WASHINGTON – Three senior Democratic senators have asked the General Accountability Office – informally known as the congressional watchdog – to review the state of railroad safety and how the Federal Railroad Administration, state rail safety agencies and other stakeholders cooperate to ensure the safe transportation of rail freight and passengers.

The review as requested by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), chair of the Surface Transportation Subcommittee; Jay Rockefeller(D-WVa.), chair of the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee; and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the assistant majority leader and second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate.

Lautenberg said that the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 “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.”