Elevators Full Due to Hold Up on the Railroad - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Elevators Full Due to Hold Up on the Railroad

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Trains are moving up and down the tracks across North Dakota.
But many are days, even weeks late to pick up grain at local elevators.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin has more on what the hold up is in getting wheat trains down the tracks.

There's a hold up on the tracks.
(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager, Sterling) "It's just not enough railraod crews to move all of the freight. There is an enormous amount of freight moving right now."
Josh Mardikian manages South Central Grain in Sterling.
He says some of the trains that aren't showing up on time were ordered 9 months ago.
(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager, Sterling) "We are buying freight a long ways in advance. Freight is a commodity like anything else. So we are buying and trading freight ahead of time. If you wait till now we are hearing trains are trading as high as $2800/car. That works out to .70 a bushel. If you are out there having to buy freight on an open market right now, you're gonna pay a lot for it." 
(Sarah Gustin / sgustin@kxnet.com) "Mardikian says the last train they loaded was on the 11th, about two weeks behind it's scheduled date. The next train was ordered for October 15th, they're hoping it shows up by Friday."
(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager, Sterling) "I do think that the additional oil traffic has caused some of this log jam. There's no doubt. We see the additional oil cars going by everyday. "
The cry for train cars is the same in Garrison.
Chris Gratton managers Garrison Farmers Union Elevator.
He says it's been a challenge to get a train for the past 3 weeks.
(Chris Gratton / Garrison Elevator) "WE ARE PROBABLY ONLY A WEEK TO TEN DAYS BEHIND, IT'S NOT TERRIBLE BUT IT COULD GET WORSE."
It's a hold up many farmers and managers can't wait on with a strong push to get the beans, corn and sunflowers off and delivered before the snow flies.
(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager, Sterling)"It's time to go. It's definitely time to start combining. And it is frustrating.  You want to get some hauled. You have contracts in there and there's nothing you can do. And we are the same, we want to dump it, we want to load, we want to go. And we are kinda at the whim of the railroad."

Mardikian says currently all 5 South Central Grain locations are full of wheat. 
He says as soon as the trains come they will be ready for wheat again.
Kevin Kaufman with BNSF Railway says spending more than 200 million dollars in North Dakota to improve the railroad.
Kaufman says much of the railroad has had to be closed because of the repairs and improvements. 
He says wait times for trains should start to improve in November.

 

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