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Illinois U.S. Senator Durbin Joins Critics of Canadian National Safety

(Washington, D.C. – December 8, 2011)

In further repercussions of a serious, 22-car derailment of a Canadian National freight train in Chicago-suburban Bartlett, IL last month, Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has issued a news release both criticizing CN’s operational safety as well as supporting a Surface Transportation Board audit of CN operations during the past two months.

“Time and time again, Canadian National has shown that it does not have the interests of Illinois residents in mind – often putting the railway’s bottom line ahead of communities along the (former) EJ&E Railway,” asserted the senior Illinois senator in his release. “The STB has a responsibility to ensure that railroads like Canadian National keep their promises and do everything possible to safely move freight through communities,” Durbin continued.

The STB audit would evaluate CN’s progress in making rail and grade crossing improvements to prevent derailments, and to review grade crossing delays caused by CN operations, according to US STB Director Lucille Marvin.

Last year, the Surface Transportation Board levied a fine of $250,000 against Canadian National for underreporting of more than 1,400 blocked road-rail crossings in communities along the former Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway line which CN acquired in January of 2009.