Cause of Galena train derailment was faulty wheel - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cause of Galena train derailment was faulty wheel

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GALENA, Ill. (KWWL) -

In a recent interview with KWQC, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said the CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe told him a malfunctioning wheel caused the train derailment south of Galena.

Durbin also asked the executive what his company is doing to prevent similar derailments from happening in the future.

"BNSF, on its own, voluntarily, in a 1-year period of time, are going to get rid of the oldest tank cars, the ones that are most dangerous, the flimsiest," Durbin said. "And over a 3-year period, they're going to basically transition all of their tank cars into sturdier, safer cars that can be used with less concern about safety."

City leadership in Galena is also pushing for major changes to be made.

They drafted a resolution at their city council meeting Monday, urging federal lawmakers and regulators to enact stricter regulations on train cars coming through their city and county.

"If it would've happened near town, it would've been a disaster," said Mayor Terry Renner.

"I know that these kinds of regulation changes have been asked for in the past and they've kind of been pushed aside and maybe not taken as seriously," said Emily Painter, a Galena City Council member. "And I think the more pressure we can put on more legislative branches and the more communities we can get behind these efforts, the better chance we'll have of success."

Another part of the equation for the city is the money they've spent during the derailment response and cleanup.

Officials say they don't have a solid estimate yet, but they said they wouldn't be surprised to see that number jump in to the hundreds of thousands.

BNSF has said they'll pay the city back for all of those costs.

And it looks like the end is in sight for the city as well.

"We expect everything to be back to normal in the next month -- or four to six weeks," said Renner.

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