In a landslide vote held Aug. 27, employees of Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad voted for SMART representation. Of the 53 eligible voters and 42 total votes, 37 voted for SMART Transportation Division representation while five voted for no representation.

Phillip Craig, member of the SMART TD Executive Board, had a large part in organizing the property.

“I was the general chairman back when the property was owned by the DM&E. I organized it 25 years ago when it was the DM&E. I went out to the property prior to it being sold and the members all felt good about their SMART TD representation. So I called Washington and I talked with John Risch and then Rich Ross and we went out there.”

“When I organized it the first time, it took three years. This time it took less than 90 days.”

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. acquired the former CP DM&E line and started operations under the new name June 1. The short line runs a total of 670 miles in four states: Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska. The railroad transports about 52,000 carloads annually of grain, ethanol, bentonite clay, fertilizer and other products.

“I’d like to thank South Dakota State Legislative Director BJ Shillingstad, Vice Local Chairperson Mike Decker (L-64), Nick Boyer (L-64), Gus Manolis (L-64), Director of Organizing Rich Ross, National Legislative Director James Stem, Alt. National Legislative Director John Risch and President John Previsich. They were all a big help to me.”