Oil train delays prompt Amtrak schedule change

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Amtrak is changing the schedule of its Empire Builder line in the northwest U.S. to account for delays caused by freight trains carrying crude oil shipments, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports

Amtrak has complained for months about its trains that run from Chicago to Portland, Ore., and Seattle on tracks that are shared with freight trains being blocked by oil shipments.

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The freight trains on the route are operated by the BNSF Railway Co., which has blamed the delays on winter weather.

The company has said it is “working” on creating an equitable solution to the track-sharing arrangement that has resulted in Amtrak delays.

The Star-Tribune reported Friday the national passenger rail company is taking matters into its own hands by adding three hours to its scheduled travel time between Seattle and St. Paul, Minn.

The company is also adding an hour-and-a-half to its westbound trips from St. Paul, the paper said.

The adjustments will not affect Amtrak’s schedule for trips between St. Paul and Chicago, according to the report.