Officials seek federal board's help on rail delays

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has told federal regulators who oversee railroad service issues that he considers the ongoing delay in grain shipments in some Upper Plains states an emergency situation.

Dalrymple was among dozens of officials from the Dakotas and Minnesota who testified Thursday in Fargo, North Dakota, before the National Surface Transportation Board. Many crops in the three states are at near-record levels; producers say the backlog is costing them millions.

Some believe the increased shipments from North Dakota's western oil fields are largely behind the delays.

Dalrymple says the board can provide an oversight role to ensure balance between the agriculture and energy sectors. Railroads have said they don't favor one sector over another.

Dalrymple also read a letter from a Wilton elevator whose rail service was 525 cars behind.