Long-distance passenger train Amtrak struggles in Montana with continuing delays

IndustriesAssociated Press

Eight months after Amtrak adjusted the Empire Builder's schedule through Montana to curb delays, the long-distance passenger train is still struggling to stay on time.

But officials say there have been some improvements for the train that connects Chicago with Seattle and Portland.

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Passenger rail advocates are blaming the delays on an increase in freight rail traffic across the northern part of the country, including oil trains coming out of North Dakota. Freight and passenger congestion also are being blamed.

The Flathead Beacon reports (http://tinyurl.com/omhoaw5) the westbound Empire Builder was on time just 6.5 percent of the time in October. The eastbound train was on time 19 percent. Officials say that's a big improvement when compared with June of this year, when it had a zero percent on-time rate.

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Information from: Flathead Beacon, http://www.flatheadbeacon.com