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On-Going Rail Delays Prompt Comments To Feds

Senator John Hoeven says he would like to see a meeting between North Dakota’s Ag Commodity groups and officials from Burlington Northern – Santa Fe Railroad. Hoeven says the grain elevators and other commodity shippers have been short on railcar delivery all year and are currently about 4-thousand cars behind schedule. Hoeven says BNSF is making plans to cut that number in half.

Hoeven’s announcement comes as the North Dakota Farmer’s Union, the Corn Growers Association and 26 other Ag groups banded together to file comments with the  federal Surface Transportation Board about the rates being charged by the railroads and the timeliness of the service… Mark Watne is President of the North Dakota Farmers Union. He says BNSF has made some efforts to increase rail car supplies. But Watne says the level of success in those efforts is in the eye of the beholder…

"...But with that said, we have a continuing situation where we're producing more oil in western North Dakota which is going to create greater demand for oil trains and it seems like they're getting the priority because they're not being delayed while grain IS being delayed."

Senator Hoeven says he would like to see the meeting with BNSF and the ag groups take place sometime in the first two weeks of August.

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