Although the Red River is subsiding in North Dakota so that railroads can start to dig out or mop up from heavy flooding, damage reports are still coming in.
The state’s transportation department says some parts of north-south Interstate 29 are still flooded out for highway travel above Grand Forks, but hard-hit Fargo and nearby areas are cleaning up after the floods of late March and early April.
Those floods came after unusually heavy snows, followed by some thawing and refreezing that at times created ice dams and had to be dynamited.
The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association this week said some of the rail effects and the carriers involved were:
-- Northern Plains Railroad still had five to six miles of track underwater near the Red River.
-- Dakota, Missouri Valley & Western Railroad had some sections knocked out of service by track washouts and what it called "soft spots" elsewhere.
-- Minnesota Northern “reports some minor washouts, mainly as a result of ice dams forming near bridges,” ASLRRA said.
-- Red River Valley & Western put its most affected line back into service, the association said. “Most impacted was their line between Wahpeton, N.D., and Breckenridge, Minn., that crosses the Red River. As was allowed, communities through which the line runs built dikes up to the level of the track, rendering the line out-of-service for approximately three days, while the river crested.
But the list goes beyond short lines, the group said. Among Class I railroads, Canadian Pacific Railway temporarily closed portions of its line near Emerson, Manitoba, as the cresting river pushed its flood into Canada. Inside North Dakota, BNSF Railway had briefly closed several lines in flooded areas, including one that forced a sizable detour of Amtrak’s "Empire Builder" passenger train.
Contact John D. Boyd at email@example.com.