Following a push on Capitol Hill to expand rail safety investigations to include all major railroads in the country, two of those railroads with thousands of miles of track in Nebraska, are staying away from the debate.

Last month, in a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer asked the NTSB to widen its probe of Norfolk Southern and add among others Union Pacific and Burlington Northern.

Asked by News Channel Nebraska if expanding the probe is necessary, Burlington Northern has not responded.

Union Pacific did not directly address our question, but instead released the following statement:

“Union Pacific shares the same goals as our customers and the communities we serve - to deliver every railcar safely. As a common carrier, we are required by federal law to transport chemicals and other hazardous commodities that Americans use daily, including fertilizer and chlorine, and 99.9% of all hazardous material shipped by rail reach safely their destination.”

First and foremost, Schumer wants to know if more government oversight is needed asking, “How have recent deregulatory pushes contributed to those derailments and increase in death.”

Schumer cites statistics that find over the past five years, “13,000 injuries or worse…2,768 deaths attributed to freight rail accidents and incidents.”