Thune has concerns with rail service

Farm Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On April 2, U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) sent letters to senior officials of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railroads letters expressing concern about the recent sharp decline in reliable rail service in South Dakota.

“Over the past two months, I have heard from an increasing number of South Dakota shippers regarding the difficulty they are experiencing with significantly reduced rail service,” said Thune. “While the extended winter throughout the region has made it difficult to keep up with the demand from farmers, ethanol producers, and shippers that rely on freight railroads to do business, it is imperative that both railroads do more to address the backlog of rail cars to ensure that shippers can start moving their products to market as we move into planting season.”

In addition to the letters, Thune has discussed the current situation with officials from both companies, and his staff members have been in regular communication with shippers, the railroads and the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

Thune is the ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that has jurisdiction over freight railroads and the Surface Transportation Board.