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ND oil, freight shipments detour Amtrak trains

By Associated Press
Published On: Feb 10 2014 06:11:06 AM MST
BISMARCK, N.D. -

The ice fishing in northeast North Dakota is the best it's been in two decades. But some anglers can't make it because trains handling freight and crude from the state's oil patch are displacing Amtrak passenger service.

The federally funded rail corporation uses BNSF Railway Co. lines and says the "severe freight train interference" is causing long delays along its Chicago-to-Pacific Northwest Empire Builder route.

In North Dakota, Amtrak trains are bypassing Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby. Passengers in those cities are being bused to either Minot or to Fargo to reconnect to westbound or eastbound trains.

BNSF says in a statement that it has been "disappointed" in its service. The railroad says it's investing records amounts of cash to expand capacity to help alleviate the problem.