Backlog Situation Improves - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Backlog Situation Improves

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Yesterday's report on the grain train shipments showed improvements on current backlogs, but there's more work to be done.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe has cut its backlog down from 1600 to 1200 cars, and could have it down to 1000 by next week.

The Surface Transportation Board will be meeting in North Dakota early next month to discuss a plan moving forward as the fall harvest gets underway.

"We're seeing, of course, a bumper crop starting to come in now," says Rep. Kevin Cramer. "So, you have a little bit of last year's crop remaining, a lot of stuff to get to market. Now, a new crop coming in, and I think it's going to be a challenging fall."

Cramer said that both BNSF and Canadian Pacific are doing what they can in the short term to cut down on the backlogs. But he also showed concern about performance mandates put in place by the Canadian government on grain shipments, and the effect they're having on the current situation.

"They have forced them by regulation and by fines to move certain amount of agricultural product, which in my view looks like it's obviously playing favoritism to their producers and their shippers," Cramer says, "While North Dakota's and the rest of the United State's shippers have to sort of go to the back of the train, if you will."

The Surface Transportation Board hearing in Fargo is scheduled for Sept. 4.


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