U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is asking the railroad industry to review its safety procedures. This is because of the derailment in Glenview on the Fourth of July which was, according to the Union Pacific Railroad, caused by a sun kink – when the welded track became so hot and had no room to expand that it buckled. The Glenview derailment caused coal cars to pile up on a bridge and the bridge to collapse, killing two occupants of a car on the street below.
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Safety on railroads is mostly the purview of the railroads, since they operate on private property. Durbin is asking the Association of American Railroads to review how tracks are inspected, and what happens when imperfections are found, and to share that information with the communities in which the railroads operate. The Federal Railroad Administration issued an advisory on heat buckling last week, shortly after Durbin and U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) asked the agency to increase efforts to ensure railroads are properly equipped to maintain safety in conditions such as extreme.