CHICAGO (AP) – A group that advocates for train and rail transit passengers says a massive increase in rail shipments of crude oil from the northern Plains is partly to blame for disruptions to an Amtrak route linking Chicago and the West Coast.
The National Association of Railroad Passengers wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx this week urging him to intervene.
Amtrak’s Empire Builder service runs along a BNSF Railway route that has seen an increase in oil shipments from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.
Winter weather has exacerbated several months of disruptions. Westbound Amtrak trains this week have had to bypass several stops stretching across much of North Dakota, forcing the railroad to use buses to get passengers to those destinations. Delays have reached up to 10 hours.