RCP&E Railroad looking to upgrade their locomotives

PIERRE, S.D.(KCCR)- The Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad is looking to update it’s locomotive fleet to carry heavier, longer trains across South Dakota.  The current fleet of 45 locomotives are from the 1970’s.  Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs for R-C-P and E Jerry Vest says they are looking to bring in 1990-era power to meet customer demand.

The newer engines are larger than the ones looking to be replaced and that means the R-C-P and E is looking to replace it’s 1905 roundhouse in Huron.

The railroad wants to use a Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement or CRISI grant to help pay for a new three-track locomotive shop the proposed 23-million dollar project.  Vest asked the State Rail Board Wednesday to consider adding some of the newer locomotives to the grant request.

The state Railroad Board approved the Department of Transportation to work with R-C-P and E on a 28 million dollar CRISI grant that would be split 50-50 by the railroad and the grant for the locomotive shop and up to eight locomotives.