CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-CP Railway seeks options, partnership for portion of DM&E
(Corrects starting point of line to Tracy, Minnesota in third paragraph) * Notice comes one day after CP shelves DM&E extension * CP acquired DM&E for C$1.48 bln under previous CEO * CP will lay out turnaround plan in New York Thursday TORONTO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada's second-biggest rail carrier, said on Tuesday it is exploring options, including partnerships, for a 660-mile western portion of its Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad track. CP, which will lay out a corporate turnaround plan to investors in New York on Wednesday, made the announcement one day after shelving plans to extend the DM&E railroad into the Power River Basin coal-mining region, blaming a weak market for thermal coal. The western portion of the line, which runs from Tracy, Minnesota, west into South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming, serves a number of grain, ethanol, clay and merchandise customers in the area, CP said. "This portion of the CP network would be an attractive and highly viable opportunity for a low-cost operator," Chief Executive Hunter Harrison said in a statement. "CP has successfully built many partnerships with shortline and Class 1 railroads throughout its system and we look forward to assessing the ways interested parties could work together with us to deliver quality service to customers on the west end of the DM&E through an innovative partnership." Harrison, the hand-picked choice of CP's biggest shareholder, William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management, was appointed after a bruising proxy battle this year that unseated the former CEO and chairman. Harrison is expected to tell investors on Wednesday that he is cutting 5-10 percent of staff, will close rail classification hump yards, and move the company's headquarters in Calgary, Alberta. (Reporting By Susan Taylor; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
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