Capitol Hill Meeting to Focus on Rail Line Threatened by Devils Lake

Federal Leaders and North Dakota Officials Will Meet to Discuss Future of Line

Washington – Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Congressman Rick Berg announced today that they are hosting a meeting in Washington, D.C. next week focused on the future of a threatened section of rail track near Devils Lake.     

Key stakeholders in the Devils Lake rail line will convene on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, June 15. The meeting will focus on the threatened section of track near Devils Lake that is impacting Amtrak service in Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby.    

 In addition to the Congressional delegation, North Dakota leaders scheduled to participate include: Governor Jack Dalrymple; Devils Lake Mayor Richard Johnson; Ramsey County Commission Chair Joe Belford; and Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown. 

Joe Szabo, the Administrator for the Federal Railroad Administration will also participate as well as Joe Boardman, President and CEO of Amtrak.  Additional participants have been invited but not yet confirmed.

Rising floodwaters in the Devils Lake basin are threatening the rail line and bridges near Churchs Ferry. As a result, Amtrak has had to suspend service periodically in recent weeks on its Empire Builder line which runs through North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Minnesota. BNSF Railway owns the tracks on which the Amtrak trains run.