Chicago is the central railroad hub for America’s cargo supply chains. Millions of rail cars come through Chicagoland annually. As corporate executives from the large Railroads gather in downtown Chicago, rail workers and community leaders will bring attention to the safety disasters waiting to happen on America’s railroads and potentially here in Chicago.
CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—March 12, 2018
By: Carey Dall
The big, Class 1 Freight Railroads in the United States and Canada are making record profits. Trump’s tax break will render even more earnings. Yet the Railroads continue to skimp on needed maintenance, worker training and safe staffing levels in their attempt to satisfy institutional shareholders.
A worsening safety record is the result of this irresponsible corporate governance. Derailments of trains carrying hazardous, explosive cargoes happen daily in North America, putting the public and the environment in harm’s way. Most of these derailments go unreported because they happen in remote, unpopulated areas. However, since the Lac-Megantic (Quebec) oil train derailment in 2013 where 47 people died, the big Railroads have aggressively cut the staffing levels needed to maintain safe railroads.
In fact, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) reports that in 2017 there were 1,190 derailments in the United States. 888 people died in railroad related incidents in 2017.
This raises real concerns for Chicagoland, the primary rail hub for North America’s sensitive cargo supply chains. It’s only a matter of time before the kind of derailment that hit Plainfield, IL on July 1, 2017 visits Chicago itself. Communities and rail workers suffer when profits are put before safety.
A demonstration will take place on Monday, March 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Railroad Executive Conference by Railway Age Magazine being held at the Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Blvd.
For additional information, call Carey Dall at 510-846-5368.