Chicago – The Nation’s Freight Handler

Published on June 18th, 2018 by Andrew L. Hughes

In 1914, the poet Carl Sandburg published his great poem, “Chicago”, which included the following:

Hog Butcher for the World,

Tool maker, Stacker of Wheat,

Player with Railroads and the Nation’s

Freight Handler;

Stormy, husky, brawling,

City of the Big Shoulders

Sandburg’s iconic poem was written over 100 years ago, and yet today, Chicago remains the busiest rail freight gateway in the United States.  Remarkably, one-third of all long-haul rail traffic in the country passes through Chicago. Six of the seven Class I railroads operate in Chicago, including:

  • BNSF Railway (facilities at Cicero, Corwith, Willow Springs and Logistics Park-Chicago)
  • Union Pacific Railroad (facilities include Yard Center, Global I, Global II, Canal Street, Markham and Chicago IMX)
  • Norfolk Southern (4 intermodal facilities, including 47th Street, 63rd Street, Landers Yard and Calumet)
  • CSX Transportation (intermodal yards at 59th Street and at Bedford Park)
  • Canadian National Railway (yards in Harvey and Joliet), and
  • Canadian Pacific Railway (intermodal facilities at Franklin Park and at Schiller Park)

Along with passenger service provided by Metra and Amtrak, there are also over a dozen belt, regional and short line railroads operating around Chicago.  On an average day, Chicago handles over 37,500 rail freight cars and that number is expected to almost double within 20 years. As of 2016, there were 16,900 active railroad employees in Illinois, the majority of which live and work around Chicagoland. Illinois only trails Texas in the total number of active railroad employees.

Why Would I Need a Diesel Fumes Lawyer?

In 2002, it was estimated that locomotives emitted over 23,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 792 tons of particulates into Chicago’s air.  Diesel exhaust is now classified as a known carcinogen by the World Health Organization.  Because of their regular proximity to these diesel emissions, Chicago-based railroad employees suffer dangerous exposures on a daily basis.  When you combine the high number of Chicago-based railroad employees with these many tons of diesel fumes and particulates, it only makes sense that our railroad cancer law firm is based in Chicago.

If you or a loved one has worked for a railroad in the Chicago area and been diagnosed with cancer, leukemia or a pulmonary disorder, contact an FELA diesel fumes lawyer at Diesel Injury Law today to find out if you have a claim.  All consultations are free. And you only have to pay for our services if we obtain a verdict or settlement on your behalf. Call 312-877-5588 today.

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