Durbin Meets Federal Railroad Administrator To Discuss Amtrak On Time Performance, Chicago To Quad Cities Passenger Rail, And Blocked Crossings

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with Ron Batory, the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), to discuss Amtrak on-time performance (OTP), increasing access to passenger rail service in Illinois including from Chicago to the Quad Cities, and the need for the FRA to take a more active role in preventing blocked crossings by freight trains. 

“While Illinois’ economy benefits from being the nation’s freight rail hub, my constituents deserve more accountability from the freight railroads that run through our state,” Durbin said. “It was good to meet with Administrator Batory today to discuss the important role that FRA must play in keeping Illinois rail moving forward and ensuring it is operating as efficiently and safely as possible.” 

A photo from the meeting is available here

Durbin urged Administrator Batory to continue to push Canadian National Railroad to improve OTP for Amtrak’s Chicago-Carbondale route, which continues to be one of the worst performing routes in the nation due to freight interference.  Durbin also pushed for the FRA to extend the deadline for Illinois to use the federal funding needed to complete new Amtrak service between Chicago and the Quad Cities, which had previously been held up by the Rauner Administration.  Lastly, Durbin pushed for the FRA to take a more active role in preventing the blocking of grade crossings by freight trains, an increasing problem in communities around Illinois.