Empire Builder Resumes, Delays Continue

The five-day suspension of the Empire Builder between Minot, N.D. and St. Paul, Minn., has ended but the train continues to be hindered by delays.

On Friday No. 8 arrived more than four hours late into Chicago. Early Saturday morning the various sections of Nos. 7 and 8 that were on the road were running between 4.5 to 1.5 hours late.

The Empire Builder this week was suspended between St. Paul and Minot with no alternative transportation provided between those points.

The cancelations were at the request of BNSF to make track repairs after frost heaves and other roadbed problems following a harsh winter. No. 8 from Seattle/Portland resumed June 4, while No. 7 from Chicago resumed June 5.

During the service interruption, Amtrak operated a four-car Nos. 807 and 808 between Chicago and St. Paul with a coach-baggage car, two regular coaches and a Sightseer lounge.

Trains were turned on the Division Street wye just east of St. Paul Union Depot, an operation that had been a daily move when the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and Great Northern operated the train.

In those days the Builder routinely used the wye to access the station when arriving from Chicago or Minneapolis.

The westbound Empire Builder will continue on its previously arranged summer-long detour over BNSF’s KO Subdivision between Fargo and Minot with Grand Forks, Devils Lake, and Rugby, N.D, stops served by a connecting bus.

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