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Businesses search for alternative ways to move grain after rail bridge fire in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS, ND - Local businesses are already feeling burned as a result of the Friday, Aug. 18, fire. One company says they could be out $50,000. MGI Grain Processing uses the tracks to move their barley shipments, but damage to the rail bridge...

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GRAND FORKS, ND - Local businesses are already feeling burned as a result of the Friday, Aug. 18, fire. One company says they could be out $50,000.

MGI Grain Processing uses the tracks to move their barley shipments, but damage to the rail bridge could have the company waiting for a train that may never come.

Rail cars are a rare sight here. The one that comes every couple months could now be delayed indefinitely.

MGI Grain Processing Manager Gretta Gabrielson said "We're having some challenges here personally because we depend on rail car commodities for nearly a third of our business."

Trucks could move the barley, but it'll cost them.

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Gabrielson said "It is much more expensive because then you're adding in the fuel costs and it would take multiple trips of course to have the same capacity that one rail car has."

A representative from BNSF said about 7 trains come through Grand Forks each day, and this fire damage could affect all of them.

BNSF employee Amy McBeth said "Our tracks are out of service. We're holding traffic through that area and what we'll be doing is we'll be looking for areas to route our traffic other routes as possible. Depending on the origins and destinations."

A wait-and-see game for a company just starting harvest season.

A BNSF representative said it will be at least Monday, Aug. 21, before they have a timeline on when the tracks could be fixed.

Related Topics: FIRESAGRICULTURE
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