U.S. senator urging federal board to look at rail delays in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD - A U.S. senator from Illinois is urging federal rail officials to look into delays along the Amtrak route from Carbondale to Chicago, as well as blocked rail crossings in the Chicago suburbs.

On Thursday, the federal Surface Transportation Board was asked by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to observe what he says are problems with Canadian National in Illinois.  According to Durbin, Canadian National trains block rail crossings in Chicago suburbs and is responsible for Amtrak delays from Carbondale to Chicago.

Durbin's office also says that over 5,250 crossings were blocked for more than 10 minutes in the first quarter of 2014.

Amtrak says that the delays inconvenience riders and affects it business.  However, a spokesman for Canadian National says that the numbers of delays and blocked crossings have improved since winter.

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