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

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.

  • Bill Figel

    Seemed like the outer rim communities of the Chicagoland area went down like dominoes to CN. Was there no chance to look down the track to see if this might happen?

  • Afro

    Perhaps Canadian National is trying to run a safe operation and Amtrak has some road rage but on the other hand, why should a foreign entity even be allowed to own any part of the US? The American business Politicians are selling us out.

    • Spanky

      Do you also believe that no American companies should be able to own any factories, land, etc., in foreign countries?

  • Vicky Kujawa

    Where is ‘New Orelans’…..?

  • Roberta Waker

    Chicago was primarily responsible for the sale of EJ&E to CN; now they are paying a price. Maybe the people that run Chicago/Crook County should concentrate on THEIR problems instead of causing more for US. They made our nice peaceful communities a living hell with the noise and congestion because THEY wanted less train traffic. The Environmental Impact Study was a joke.

  • juju

    There sure is some pointed commentary listed here.

  • Spanky

    “High Speed Rail will make it all better!”

    We can’t afford our existing local and long-haul passenger rail systems. They all lose money except for along the Boston-NYC-DC-Philadelphia route.

    HSR is just a scam – a way to give money to political contributors.

  • Fretting Over Freighters: Amtrak Files Complaint Over City of New Orleans Delays | NOLA DEFENDER

    […] Crescent City by nightfall. But that neat, poetic timeline is apparently in jeopardy. According to Chicago media, Amtrak filed an official complaint against Canadian National that says freight trains are […]

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