Amtrak To Restore Full Empire Builder Route

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Amtrak plans to restore its full route between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest next week.

Amtrak suspended service on its Empire Builder line between St. Paul, Minn., and Havre, Mont., in late June because of flooding in North Dakota. Officials say track repairs have been made by BNSF Railway, which owns the track the Amtrak passenger trains run on.

The Empire Builder will resume making stops in eastern Montana, North Dakota and western Minnesota with trains departing from Seattle and Portland, Ore., on Sunday. Westbound trains will resume service to the full route starting with trains departing Chicago on Monday.

The only exception is in the North Dakota city of Minot, which has been devastated by Souris River flooding. That station will remain closed until repairs can be made.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Richard in Minneapolis

    European countries like Switzerland, France and Germany got this right. They nationalized the track system and keep the track in good shape with tax money. They then lease track time to anyone with enough money for a locomotive and some rail cars who wants to start a railroad. This encourages competition, especially on freight lines, while ensuring that a valuable piece of infrastructure is available to the national economy. This is akin to the government owning the interstate highway system and charging haulers road fees to use.

    We did it backwards here by leaving the tracks in private hands and nationalizing the carrier.

  • Todd Gabrielson

    I like this idea.

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