Lac qui Parle Regional Railroad Authority
Our mission is to preserve and provide local railroad service
The Lac qui Parle Regional Railroad Authority is headquartered in Dawson, Minnesota with oversight and management provided by a five member board of commissioners appointed by the county board of commissioners. Board terms are on an annual appointment basis by the Lac qui Parle County Board of Commissioners.
Lac qui Parle Regional Railroad Authority Board
P.O. Box 672, Dawson, MN 56232
Phone: (320) 769-2154
The Lac qui Parle Regional Railroad Authority was created January 20, 1983, in accordance with Minn. Stat. 398A.01 to 398A.09. The statutes authorized counties utilizing State and Federal aids to organize a rail authority for the purpose of preserving and improving rail services for the agricultural industry and passenger traffic when determined to be essential and necessary for the public welfare. The registered office for the authority was established in Dawson, Minnesota.
It was the Lac qui Parle County Board’s intention to re-activate the rail line running from Madison to Hanley Falls, Minnesota. Communities served by the railroad authority are Madison, Dawson, Boyd, Clarkfield, Hazel Run and connecting in Hanley Falls, Minnesota with the Burlington Northern Sante Fe main line.
History showed that the Chicago Northwestern Railroad originally operated the 38 mile shortline and almost abandoned it back in 1972. The rail line that ran from Watertown, South Dakota to Madison, Minnesota was abandoned.
When it became apparent that the most efficient way to service the agricultural market along the 38 mile stretch of track was through the use of rail, a concerned group of citizens approached the neighboring counties and cities for assistance in bringing the abandoned rail line back to life.
The group of concerned citizens jointly with the Lac qui Parle County Board of Commissioners pursued the opportunities for owning and operating a short-line railroad utilizing the authority granted by the State of Minnesota. In partnership with the State of Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Lac qui Parle Regional Railroad Authority was able to revitalize the rail line and keep it alive for today and tomorrow.
Today, the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad owns and operates the 38 mile short line main tracks with the Lac qui Parle Regional Railroad Authority responsible for the other trackage. They utilize unit trains (110 cars) to achieve the efficiencies of a modern day railroad for the purposes of serving the agricultural and general freight communities.