Durbin calls for investigation into train delays

By Gary Brode | gbrode@wcia.com, Anthony Antoine | aantoine@wcia.com

Published 08/05 2014 04:48PM

Updated 08/20 2014 06:26PM

Latest: 6:03 pm, 8/20/14, Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN -- People are tired of waiting for the train, especially the one rolling through town. So, Senator Dick Durbin is trying to find a fix. He's meeting with Amtrak officials to figure out why so many routes have been delayed.

Amtrak has had a lot of issues this year. The worst-performing route in the state is Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale. Only 49% of the Illini and Saluki trains are on time. The national on-time average is 85%. The biggest reason is freight trains are getting to use the rails first. By law, Amtrak is supposed to get the go-ahead.

Canadian National owns the rails, but is ignoring many of the laws. Amtrak sued CN in 2012 about the on-time performance. The case is in the Supreme Court. If ruled in favor of Amtrak, it could change federal railroad laws. That court case will be heard in October. It could take up to a year for a decision.
Update: 10:23 pm, 8/19/14, Tuesday
CHAMPAIGN -- The state is investigating high numbers of Amtrak delays. It's on the route which rolls right through Champaign. Senator Dick Durbin is meeting in town Wednesday. He's talking with a transportation board and Amtrak leaders.

They hope to figure out what's causing record delays. Critics worry freight trains using the same lines are to blame. It's been a huge problem from Carbondale to Chicago.
Original: 4:48 pm, 8/5/14, Tuesday
ILLINOIS -- More Amtrak trips are being delayed. Senator Dick Durbin is blaming another rail line for the inconvenience. Canadian National Railroad owns some of Amtrak's lines. The two share the track which runs from Carbondale to Chicago.

Senator Durbin wants CN Railroad investigated. He says Amtrak was on schedule about half the time last year because CN freight trains were stopped and delayed.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.