Spring Flooding Damages Railroads

Ivy Chang | September 28, 2010

Railroads in North Dakota and northern Minnesota had major damage this spring because of flooding in the area.

BNSF Railway officials estimated more than $3 million of damages in North Dakota alone. Northern Plains Railroad, with 400 miles of tracks, estimated several hundred thousands of dollars in damages, including tracks from Fordville to Devils Lake in North Dakota, a bridge that had to be raised by 8 inches and rail bed raised by 6 inches north of Lakota.

Near Jamestown, New Rockford, Fargo, Grand Forks, Mandan and Granville, in North Dakota, tracks and road beds were damaged enough to reroute Amtrak passenger trains, which use BNSF tracks, between Minot and Fargo.

Minnesota Northern Railroad, a short line in northwestern Minnesota crossing into North Dakota lost a bridge crossing the Pembina River in Walhalla, ND. The company will rebuild bridge piers and road beds estimated to cost $500,000. Its customers on the other side of the bridge, four major shippers, are loading cars from the bridge site instead of from their warehouses.

All railroads with damages said they hope to conduct repairs before the weather freezes in November.