Elevators Wait Months for Grain Cars - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Elevators Wait Months for Grain Cars


There is some major trouble with trains moving down the tracks.
Elevators along the BNSF and CP are waiting months before the trains they ordered long ago are showing up.

(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager) "January 25th train showed up on March 14th, the evening of March 14th it showed up. And I am still waiting on a January 20th train in Napoleon coming from the CP."
There's a major holdup on the tracks. 
The railroad is struggling to get grain cars delivered to local elevators. 
(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager) "That's what I heard, that we were 10-thousand cars behind in North Dakota alone." 
In fact this "Wait and see" game is the worst South Central Grain Manager Josh Mardikian has been through.
(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager) "This is about as bad as I remember."
(Sarah Gustin / sgustin@kxnet.com) "Today the tracks sit empty. Mardikian's next train was ordered for February 24th. He's hoping that train shows up by April 10th."
Mardikian says the rail lines blame the bad winter and heavy snow in the Chicago and St. Paul train yards for the delay.
As well as the unusually cold weather.
Something area farmers have also had to deal with.
(Trace Bodvig / Tappen Farmer) "We have a lot of grain on the farm because of the weather. Equipment doesn't start. Things don't work when it's that cold.
If managing an elevator isn't stressful enough, problems like these just add to the stress load.
If Mardikian needed to buy a grain car today... it would cost him.
(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager) "We heard today, that there were offers for as much as 8-thousand dollars above tariff per car. That's one car. 8 thousand dollars."
Not to mention for everyday the trains don't come... there is another day the elevator may not be able to do business.
(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain Manager) "If we can't make that sale and the rail cars aren't showing up, and we don't make those sales. We end up going full. We do end up sitting full from time to time here over the winter we have been full for as much as three weeks, which prevents producers from bringing grain in to us. If they aren't bringing grain in and we aren't shipping grain out, you are not running a business."

The problem continues down the tracks.
We also spoke with the managers at Gavilon in Jamestown and at Country Grain in Eldridge.
They say the same thing.
In Eldridge single cars and small units that were to be delivered in January showed up yesterday.


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