A railroad with two routes across Iowa’s becoming part of a regional rail business. The I-and-M Rail Link hauls grain, fertilizer and other products through Sheldon and Mason City across its northern tracks, and another route from Kansas City through the Quad cities to Chicago. The Dakota-Minnesota and Eastern railroad’s buying it. Kevin Schieffer owns the D-M-and-E railroad and says buying the I-and-M will add 17-hundred “route miles” in Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Illinois. He says this gives them access to every major railroad in the country with thirty major interchange points, a big change in the industry. Schieffer says I-and-M rail link employees will be hired by the new railroad, and he promises a wage and benefits package as good as what they’ve had. The deal’s expected to close later this year, after regulators give approval. The new line will be operated as the Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad.
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