October 7, 2015

Rail lines, elevators prepared for massive harvest

Grain elevator, BNSF

A record corn and soybean harvest is predicted for this year, and managers at South Dakota elevators and railroads say they’re prepared. There’s been a recent effort to invest in railroad infrastructure statewide, thanks in part to a push from political delegates at the federal level. At the same time, many companies are adding grain [...]

BNSF impacted by northwestern wildfires


BNSF Railway Co. reported to its customers yesterday that it is experiencing an operational impact due to a track outage caused by wildfires in Essex, Mont. The Class I informed customers in an Aug. 31 service advisory that the railroad’s main track though the area was open, but fires continue to burn, which may cause intermittent [...]

BNSF: court order could disrupt economy


LA CROSSE, Wis. — BNSF Railway says a temporary court injunction against use of its new track through the La Crosse River marsh would damage the railroad and disrupt the economy of the northern part of the country. In documents filed this week, attorneys for BNSF challenge an order issued earlier this month by La [...]

Fire crews take the train


With thick smoke impeding visibility and foiling aircraft operations over the past couple of days, BNSF Railway trains have been shuttling fire crews and heavy equipment into the Sheep Fire at the southern edge of Glacier National Park. There firefighters have been working to build containment lines during a lull in fire activity. Fire management [...]

Powder river basin coal demand down


Nine years ago, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company embarked on a campaign to improve its freight service in and out of the coal-rich Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. Times were good, the coal industry was booming and BNSF was getting political pressure to beef up its Powder River Basin infrastructure to help [...]

Meeting for Minn. furloughed BNSF and UP workers


In light of the recent furloughs by BNSF and Union Pacific railroads, and since many locals are experiencing difficulty reaching the members who have been furloughed and dislocated, the SMART TD Minnesota State Legislative Board is hosting, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Education and Economic Development (MN DEED) a free informational meeting to [...]

Feds say rule on oil train reporting permanent


The Federal Railroad Administration said Wednesday that train companies must continue reporting crude oil routes and volumes to state authorities concerned about derailments and fires. The interim regulation requiring notification will become permanent. Oil-hauling railroads include Omaha-based Union Pacific and Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF Railway. Read more from Omaha.com.

OSHA finds BNSF violated whistleblower protections


SEATTLE, Wash. – North America’s second-largest freight railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC, must reinstate a train conductor and pay the man $536,063 in back pay, damages and attorney’s fees after a federal investigation found the rail operator retaliated against its employee after reporting a knee injury. BNSF filed disciplinary charges against the conductor after he [...]

BNSF charging lower rates for new crude-by-rail cars


If you want to carry crude oil in an older railroad car, it’s going to cost you. Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway, the largest U.S. crude-by-rail carrier, is offering lower rates to lug oil in cars that meet the latest federal specifications issued in May. That means the vast majority of cars riding the rails today, [...]

BNSF furloughing employees, union says


GRAND FORKS — BNSF Railway Co., the largest railroad in North Dakota, is furloughing some employees across its network, including in Mandan and elsewhere in the region. “Customers’ volumes in the near term have come down somewhat from their prior estimates; as a result we are having to adjust our workforce demand numbers down to [...]