Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism

Department or School/College

School of Journalism

Committee Chair

Nadia White

Commitee Members

Dennis Swibold, Helen Naughton


trains, grain, Hi-Line, BNSF, crude oil, Bakken


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Journalism Studies


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.



© Copyright 2015 Laura Scheer