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Flooding Reroutes Trains

The risk of flooding along the Red River has forced Canadian Pacific Railway to reroute shipments, including grain, that normally flow from Canada into North Dakota.

Starting April 3, CPR was rerouting trains from Winnipeg west to Saskatchewan and into North Dakota, said Mike LoVecchio, spokesman for the railway. The change adds “a large detour” to the four or five trains normally running directly south from Winnipeg, but not necessarily delays, he said.

The railway has notified its customers of the change, allowing them to schedule shipments to arrive on time, he said. The change is necessary because the Red River’s crest is moving north, LoVecchio said. CPR will remove some track near Emerson, Manitoba, that the flooding river may threaten.

The only other flood-related problem CPR is facing is high water by a short line at Oslo, North Dakota, which feeds CPR’s operation. The flood impact there is “negligible,” LoVecchio said.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe was reopening its line between the North Dakota cities of Fargo and Grand Forks late recently.

The 90-mile stretch had been closed since March 23, resulting in trains rerouting through western North Dakota and the state of Wisconsin, said BNSF spokeswoman Suann Lundsberg. Delays were less than 24 hours, shorter than expected, she said. The Red River crested in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on April 1 at 49.5 feet and has begun to decline. Permanent dikes 57 feet high are in place on both sides of the river.

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