Sen. Durbin calls for railroad checks

July 9, 2012

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he wants the federal government to spot-check railroad infrastructure in light of the train accident in the northern suburbs last week that killed two people. The Union Pacific train that derailed caused a 28-car pileup, which then caused the bridge it was on to collapse.

A spokesman from Union Pacific Railroad said a similar train derailment happened in the same area in 2009.
 
Sen. Durbin said Monday he wants the Federal Railroad Administration to check in on parts of the railway that might be problematic — whether it's because of bad weather or a change in traffic.
 
"I know that's a big ask because at the federal level we have restriction of funds. But this tragic accident is a reminder of the vulnerability we have when infrastructure fails," Durbin said. 
 
Durbin said railroad accidents are the responsibility of the railroad, not the state or federal government.  But since railways cross many states, and deal with interstate commerce, he wants the FRA to step up. Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said they wouldn't mind the additional checks. 
 
According to the Associated Press, the victims in last week's accident were 69-year-old Burton Lindner and 70-year-old Zorine Lindner, a couple from Glenview. Their son has filed a lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad.