Thune reiterates South Dakota rail challenges
September 12, 2014
At the Sept. 10, hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Ranking Member of the Commerce Committee and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, reiterated the ongoing concerns of South Dakota shippers due to continued rail service issues throughout the state and region.
"As the former South Dakota rail director under the late governor George S. Mickelson in the early 1990s, I know first-hand the importance of effective rail access for not only agriculture producers but other shippers," said Thune. "In all my years of working on rail matters, I have never seen producers more concerned than they are now regarding their restricted capability to move grain to market. It is my hope that this hearing will continue to bring attention to the rail service backlogs that South Dakota shippers, and shippers nationwide, are currently facing, and encourage continued discussion about both short-term and long-term solutions to address these issues."
Today's hearing expands on the work Thune has done with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) since the beginning of the year to hold railroads accountable for the backlog of grain orders in South Dakota. Thune has worked with the STB, as well as senior leadership of Canadian Pacific Railway and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, to address service issues that South Dakota shippers have raised. From letters, to meetings, to hearings, Thune continues to reiterate how South Dakota's shippers are negatively impacted by the shortage of rail cars and delivery delays.