Senate Dems call for rail safety review after derailments

Lautenberg added that "[O]ur railways strengthen the economy by moving goods and people across the country, and we cannot overlook the critical role that safety plays in keeping our rail system moving.

“The 2008 law that I authored took important steps to address rail safety, but recent accidents have shown the need to continue examining safety and reducing the risk of accidents and fatalities,” he said.

The incidents that prompted the request for reviewing rail safety were derailments in Illinois and Maryland.

Durbin, who is the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, said it was important to review the safety of the entire system after the crashes. 

“An investigation into how railroads, the Federal Railroad Administration and state and local agencies work together to ensure the safety of rail passengers and freight will help us better oversee rail safety and help identify any gaps in our nation’s large and growing rail system,” he said. 

-This story was corrected from an earlier version that incorrectly identified Sen. Durbin's Senate ranking at 3:15 p.m.