Hoeven: BNSF Says it will Devote Unit Trains, Necessary Crews to Help Catch Up on Fertilizer Deliveries

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven spoke to BNSF Railway Executive Chairman Matt Rose on the phone this weekend to urge the railroad to do everything it can to ensure timely delivery of fertilizer for spring planting.

Hoeven pressed him on the importance of getting the product to farmers within the planting window and Rose told the senator that the company will take specific steps to reduce the delays and should be able to cut them considerably by reallocating resources.

“Getting seed and fertilizer into the ground at the right time is critical to a good harvest,” Hoeven said. “Matt Rose told me that that the company will dedicate additional resources and crews to get fertilizer to North Dakota producers faster.”

To help reduce the backlog, BNSF will:

  • Assign unit trains with locomotives to move fertilizer to customers more quickly. Dedicated unit trains carrying only fertilizer will enable the cars to get to their destination without being uncoupled and reassigned multiple times before arriving. This will allow the fertilizer cars to keep moving.
  • Work with customers to load and unload cars rapidly so that the whole system can move faster.
  • Assign more crew to move the increased unit trains.