PROPOSALS by Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad to build a 420?km line into Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coalfields are back on course. A court ruling on December 28 upheld a decision by the US Surface Transportation Board granting final approval for the $6bn project, which also envisages rebuilding 965?km of DM&E’s existing route to accommodate heavy-haul coal trains.The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rejected a complaint by The Mayo Foundation challenging the STB’s environmental review. The foundation, the city of Rochester and other objectors along the route had contended that the coal trains would be disruptive, citing concerns about safety, noise, vibration and traffic congestion at level crossings. STB Chairman Charles D Nottingham said he was ’pleased’ with the ruling, which ’rejected those challenges and upheld the board’s decision in all respects.’n