Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism
Department or School/College
School of Journalism
Dennis Swibold, Helen Naughton
trains, grain, Hi-Line, BNSF, crude oil, Bakken
University of Montana
Over the past two years, grain growers along Montana’s Hi-Line have experienced significant shipping delays because of heavy traffic on the railroads in the northern plains. The delays caused declines in wheat prices and many farmers had to build extra storage to house the crops they couldn’t get on the rails. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, the main railroad serving the Hi-Line, blames the congestion on harsh winter weather, a larger than average crop harvest and an increase in shipping demands across all sectors. Farmers say the railroad has favored increasing shipments of crude oil from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and eastern Montana. The railroad has improved service in recent months after significant investments, but Montana farmers remain wary that service issues may continue in the years to come.
Scheer, Laura, "Against the Grain: Railroad Ramifications as Oil Crosses Wheat Country" (2015). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 4481.
© Copyright 2015 Laura Scheer