The energy boom responsible for the dramatic spike in rail freight traffic is causing huge headaches for passenger train companies throughout the country, according to the New York Times.
In areas like the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and Montana, rail lines are now moving more than a million barrels of oil per day, causing passenger trains—such as Amtrak—to run late 60 percent of the time, according to Amtrak officials. That is up from a year ago, when Amtrak trains were late 35 percent of the time.
The problems aren’t expected to get better any time soon. American coal exports to countries like China, which are picking up as domestic demand falls, will also compete for rail space. However, some relief is in place, as Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) has committed to spending $5 billion to use towards rail expansion and track maintenance, $300 million of which will be used to improve capacity and rail systems in North Dakota.
Read more from the New York Times story by clicking here.