U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with the CEO of CSX Michael Ward to discuss improving rail safety. Durbin asked the Association of American Railroads to conduct a comprehensive review of railroad industry plans and practices to ensure trains can move safely and efficiently throughout the country during extreme weather events. Durbin also requested that the findings of this review be made available to the public.
“As one of the largest railroad operators in the country, CSX has an important role to play in ensuring safety by providing the proper training, inspection plans and committed personnel to deal with excessive weather events,” said Durbin. “I will continue working with the Federal Railroad Administration and railroads operators around the country to encourage them to take every precaution necessary to avoid another horrible tragedy like the one that occurred in Illinois earlier this month.”
Durbin and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) sent a letter to the Federal Railroad Administrator, Joe Szabo, urging him to increase efforts to ensure that railroads have the proper training, inspection plans and protocol to deal with excessive weather events. Just days later, the FRA issued an immediate safety advisory, which contained guidance that would help ensure railroads and safety agencies are adequately inspecting their tracks to identify and address areas particularly prone to heat buckling.