Friday, June 18, 2021

Commuter train problems in Chicago, Washington


Students who use public transit, like Metra trains in Chicago, might be a little late getting home this afternoon, and those in Washington, D.C., who try to use the Metro subway might have a few issues with transportation tomorrow.

Washington Metro (Michael Johnson/iStock)

In Chicago, an outbound Metra BNSF train hit and killed a man at about 3:30 this afternoon near the border between the Little Village neighborhood and Cicero, the Chicago Tribune reports, citing authorities. The accident caused severe delays for commuters as they were trying to get home to vote in today’s general primary election.

The train was headed west, outbound from Chicago, toward Aurora. “Inbound and outbound trains have been cleared to proceed at restricted [walking] speed through the area of Cicero,” the agency noted on its website. “Trains are experiencing extensive delays due to train #1239 striking a pedestrian.”

Washington’s entire Metrorail system will shut down for at least 29 hours beginning at midnight tonight for emergency inspections, following a tunnel fire, the Baltimore Sun reports, citing Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J Wiedefeld.

The agency will inspect about 600 jumper cables associated with the third-rail power system. An electrical fire on Monday, involving a cable in the tunnel outside the McPherson Square Station on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines, caused no injuries. The system is expected to remain completely closed at least until Thursday’s normal scheduled opening at 5 AM.

“While the risk to the public is very low, I cannot rule out a potential life safety issue here, and that is why we must take this action immediately,” Mr Wiedefeld was quoted as saying. “When I say safety is our highest priority, I mean it. That sometimes means making tough, unpopular decisions, and this is one of those times. I fully recognize the hardship this will cause.”

Note that all six lines of the Metro will shut down, not just the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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