Because of the Milwaukee Road embargo in 1980, South Dakota was confronted with the loss of over fifty percent
of its total operating rail mileage. The Department analyzed each line individually and identified the essential rail
lines vital to the economy of South Dakota. Some of the embargoed essential lines were purchased by other
railroads and service was restored. The remaining essential lines for which a private solution could not be found
were purchased by the State of South Dakota. Since the Department’s acquisition of the Lines, service has been
restored to most of the lines. Most of the state-owned lines also enjoy access to major rail carriers, including
overhead trackage/haulage rights and/or interchange rights depending on the rail line.