In federal court papers filed Wednesday in Cheyenne, Wyo., the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad said it has dropped condemnation lawsuits against some landowners in northeastern Wyoming because the recessionary economy has caused an indefinite delay in plans to extend its lines into the Powder River Basin coalfields.
The proposed extension was the focal point of a $6 billion plan to tap into coal resources now available only to BNSF and Union Pacific. Two years ago, DM&E filed condemnation suits against 19 property owners seeking up to 1,200 linear acres for a right-of-way. DM&E is now owned by Canadian Pacific.
A company spokesman says the move doesn’t signal DM&E’s abandonment of rail access to the Powder River Basin, but instead is a change in tactics in seeking to obtain rights of way from landowners in northeast Wyoming.