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CN critics: Accident raises safety issues
Associated Press
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Published: 6/23/2009 12:00 AM

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Opponents of increasing freight-train traffic through residential areas say a deadly derailment in northern Illinois illustrates the need to boost safety on U.S. rail networks.

Several tank cars on the Canadian National Railway train derailed and exploded on the edge of Rockford Friday, killing one woman.

A coalition that opposed CN's recent purchase of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway line that swings around Chicago says the accident supports its contention that CN trains aren't safe enough.

The group, called TRAC, has long said that CN plans to run more trains on the EJ&E poses a safety risk.

CN spokesman Patrick Waldron says TRAC's characterization of CN's safety record is wrong. He says CN has one of the safest operations in North America.