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SPRINGFIELD — Illinois is taking an aggressive approach when it comes to ensuring railroad safety, state officials and railroad industry officials said Tuesday.

In a news conference at the Capitol, state Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, outlined rail safety efforts less than three months after a rail accident near Galena.

“We want to recognize all of the positive efforts being made by the railroad industry in conjunction with local and state officials to ensure the safety of our communities,” Bradley said.

A freight train carrying crude oil derailed near Galena, which caused 21 of the cars to derail and caused seven to rupture, five of which caught fire.

The announcement came in the wake of a passenger train derailment in Philadelphia that killed seven and injured nearly 200.

The railroad industry is training local police and fire departments how to take care of train derailments, hazardous material spills and more.

State Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, said trains are an important part of transportation in Illinois and they need to be safe.

“Railroads have shown a good faith effort to work with first responders to make sure if anything happens those first responders are prepared,” Harris said.

Bradley has proposed a resolution that asks the railroad industry to keep educating public officials on how they take care of hazardous materials in standard operations and in the case of spills.

The legislation is House Resolution 512.

jordan.maddox@lee.net / 217-557-9650

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