Passengers traveling aboard Empire Builder trains can encounter significant delays due to very high volumes of freight train traffic along the route. During the two-week period ending July 19, 2014, delays averaged between three and five hours. While delays to the Empire Builder have primarily been occurring west of St. Paul, MN, passengers should anticipate delays in both directions.
Passengers are strongly urged to sign-up for delay notifications when booking their travel and to check the status of their train on Amtrak.com, our free mobile apps or at 800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) for the most up-to-date departure and arrival times.
BNSF Railway Company owns and maintains the tracks and dispatches the trains west of St. Paul. BNSF is making capacity improvements, which are expected to reduce delays to Amtrak trains and to freight trains. However, many of these projects will not be complete until late 2014.
As part of this construction in North Dakota, BNSF has asked Amtrak to use an alternate route in one or both directions, resulting in the Empire Builder missing Amtrak stations in Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Rugby. Passengers will be provided chartered bus service to and from these stations. This detour is planned to conclude by October 1, 2014, and is expected to shorten the time BNSF needs to recover Empire Builder reliability.
Amtrak will continue to work with BNSF Railway and other carriers on this route to restore dependable Empire Builder service. Amtrak will also regularly update this Passenger Service Notice.
Thank you for traveling with Amtrak. We appreciate your patronage and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience.
Join us on facebook.com/Amtrak and follow us on twitter.com/Amtrak. Check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.