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Canadian Pacific Rail locomotives sit idle at the company's Port Coquitlam yard east of Vancouver on May 23, 2012. CP announced from Minneapolis on Tuesday morning that it is exploring strategic options for a line that runs from Tracy in Minnesota west into South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming.


A day after deciding not to extend its network into Montana and Wyoming coal country and taking a $180-million writedown, Canadian Pacific announced further whittling away of its assets, as the railway looks for buyers for 1,000 kilometres of track from Minnesota to South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming.

CP is scheduled to reveal a much more detailed plan of its restructuring, cost-cutting and upgrades after markets close Tuesday and early Wednesday. However, it gave a precursor of the restructuring to come by saying it is looking for "strategic options" for the main track from Tracy, Minnesota heading west and used by various grain, ethanol, clay and merchandise freight customers.

CP's chief executive officer Hunter Harrison said in a statement that the track would suit a low-cost freight rail operator. CP had been running the track since it acquired the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern railroad five years ago. On Monday, the company said it wouldn't pursue an option to extend the DM & E railroad into the coal-producing Powder River Basin due to low domestic demand for thermal coal used in utilities.

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Canadian Pacific will be making presentations late Tuesday and Wednesday morning to outline broader plans for its restructuring.

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