Officials looking to cut down on delayed Amtrak trains
Politicians and policymakers are talking about taking more steps to ensure that Amtrak trains are on time in Illinois, and they're pointing to the route that serves Champaign as an example of why change is needed.
Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin chaired a meeting on the issue in Champaign Wednesday. He said this year, freight train interference on the Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale rail line that's operated by Canadian National has caused Amtrak trains on that route to be delayed around half the time.
That makes for some unhappy community members, said University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise.
Federal Surface Transportation Board Chairman Dan Elliott said his organization is studying the issue, but he's also pointing to a law that allows the board to enforce Amtrak's right to have robust access to the rails. And Elliott said if Canadian National doesn't abide by that law, the board could hit the rail company in its pocketbook.
According to Durbin, Amtrak is also making a case to the feds about what "on time" standards that Canadian National should be held to.