Freight derailment forces Amtrak detour
WILLMAR — Amtrak’s Empire Builder train riders were getting a major detour through west-central Minnesota Friday due to a freight train derailment in Elk River.
An Amtrak spokesman confirmed Friday afternoon that the Empire Builder had been detoured along BNSF Railway tracks through west-central Minnesota, traveling a southerly route from Fargo through Breckenridge-Morris-Willmar-Litchfield to Minneapolis.
The exact time the Empire Builder will roll through west central Minnesota communities is not known.
The Empire Builder’s normal route is from Fargo, N.D., through Detroit Lakes-Wadena-Staples-St. Cloud to Minneapolis.
The spokesman said a decision has not been made on the next Empire Builder run yet.
Passengers traveling aboard Empire Builder trains have encountered significant delays in recent months due to very high volumes of freight train traffic along the route. During the previous weeks in May and June, delays averaged between three and five hours. Amtrak has advised that passengers should anticipate delays in both directions.