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Amtrak to change Empire Builder train schedule

By The Associated Press
Published On: Mar 31 2014 04:14:26 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Amtrak officials say the company is changing the schedules of its Empire Builder passenger train because of congestion from increasing oil freight along the line.

The Empire Builder runs daily between Chicago, Seattle and Portland, Ore., passing through Glacier National Park. In recent months, it has been consistently late because of freight traffic, particularly trains from the Bakken oil region.

Freight derailments on the line and avalanches also have contributed to the delays this winter.

Eastbound trains from Seattle and Portland will depart three hours earlier, at 1:40 p.m., starting April 15. Westbound trains will run more than an hour later than they usually do.

Empire Builder route director Jim Brzezinski says Amtrak hopes to return the passenger train to its normal schedule in June.