talks rail issues
Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad spokesman Steve Guthrie came to De Smet Nov. 19 for the quarterly meeting of the Kingsbury County Local Emergency Planning Commission.
A former conductor and engineer in Wisconsin, Guthrie now lives in Mitchell and is assistant general manager for RCP&E. He works in the railroad’s Huron office.
Some 15 local emergency responders present at the meeting had many questions for him regarding the new company’s business and safety practices.
“I can only give you a snapshot of what we’ve done in the last five months,” Guthrie said. “We just started as a company back in June.”
RCP&E is a division of Darien, Conn.-based company Genesee & Wyoming Inc. who purchased the 670-mile line from Canadian Pacific and took control in early June 2014.
Mayor Gary Wolkow had approached Guthrie prior to the meeting to discuss the question of rail wait times that has been of recent concern to residents of De Smet. One particular incident was foremost in mind for attendees of the meeting in which cars were stopped at De Smet crossings for more than 45 minutes.