In reversal, abundant grain trains available for harvest

STERLING, N.D. (AP) – With a record fall harvest fast approaching, farmers are expecting to get the trains they need to move crops to market.

It’s a turnaround from the past two years when elevators across the Upper Great Plains were overflowing and mountains of grain were piled on the ground awaiting rail cars.

The recent reversal is attributed to unprecedented spending on track upgrades, political pressure from farm-state politicians and a drastic decrease in trains hauling crude and freight to and from western North Dakota’s oil-producing region.

BNSF Railway Co. says it has invested billions of dollars in upgrades across its rail network since 2013, including $1 billion in North Dakota alone. The railroad says it is now shipping all freight “faster, more predictable and more consistent.”

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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