Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Mr. President and colleagues, I will be calling for hearings to investigate the cause of the recent train derailment on a rail bridge over the Schuylkill River. I've had concerns about the condition of CSX railways and bridges for some time. Even before this incident, my office has been preparing to do work on this issue in the new session.

We received a lot of calls and concerns from people about not only the location of the recent derailment but also a number of attached rail bridges such as the one on 25th and Washington in which myself and other elected officials, including Councilman Curtis Jones, the Chairman of Public Safety, will be touring today. These bridges are falling down and are in the state of disrepair.

More importantly, as a result of the derailment of the CSX railcars the other day, we could have possibly had a catastrophe resulting in the loss of life. And so we will be calling hearings. A lot of people pass the buck and say the federal government is responsible for CSX bridges and railroads, but I'm a firm believer that if you operate your business within the confines of the City of Philadelphia, we should have a level of holding them accountable. And so I will be partnering with Councilman Curtis Jones, Chairman of Public Safety, and myself as Chairman of Transportation to examine the role that CSX -- how they maintain their bridges, their railways, their infrastructure, what's the City's plan in the event that there is a catastrophe. I mean, if you were on the Schuylkill Expressway driving east or west this past weekend, I mean, to be honest with you, I think it was a shame to see these two railcars just hanging on the side. Even in the midst of it snowing, they still didn't come out and address it until yesterday. And I think to be in an urban environment, I think in certain places this wouldn't have been accepted. They probably would have brought a helicopter out real quick.

This company is from Jacksonville, Florida. So this isn't a an easy feat. I know it's going to take some hard work and a commitment to hold them accountable, but if you look at how they maintain their bridges, particularly the one in South Philadelphia -- we'll be touring it again today -- but also throughout the southwest part of my district, filled with trash, debris, and I think it's just a lack of respect of how they operate in the City of Philadelphia.

And so I do move for the adoption of this resolution, and we will be hosting hearings to address this issue of CSX and how they operate in the City of Philadelphia.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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