Durbin Statement On Amtrak Computer System Failure At Union Station

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after he spoke to Amtrak CEO and President Richard Anderson about yesterday’s Amtrak computer system failure at Chicago Union Station, which lasted more than 12 hours, caused significant delays and overcrowding, and impacted both morning and evening commutes:

I talked to Mr. Anderson this morning and in blunt terms, asked him what happened in Chicago yesterday?  Why did thousands of commuters see their service interrupted?  He was honest and direct, and admitted that Amtrak made a series of errors.  The most important error they made was to decide to do a server upgrade to their computers during peak hours of service.  This should be done in the middle of the night when only a handful of trains are running.  Along with that, a worker fell on a circuit board, which turned off the computers and lead to the interruption of service that went on all day long.

Today, Amtrak issued a public apology to the people who were inconvenienced in Chicago yesterday.  Mr. Anderson also told me there will be changes made when it comes to computer programming and upgrades in the future.  But my job in Washington, along with Senator Tammy Duckworth, is to ensure that these federal agencies are held accountable.  Amtrak failed yesterday, but I appreciate their honesty.