The Real RCPE

Rapid City Pierre and Eastern EMD GP38-3 #2087 in Brookings, South Dakota

Visit the RCPE site:

For time tables and other sites, please see this other fan's website (Can't believe we have similar websites, happened by complete chance, I swear!):

The Rapid City Pierre and Eastern Railroad is a new one, starting operations on June 1st, 2014.  But the tracks have some history!

The main line for the RCPE was once owned by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad until the line was found to be unprofitable. After the decision was made to sell, the line was sold to the new Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern Railroad in 1986 which continued operations independently until the DME merged into the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 2008.  From then on, the CP Rail operated the line with the intent of extending it west, around the Black Hills, to the Powder River Coal Basin.  Unfortunately for the CP Rail, those plans were scrapped and in 2013 it was decided to sell the line.  The Genesse and Wyoming Company made an offer to buy the tracks, which CP Rail approved.  On June 1st the railroad gained full ownership of all DME trackage west of Tracy, Minnesota.

The story of the Rapid City Pierre and Eastern Railroad is just getting started, and the signs look promising that South Dakota will have this railroad for a longtime.  The line is increasing profit, repairing track, and has the support of the massive Genesse and Wyoming Company, one of the largest short line railroad companies in the world.  Much of the crew is also local with strong roots in South Dakota, meaning that the pheasant on the emblem is more than just a token, it's a true and honest connection to the state and it's people.

The Route:

There are two main lines in the RCPE system.  The East-West line starts in Tracy, Minnesota and runs west about 420 miles to Rapid City on ex-CNW trackage.  Nearly every town along the route has some kind of business or other service.  This route follows creeks and streams, cuts through stands of trees, crosses the wide Missouri River in Pierre, South Dakota, winds it's way around rolling hills and through small towns on the high plains before reaching Rapid City, the gateway to the west and the port of entry to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The North-South Route runs from Colony, Wyoming to Crawford Nebraska via Rapid City.  This route, in contrast to the East-West line, winds it's way along the outskirts of the Black Hills.  Rapid City is the hub of the RCPE network.  Here is the map from the Genesse and Wyoming website:

From the G&W website:

The Railroad interchanges with the BNSF, UP, and CP railroads, all three being class I lines.


Some keeper images of the Railroad:

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