Transportation With an Eye on Energy
Edgemont, in the far southwest corner of South Dakota, began in 1889 as a railroad town. Today the railroad remains an important part of the local economy.
The Burlington-Northern Santa Fe track that runs past Edgemont is one of the world’s busiest freight routes. The line carries more than 100 million tons of coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to power plants throughout the country. BNSF maintains a freight yard and crew change station in Edgemont.
The city, with a population of 774, also serves the surrounding ranching community with retail stores, banking, suppliers and construction services. The largest employers are BNSF, the Edgemont School District, Rancher Feed & Supply and Barker Concrete and Construction.
For the future, Edgemont will likely benefit from wind energy – a wind farm is in development about 15 miles from the city – and possibly a return to uranium mining. Tourism and recreation is also part of the Edgemont landscape. The Mickelson Trail, a 110-mile rails-to-trails recreation route, runs from Deadwood to Edgemont.