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Published March 01, 2011, 05:48 PM

Devils Lake Amtrak Service in Jeopardy

Amtrak says that once the lake reaches 1453 feet, there's a strong possibility services would be discontinued and with the current lake level forecast, that elevation will be surpassed.

Despite the rising level of Devils Lake, Amtrak has determined that the rail track near Churches Ferry is stable and can continue to be used, at least for now.

But there is still a possibility Amtrak service could stop in Devils Lake.

A study is being completer by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to determine what can be done for the track near Devils Lake.

Amtrak says that once the lake reaches 1453 feet, there's a strong possibility services would be discontinued and with the current lake level forecast, that elevation will be surpassed.

Amtrak could use buses to transport customers between depots or it could run on the Surrey Line through New Rockford, ND.

Local officials say they're fighting hard to keep Amtrak in the Lake Region.

Ramsey County Commissioner Joe Belford has been working with Amtrak for many years.

"If the lake goes up three feet, it will be on top of the road bed of the track and that will be major trouble for Amtrak," Belford said.

A grade raise for the tracks would cost between $60 and $70 million.

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