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Heavy rail traffic grinds Amtrak to temporary halt

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Amtrak Empire Builder sitting on tracks near Cass 20 north of Fargo
Amtrak Empire Builder sitting on tracks near Cass 20 north of Fargo

FARGO  (KFGO AM)  Amtrak spokesman Mark Magliari says there's so much freight congestion on the tracks Amtrak's Empire Builder shares with BNSF Railway between Minneapolis and Spokane, Washington that the Empire Builder has been forced to halt operations both ways on alternate days between now and Sunday.

Magliari says the congestion is more than anytime in recent years. He says there simply are not enough crews, equipment and infrastructure to handle the volume. Some of that traffic jam is the result of oil trains coming from North Dakota's oil patch. Amtrak is contacting passengers offering to reschedule their travel.

Wednesday morning, the east bound Empire Builder sat on the tracks just north of Fargo, waiting to move.

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