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Plainfield Board Schedules Special Meeting with Hultgren

Trustees, congressman to discuss road closures, Canadian National trains.

A Canadian National train was parked on the tracks near downtown Plainfield for hours last week. Credit: Jim Racich
A Canadian National train was parked on the tracks near downtown Plainfield for hours last week. Credit: Jim Racich
The Plainfield Village Board will have a special meeting with Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-14) at 11 a.m. Friday, May 16, at Village Hall, 24401 W. Lockport St.

According to the agenda, trustees and Hultgren are set to discuss various issues, including local road closures and Canadian National trains.

Recently, officials have voiced concerns over CN trains stopping on the tracks and causing traffic delays, and being left parked and unattended for several hours at a time near downtown Plainfield.
Vicky Polito May 14, 2014 at 08:50 PM
I agree that at the very least, while we have to compromise with the fact of CN, they have to compromise with us and NEVER leaved equipment/trains unsupervised, unsecured, unattended. It seems obvious that the reason one crew left and it took them roughly a full work shift to get a replacement crew there to take over was MONEY. CN doesn't want to pay to have enough crews to do what it takes, period. So, they avoid paying for"extra" workers and take gambles with our safety, not theirs. Wouldn't it be good if companies like CN actually DID create jobs for the people, to start with by staffing to demand/need?
ja mee May 15, 2014 at 09:19 AM
This shouldn't be a surprise... this is why many of us protested CN taking control of that line... they do this all over the country! Shame on them for their disregard and irresponsibility!
Matt B. May 15, 2014 at 04:47 PM
What exactly are people complaining about with the trains? They were left parked and unattended, but NOT UNSECURED like a previous post said. The train that was left parked and unattended was NOT blocking traffic. Where is the danger in a locked and therefore secure, train on the tracks? It doesn't seem any more dangerous than leaving your vehicle running in your driveway, which people do all the time to let their cars warm up in the winter. Actually, a locked but running car is likely easier to break into and drive off than a locked and running locomotive. Engineers have work-hour limits just like tractor-trailer drivers do, for safety reasons. Would you rather have an engineer who is over hours and could be suffering form exhaustion drive the train and cause a serious accident? Remember the O'Hare Blue Line? It costs more to shut down the engine and re-start it with diesel fuel than to just leave it running. The train from Feb that was stopped and blocked traffic was due to a switch issue which can be caused by the extreme winter conditions that we had. Metal and extreme cold do not mix well. Metra was even experiencing delays due to extreme cold. How many trains roll across this area every day/week with no issues? I don't see any stories about that.
John May 15, 2014 at 05:42 PM
Matt, I personally don't spend much energy on the idea of trains being idle on the tracks, but I do understand other people's concerns. The train wasn't blocking traffic, that's fine. The locomotive was running, but locked. Whether that means it was secure or not is it's own argument. Locks are only an inconvenience if someone REALLY wants to break into something (especially with such a long window of time). To keep things simple, lets go ahead and say the locomotive is secure, and no one can break into the cabin. That still leaves the issue of dozens upon dozens of unsupervised rail cars sitting on the tracks, carrying unknown cargo. The photo seems to show a lot of tanker cars...are they full of milk or propane? I know I wouldn't want that sitting near my house for an entire day with no one keeping an eye on it. No one is disputing that the rail crews need their proper rest, safety is the paramount concern for everyone here, crews and citizens alike. People are just looking for a solution to the problem that doesn't end with the rail line saying "shift's up, we're outta here" and leaving 10,000 tons of fun parked downtown for hours at a time with no one taking responsibility for it.
Ron Jidzny May 20, 2014 at 04:33 PM
Worrying about nothing here than simply a distraction. Why doesn't the Village Board do what Crest Hill is doing? The City Council Monday approved a $34.8 million budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year...The budget is an 18 percent decrease from last year, which the city approved at $42.4 million. “We are planning many projects and improvements to our infrastructure for our city to provide better services to our residents,” Mayor Ray Soliman said. “We also will be offering the property tax rebate in the spring of 2015 and we still have a surplus of $143,259 in our general fund.” http://www.theherald-news.com/2014/05/19/2014-15-budget-approved-for-crest-hill/aj8r6p1/

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