Heavy freight traffic hampers some Amtrak passenger trains between Chicago, Pacific Northwest

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: December 12, 2013 - 11:09 AM

FARGO, N.D. — Heavy freight traffic is hampering Amtrak passenger trains between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest.

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bubzkiDec. 12, 13 9:41 AM

As I understand it, passenger rail is supposed to take precedence over freight, with freight subject to fines if they unduly delay passenger service along this corridor. However, with the astronomical value of the cargo (oil) coming from ND these days, they have simply been paying the fines (correct me if I'm wrong) and flouting the regulations. In short, we need dedicated HIGH SPEED rail connection across the USA and Canada. It's time.

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decembersueDec. 12, 13 9:48 AM

This is why every other industrialized country has built dedicated passenger tracks. Good grief.

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CalvagnaDec. 12, 1310:46 AM

We were delayed on several trips and told the freight lines own the track and the passenger trains have to wait for them. Several times we had to pull out of the way so a freight could go by

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peoplewatchrDec. 12, 1311:03 AM

Sounds like we could use a oil pipeline to transport this product so we wouldn't have to rely on rail transportation.

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FrankLDec. 12, 1311:16 AM

Instead of these long excursion routes, why doesn't Amtrak concentrate on shorter routes that can compete with air travel. How about 3 to 4 departures per day to Chicago instead of 1, so that business travel is viable on rail. Also they need to get the political will to not stop at every podunk town along the route. My daughter took the train along the east coast and a 3.5 hour car trip took 6 hours by train, with most of the extra time spent stopped in train stations. This was on dedicated track for passenger rail.

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spanarkelDec. 12, 1311:23 AM

Amtrak is still a thing? Who knew.

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beaver88Dec. 12, 1311:25 AM

Actually freight has precedence over passenger traffic. The tracks are certainly not owned by the money losing, government supported Amtrak.

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twincitizen1Dec. 12, 1311:41 AM

It is time for a separate daily Minneapolis to Chicago route NOW. There is no reason traveling between MSP and CHI should be subject to the several hour delays and disruptions that happen out west before the trains even reach the Twin Cities. There is plenty of demand on this segment, and it's already being studied. Get it done Amtrak (and MN, WI, IL state DOTs)

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tabasco628Dec. 12, 1311:47 AM

I've ridden the EB to Seattle. It is a nice ride. BNSF is working like crazy to upgrade those tracks and weather does impact the speeds that trains can travel. Sometimes, backed up traffic needs to get unsnarled and the system rebooted.

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Lifeguard06Dec. 12, 1311:53 AM

BNSF owns the track does all the mx on the track and crossing and that is why amtrak gets mad when the Devils Lake area has high water they don't raise the tracks BNSF just reroutes the trains.

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