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Peterson, Sinner talk grain train delays

CAVALIER, N.D. — U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson and George Sinner know about the problem.

They’ve heard from plenty of farmers about rail shipment delays. What’s harder to grasp is an immediate solution.

0 Talk about it

Sinner and Peterson heard from farmers, retailers and bankers in Cavalier Thursday afternoon about various agriculture-related issues they’re facing.

Peterson, the Minnesota Democrat who is the ranking member on the House Committee on Agriculture, and Sinner, a Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Kevin Cramer for North Dakota’s lone House seat, participated in a conference call with the press afterward.

Farm groups have raised concerns in recent weeks about delays affecting their ability to move crops quickly. A cold winter, a large grain harvest and increased oil train traffic have been cited for the delay.

BNSF, the largest railroad in North Dakota, is investing about $400 million in North Dakota in part to increase capacity.

“I think that Burlington Northern at least, they’ve got the message. They are putting more resources in,” said Peterson, who went to Cavalier as Sinner’s guest. “The problem is, in the short term that’s not going to really probably do much.”

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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