these business's.  The E&E also has trackage rights on the BNSF to Corson SD to serve their owners gravel pit. 

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Posted by CANADIANPACIFIC2816 on Friday, February 19, 2010 6:03 PM

I believe that Murphy Siding is right when he pointed out that rail service here in Sioux Falls is a non-issue. The biggest employers here are the hospitals, the banks, shopping centers and restaurants.

 We have a John Morrell packing plant on the north end of town which employs a substantial number of people, and my friend who had worked for the Milwaukee Road had spent his last working years as a freight rate analyst for our local John Morrell plant. He retired in 1989. In 1992, the corporation which currently owns our local John Morrell plant had slashed the health care benefits of all of the Morrell employees who had retired. To this day, I refuse to buy anything that carries the John Morrell label when I am shopping for groceries.

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Posted by ButchKnouse on Saturday, February 20, 2010 9:29 AM

The Illinois Central was abandoned after heavy rains washed out the trestle over the Big Sioux River. They said in the paper it wasn't worth building a new one, so the rails were pulled back all the way to Cherokee.

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Posted by Boyd on Saturday, February 20, 2010 11:28 AM

 You will find a lot of transplanted taxed to death ex Minnesotans in SF. I nearly moved there in 2003.

Modeling the "Fargo Area Rapid Transit" in O scale 3 rail.

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Posted by greyhounds on Saturday, February 20, 2010 6:29 PM

CANADIANPACIFIC2816

I believe that Murphy Siding is right when he pointed out that rail service here in Sioux Falls is a non-issue. The biggest employers here are the hospitals, the banks, shopping centers and restaurants.

 We have a John Morrell packing plant on the north end of town which employs a substantial number of people, and my friend who had worked for the Milwaukee Road had spent his last working years as a freight rate analyst for our local John Morrell plant. He retired in 1989. In 1992, the corporation which currently owns our local John Morrell plant had slashed the health care benefits of all of the Morrell employees who had retired. To this day, I refuse to buy anything that carries the John Morrell label when I am shopping for groceries.

Well, you may want to rethink your grocery choices.

Morrell changed hands in late 1995.  And they were a cheap buy.  Chiquita sold 'em cheap to Smithfield well after the benefit cut.  Smithfield is the leading pork producer in the US.

In and within 90 miles of Souix Falls there is enough hog slaughter capacity to produce around 169 truckloads of pork per day.  Plus a whole lot 'O beef from Tyson down by Sioux City.  With Sioux Falls being a distribution center, meaning there's inbound loads, that's enough freight to warrent a good look.   (People in South Dakota do drink coffee, eat fruit, enjoy salads, use apliances, etc. All of which must be brought in.)

Developing intermodal markets such as Sioux Falls would be lucrative and fun.  Anybody out there hiring?

"By many measures, the U.S. freight rail system is the safest, most efficient and cost effective in the world." - Federal Railroad Administration, October, 2009. I'm just your average, everyday, uncivilized howling "anti-government" critic of mass government expenditures for "High Speed Rail" in the US. And I'm gosh darn proud of that.
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Posted by gopherstate on Sunday, February 21, 2010 8:16 AM

ButchKnouse

The Illinois Central was abandoned after heavy rains washed out the trestle over the Big Sioux River. They said in the paper it wasn't worth building a new one, so the rails were pulled back all the way to Cherokee.

The abandonment was the result of the ICG's desire to get out of the railroad business.  The only meat shipped on the line after Morrells switched to trucks was from IBP in Luverne MN.  They used ICG provided trailers and trucked them to Sioux Falls to be loaded on flats.  The ICG cancelled the meat tarrif on Dec 10, 1977 thus driving away that business.  The application for line abandonment was filed with the ICC on Dec 29, 1977.  This application was approved on Feb 2. 1980 and was immediately appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Metz Baking Company and Rowena Elevator & Mill were part of the group of petitioners in this case.

The Court overturn the abandonment on Feb 12, 1981, which prompted the ICG to add a $1000 surcharge to every car hauled on the line.  This effectively killed the little remaining business and the last train ran east out of Sioux Falls on July 23, 1981 with one Rock Island box car, one empty TTX flat and a snow plow.

The bridge over the Big Sioux River was a substantial 3 span steel structure.  It was only rated at 70 tons which prevented the movement of much grain over the line.  After final abandonment the steel spans were removed and then the stone piers were taken down stone by stone.  Someone planned to reuse the stone for something, but they laid on the bank of the river for many years after being taken down.

The first 15 miles of line north out of Cherokee was operated as an industrial spur until some time later with the junction switch at Cherokee finally removed quite recently. 

 

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Posted by Dakguy201 on Sunday, February 21, 2010 8:20 AM

In addition to not having a corporate income tax, South Dakota has no personal income tax.  Union County SD is in part surburban Sioux City IA and boasts the highest number of MD's per capita in the country.   Those are doctors who have moved their practice out of Iowa to escape the Iowa income tax.

Another factor is a business friendly legislature.  South Dakota's credit card laws largely were written by  Citicorp, the second largest employer in the state.  

A considerable portion of our electric needs are provided by hydropower.  We are the only contigious state that has never seen Amtrak.  

We absolutely depend on railroads to move crops to market.  Otherwise, they are not very relevant to our lives. 

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Posted by ButchKnouse on Sunday, February 21, 2010 9:48 AM

Boyd

 You will find a lot of transplanted taxed to death ex Minnesotans in SF. I nearly moved there in 2003.

I seem to remember about 30 years ago somebody moved an entire auto salvage yard from the Luverne area over the border into South Dakota. He said the move would pay for itself in 5 years, between taxes and lower workmen's comp rates.

In the 1980s I worked at a place in Huron that was owned by another company in Forest Lake, Minnesota. The health insurance rates were based on what the workers at the Minnesota plant were paying. I purchased my own individual health insurance instead, because it was cheaper, and hardly anybody else did either. Finally they dealt with a South Dakota company and we finally got affordable health insurance.

Reality TV is to reality, what Professional Wrestling is to Professional Brain Surgery.

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