Railroad companies issue status reports on grain wagon backlogs

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) announced that the BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) have publicly filed weekly grain residue status updates, as required by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB). A summary of North Dakota specific reporting data for the past 10 weeks is provided below.

Following STB’s April hearing on Urgent Rail Freight Issues, BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific submitted service recovery plans detailing the specific actions they will take to improve service and the specific metrics they set will use to assess their progress towards such improvements.

Beginning June 3, the STB will require BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific to submit service progress reports detailing efforts to address service deficiencies. They will submit reports on the progress of the service every two weeks for six months. Beginning June 15, the STB will also require all Class I railroads to report six months of additional employment data.

Grain wagon backlog status report

BNSF 11

KP 11

Click here for the data.

Background:

In May, Senator Cramer led 20 colleagues in a letter calling on the STB to provide reliable, consistent rail service for American industry and shippers.

“We are very concerned about the significant rail service disruptions that are occurring throughout the US rail freight network. Reports from rail customers, including our manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and energy producers, indicate that in many situations, reliable rail service is not being provided.” wrote the senators.

The letter also outlines concerns and issues raised by customers and workers’ organizations at the STB hearing in April on “Urgent Issues in Rail Freight” from agricultural producers and grain shippers who have been unable to get empty wagons, causing significant delays in delivery of raw materials to energy producers, who were forced to cut back on production due to constantly late arrivals of railcars. Learn more here.

In March, Senator Cramer led colleagues in a letter calling on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of his cabinet to take action to prevent a Canadian Pacific Railway strike. A strike would have significant market repercussions from agriculture to energy and would exacerbate the Biden administration’s supply chain crisis. Up to 15% of Canadian Pacific’s business is fertilizer shipments, and the US relies on the railroad to ship crude oil south from Alberta to US refineries. Learn more here.

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