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Amtrak: Freight Trains Delay 99 Percent Of Chicago-To-New Orleans Runs

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Photo Of Amtrak Rail Car. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Photo Of Amtrak Rail Car. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Amtrak has filed an official complaint against Canadian National railway for regular delays on the route from Chicago to New Orleans.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Amtrak says in a federal complaint that CN freight trains stop 99 percent of all City of New Orleans trains from Chicago to New Orleans.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Amtrak says just last year, there were more than 4,000 instances of delays on account of freight trains on the City of New Orleans route, as well as the Illini and Saluki routes that run on the same tracks from Chicago to Carbondale, the Chicago Tribune’s John Hilkevitch reported.

The complaint says in total, the delays amounted to 26 days, Hilkevitch reported.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), a transportation specialist, says he is trying to use diplomacy to resolve the issue.

“CN owns the rail line, and so we cannot tell CN to get out of the way,” Lipinski said.

Lipinski says the answer involves both pressure and persuasion.

“I think that we can work something out,” he said. “I’m hopeful that CN will cooperate.”

Lipinski says a similar problem with CN and Metra trains seems to be improving in the Heritage Corridor, and he hopes the problem will also be settled with Amtrak.

Meanwhile, CN says it will respond to the complaint by Amtrak early next month.

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