Hoeven: Amtrak to Begin Normal Operations Saturday

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today said he has been notified that Amtrak will resume normal operations through Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby in North Dakota Saturday, March 1.

Because of increased rail traffic and a severe winter season, BNSF rerouted the westbound Empire Builder line to bypass Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby, requiring passengers to be bused to and from Fargo and Minot. Eastbound traffic has maintained its usual route along the state’s northern tier.

At a meeting with BNSF senior officials organized by Hoeven last month, the senator pressed the railroad to correct the situation as quickly as possible. At that meeting, BNSF Executive Director Matt Rose committed to a sizable investment in locomotives and crews in the state to improve Amtrak and freight service.

“North Dakota’s growing economy and population make reliable rail service essential for both residents and businesses,” Hoeven said. “We’re pleased that Amtrak service is returning to normal and continue to press BNSF to resolve the challenges still faced by agricultural shippers.”