Hoeven Presses BNSF to Catch Up on Ag Shipments Before Harvest

Senator Invites Rail Leaders to North Dakota to Meet with Ag Commodity Groups

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week pressed BNSF Railway Executive Chairman Matt Rose to relieve backlogs on agriculture shipments prior to the fall harvest season. BNSF committed to spot 450 cars per day and offer more shuttles this fall than in 2013 to relieve past due agriculture shipments. Hoeven also asked rail officials to come to North Dakota to hear directly from the state’s agriculture commodity groups. The senator expects that meeting to take place within the first two weeks of August.

“We continue pressing the railroad to eliminate backlogs and get our agriculture shipments moving for our producers, especially with the harvest season fast approaching,” said Hoeven. “I spoke with BNSF Chairman Matt Rose this week and he committed to provide additional railcars to help with shipping delays and prepare for the harvest.”

At its peak, BNSF had about 8,000 late cars in North Dakota. Today, the railroad is about 4,000 cars past due. BNSF plans to commit additional resources like spotting 450 cars per day to reduce the backlog to about 2,000 past due cars before the start of fall.

Earlier this week, BNSF Railway and RRVW Railroad Company announced they have reached an agreement to provide shuttle train service to James Valley Grain’s proposed shuttle facility in Verona, North Dakota.

Hoeven said he will continue working to ensure reliable and safe rail transportation in North Dakota.