U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer announced BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) publicly filed weekly grain backlog status updates as required by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB). A summary of the reporting data specific to North Dakota from the last 10 weeks is below.

Following STB’s April 2022 hearing on “Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service,” BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, and Union Pacific submitted service recovery plans, which identified actions to improve service and metrics to track progress toward such improvements.

On June 3, 2022 the STB started requiring BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, and Union Pacific to file service progress reports further explaining efforts to correct service deficiencies. On June 15, 2022, the STB started requiring all Class I railroads to report employment data. The STB extended the initial six-month reporting period for weekly performance and employment data until December 31, 2023. It has since modified CSX's reporting requirements to exempt the railroad from weekly progress reports, as it consistently meets the STB's service improvement targets.

Background

In May 2022, Senator Cramer led 20 colleagues in a letter urging the STB to ensure reliable, consistent rail service for American industries and shippers.

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

The letter also outlines concerns and issues raised by customers and labor organizations at STB’s April hearing on “Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service” from agricultural producers and grain shippers unable to get empty railcars leading to significant delays in delivering commodities to energy producers forced to curtail production due consistently delayed arrival of railcars.

In March 2022, 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 implications from agriculture to energy and exacerbate the Biden administration’s supply chain crisis. Up to 15% of Canadian Pacific’s business is fertilizer shipping and the U.S. relies on the railway to move Alberta crude oil south to U.S. refineries.

Visit www.cramer.senate.gov for more information.