When trains were blocking a crossing for a rural resident's access to and from their home for a length of time, the resident called the local sheriff's office.
Trains haven't blocked the crossing in that area for some time now but when a resident has a question or concern about local train operations, there are numbers available to call railway officials.
"BNSF works to minimize the time a crossing is occupied by a train," said Amy McBeth, of Minneapolis, BNSF public relations director for this region. "If a citizen has a particular concern or issue in an area, they can contact me and I will work with our Operating Department to try to resolve the issue." McBeth can be called at 763-782-3212 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BNSF trains wait on the tracks in Minot Feb. 23. If a citizen has a concern or issue in an area, there are BNSF numbers to call.
Cars on Canadian Pacific Railway tracks are at this site on the east side of U.S. Highway 83 in Max on Feb. 23. Anyone with questions or concerns about CP trains can call a CP number.
"If there is an emergency at a crossing, the public should call our 24-hour operations center at 800-832-5452 for assistance. That number is also posted at crossings," McBeth said.
Ed Greenberg, with Canadian Pacific Railway media relations in Minneapolis, said, "For any resident who has questions or concerns about CP operations, we would ask them to call our 24/7 toll-free Community Connect Line: 1-800-766-7912 at any time.
"We have operators who will take the information and start looking into it," he said.
The average train count in Minot has risen in the past years and, of course, those trains travel through the rural area. Unit trains for both railways that pass through Minot can have around 100 cars.
McBeth told The Minot Daily News for a Jan. 26 story that the average BNSF train count in Minot is about 40 trains in a 24-hour period. In 2009, there were about 33 trains.
She said crude oil is increasingly being shipped by oil but BNSF also is seeing increasing volumes on this Northern Corridor for other products, including consumer products, agricultural products and automobiles.
Greenberg told The Minot Daily News for the Jan. 26 story that CP moves an estimated 10 to 12 trains a day through Minot. However, shipments along the main line through the city are not limited to Bakken crude. Many of the trains are loaded with commercial goods that "people would use in personal and business lives on a daily basis," he said.