Duckworth Statement on Canadian National Train Derailment
Tammy Duckworth, Democratic candidate for Congress in the new Illinois 8th District, released the following statement on this morning's derailment of a Canadian National (CN) freight train in the district.
"This morning's accident highlights the safety and traffic concerns raised by former Representative Melissa Bean and a bipartisan group of local officials since 2008. Freight rail is critical to the 8th District's economy, but Canadian National's plans and operations have failed to take into account the concerns of local residents.
I was a daily Metra commuter, so I know that the disruption of service for some 22,000 daily northwest suburban commuters -- not to mention school bus schedules and traffic in the Elgin and Bartlett areas -- is a major problem. But area residents already know how increased rail traffic is resulting in crossings that are blocked more often and for longer periods than ever before. Just last month, the Village of Barrington filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) over increased traffic delays.
The STB has the power to re-examine CN's operations on the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway tracks. In the light of this accident and STB's 2010 audit, I'm calling on the Board to use every tool at their disposal to force CN to improve grade crossings and improve access for commuter rail use."