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BNSF and North Dakota leaders discuss speed limit for freight trains traveling through Devils Lake at meeting

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - BNSF has been the center of controversy in Devils Lake, where the railroad planned to double the speed limit for freight trains traveling through town, a plan that met strong opposition from the city. 

The consensus is that there needs to be a lot more work done to bridge the gap between BNSF and Devils Lake.

The railroad originally planned to raise the speed limit on a one-point-four mile stretch of track through the heart of the city, from 30 to 60 miles per hour.

BNSF put the plan on hold after the city said it would risk public safety.

BNSF has maintained that it is safe for trains to travel 60 miles per hour through town.

Railroad officials will meet with Devils Lake mayor Dick Johnson tomorrow in Bismarck to discuss the problem.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp says it'll be tricky to come up with a solution that pleases the railroad, and the city.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp/(D) North Dakota: “They are trying to maintain the speeds that they believe are, in fact, maintain the safety of the rails.”

BNSF executive chairman Matt Rose was unavailable for comment.

A spokesperson says the railroad will continue to work with the city on a solution.

Devils Lake officials say they might consider a speed limit increase if safety precautions like fencing are added by the tracks. 

Adam Ladwig

Adam Ladwig joined WDAZ as the Devils Lake bureau reporter in January, 2012. Prior to that he reported for KDUH-TV in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Adam has won multiple awards during his time at WDAZ, including an Eric Sevareid award and a Regional Emmy Award as part of team coverage during the search for Anthony Kuznia.  A Colorado native, Adam graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Journalism. He misses the Rocky Mountains, but the kind people of North Dakota more than make up for that. He is thrilled to be in the Lake Region, telling stories that matter. In his spare time, Adam is usually futilely attempting to get in shape, or cheering for his beloved Denver Broncos.