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October 08, 2008

Schieffer chugs away from DM&E

So would this be called a Golden Caboose?

The top executive and architect of the pending expansion of the Dakota Minnesota & Eastern Railroad has left the company, leaving management to its new owner.

Kevin Schieffer no longer is with DM&E, the Canadian Pacific Railway announced late Tuesday. Schieffer broke with the railroad “to pursue other opportunities,” about 31⁄2 weeks before CP will acquire the smaller railroad, based in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Formal approval from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board for Canadian Pacific’s purchase of control of DM&E came on Sept. 30. The actual acquisition occurs on Oct. 30.

“We view it (Schieffer’s departure) as appropriate, given our experience in the past,” said Chris Gade, a spokesman for Mayo Clinic and for the Rochester Coalition, which has battled with Schieffer for years over DM&E’s plans in the Rochester area.

Representatives from Mayo and the coalition have spoken with Canadian Pacific officials. “We look forward and continue to have dialogue with the Canadian Pacific,” Gade said.


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Good riddance.

He was hinting just before the merger approval that he might not stick around if it went through. "Pursuing other opportunities" is usually code for "we didn't get along and we fired him/he quit", I have another theory. It's likely, since Schieffer was hired by DM&E purely for his political connections and not his railroad acumen, that now that big dog CP is running the show, Schieffer's political pull is no longer needed. Depending upon how November goes, I wouldn't be surprised to see him back in the South Dakota political arena. Who wants to guess which position John Thune or Mike Rounds might appoint him to?

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