WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, announced that the Federal Railroad Administration will establish a website where the public can report blocked rail crossings by freight trains in an effort to collect better data and prevent blocked rail crossings, which are jeopardizing safety in communities across Illinois.
Durbin helped secure provisions in this year’s Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill that directed FRA to create this website in order to improve passenger rail service throughout Illinois.
“Blocked rail crossings are impacting Illinois communities much too often. The new FRA website will help empower the public to hold the freight railroads accountable when they are blocking crossings that run through our state causing unnecessary traffic delays and jeopardizing the safety of my constituents,” Durbin said. “The FRA must keep Illinois rail moving forward as efficiently and safely as possible.”
“Our ability to address this issue is only as effective as the data we collect,” FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory said. “Therefore, we are hoping to engage citizens and all levels of government to help spread the word about this important tool.”
Durbin has urged FRA to take a more active role in preventing the blocking of grade crossings by freight trains, an increasing problem in communities around Illinois.