Tester thanks railroad executive for progress and urges continued attention

Senator meets with CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe

(U.S. SENATE) – With harvest shipments just around the corner, Senator Jon Tester today thanked Burlington Northern Santa Fe CEO Carl Ice for progress to date on improving rail capacity in Montana and encouraged continued focus.

“As a farmer, I know we need a strong, affordable transportation system to get our goods to market and support our families,” Tester said. “Montana farmers, ranchers, and small business owners need reliable and timely rail service. I’m pleased that BNSF has reduced delays in recent months, and I will continue to work with them to deliver the best service possible. Our economy depends on it.”

Tester and Ice met in the Senator’s Washington office to discuss the timeliness of rail delivery. After hearing from Montana producers throughout the summer, Tester continued his efforts to push BNSF to meet rail service demand in Montana, especially with colder, snowy conditions coming over the winter.

In recent months, BNSF has reduced rail delays from 29 days to 11, dropping the past due cars from 3,500 to 450. To tackle the growing demand for rail service, BNSF is investing approximately $160 million this year to expand rail capacity in Montana. In addition, the railroad is hiring more than 5,000 new employees nationwide.

This is the second time Tester and Ice have met, the first time was last June. Tester also recently sent a letter (HERE) to Ice urging BNSF to focus on improving its service in Montana.