Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

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  by doepack
 
Tadman wrote:Heads-up, commuters on BNSF and SWS - I drove by CUS tonight on some errands, and the old post office appears to be on fire. That may or may not affect your ride in tomorrow morning (Monday 7-30).
Tribune reports fire has been contained, and is of no further threat. Full speed ahead for the Monday morning commute...
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I must say on my Daily walk (home to W Hinsdale and return; 2 miles), I started wondering "where's the action". The METRA address system at Clarendon started in with something like "track obstruction".

This appears to be a major delay owing to a crane replacing a signal bridge at Westmont Cass Ave toppling; so far I have not heard any trains passing in either direction (I can hear them from my home) since my "what's up" at about 2PM (I could see 1233 stopped at Hinsdale).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/15/ ... on-tracks/

Think I'll take a walk over there and see what's going on (forget driving).
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I walked over to Westmont to observe the scene. The crane was removed from the tracks and they were open as of 430P. I talked off-camera with an ABC News reporter John Garcia; said I held management positions with a railroad for eleven years and suggested he have a producer check with a BNSF spokesman to determine if the crane operator was an outside contractor.

It was and ABC7 (WLS-TV) properly reported that at 6PM.

The first EB through was Amtrak #4(13) at 445P; first WB was BNSF 1237 at about 450P. After that, as I was walking home, "the flood began".
  by AMTKHawkeye
 
I was on BNSF 1266 on Wednesday - we sat at Downers Grove Main St. for 3 hours 58 minutes waiting for the scene to be cleared.
  by lstone19
 
The CTA's efforts at spin-control with this are quite comical. CTA is trying to downplay the seriousness of the issue saying it wasn't a detailment, just a "split-switch issue" which IMHO can be far more serious.
Media reports are unclear but from the video and description, it appears the lead truck of a SB train went the wrong way on a crossover with the rear truck and the rest of the train going the way the switch was set. And while technically all wheels were on "A" rail, they all weren't on the correct rail. With the car split between two tracks, the car was completely outside the "clearance envelope". In a tunnel or at an overpass, the car could have found itself wrapped around a support column. So yes, far more serious than a simple derailment where the wheels stay next to the rail.
And then to make it worse, from <http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 5146.story>, "The operator immediately recognized the problem and stopped the train, [CTA spokeswoman Tammy] Chase said. The operator then walked to the last car of the train and tried to back up the train to get the front car off track No. 3 and off the crossover switch and back onto track No. 2, Chase said." What? The operator just tried to back up???!!! The front truck that picked the switch just ran through the other end of the crossover and the operator somehow thought just back up and all would be right? From the video (this was a SB train but the video starts with the train north of the crossover), it appears it was backed all the way to the other side of the crossover. At this point, coming back through the run-through switch, they're probably very lucky not to have really derailed. Snagging on third rail in the crossover was also a possibility.
It's not clear if the operator did this on his/her own or with permission but it still strikes me as very, very stupid.
  by Amtrak7
 
All South Shore train service has been suspended between South Bend and East Chicago because of the loss of commercial power from NIPSCO in Porter County. The incident may also have damaged equipment in our substations. NIPSCO estimates now that electrical service may not be restored until mid to late afternoon. We are providing train service between Chicago and East Chicago.

So far the following trains have been annulled:

Westbound Trains 502

504 between South Bend and Chicago and possibly Train 506 between South Bend and East Chicago; and Westbound Train 606 between Michigan City and East Chicago.

Eastbound Train 503 and possibly Train 505 between East Chicago and South Bend; and eastbound Train 603 and possibly Train 605 between East Chicago and Michigan City.

We will update this message as new information becomes available.

NICTD regrets any inconvenience caused by this temporary service disruption.

Updated at: 10/14/2012 11:33 AM
  by justalurker66
 
South Shore Line train passengers can expect delays during rush hour Monday morning as the railroad continues to deal with damage to one of its substations caused by a downed power line in Porter.

Delays and cancellations of trains started just after 7 a.m. Sunday when a high-voltage power line dropped across a bridge over Ind. 49 and the South Shore Line. The downed line shorted out a South Shore substation about two miles east of the Dune Park station and damaged equipment there, said John Parsons, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District planning and marketing director.

. . .

Trains are delayed because other South Shore substations are being used to deliver power to that portion of the line, but it's not enough for trains to run at full power.
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/port ... dcdd6.html


This is the Furnessville substation ... which is along the single track section of the South Shore. The nearest substations are Wickliffe (to the west at Odgen Dunes) and Eastport (to the east at Carroll Ave/Michigan City). The next substations away from these two points are Madison (to the west in Gary) and Tee Lake (east of Michigan City). The Wickliffe and Furnessville substations normally share the responsibility of providing power for the 9 miles of track (12.3 track miles) between the two substations. Furnessville and Eastport share the responsibility of providing power for the 9.6 miles (~11 track miles) east to Michigan City.

Until Furnessville is fully on line trains will certainly be restricted.
  by ohioriverrailway
 
Not exactly a delay - but this was on the Metra website this morning:

Train #308, scheduled to arrive Chicago at 7:30 a.m., will express from Winnetka to Chicago due to a medical emergency. Train #310, scheduled to arrive Chicago at 7:42 a.m. will accommodate passengers between Winnetka and Chicago.

Any thoughts as to why a medical emergency couldn't have been handled locally?
  by lstone19
 
Monday evening was a bit of a mess on the CUS north side lines. Around 6:00pm, an equipment move (possibly the deadhead from 2229 from Franklin Park to become 2245 (6:10pm departure to Elgin which cancelled)), derailed on the crossover from Track 2 to Track 3 just south of Lake Street. From pictures the Sun-Times had on their website, it appears to have been a case of one truck went one way and the next the other way. Lots of other delays for the rest of the evening although some it seemed to be a separate mechanical issue.
This morning, Amtrak crews were working on the switch with all service going in on just one track (the one next to the Butler Bros. track - Butler Bros. track is the one farthest from the river but can only reach station tracks 1, 3, and 5) and going out on the track that loops out by the river as it passes under Lake Street.
  by doepack
 
ohioriverrailway wrote:Not exactly a delay - but this was on the Metra website this morning:

Train #308, scheduled to arrive Chicago at 7:30 a.m., will express from Winnetka to Chicago due to a medical emergency. Train #310, scheduled to arrive Chicago at 7:42 a.m. will accommodate passengers between Winnetka and Chicago.

Any thoughts as to why a medical emergency couldn't have been handled locally?
It probably was, it's just that 308's delay likely spilled over into 310's slot, which is scheduled to leave Winnetka 8 minutes after 308, according to the schedule. So to avoid delays to other trains, it made more sense to just highball 308 in, and "drop its shorts at Winnetka" for 310...
  by ohioriverrailway
 
doepack wrote:
ohioriverrailway wrote:Not exactly a delay - but this was on the Metra website this morning:

Train #308, scheduled to arrive Chicago at 7:30 a.m., will express from Winnetka to Chicago due to a medical emergency. Train #310, scheduled to arrive Chicago at 7:42 a.m. will accommodate passengers between Winnetka and Chicago.

Any thoughts as to why a medical emergency couldn't have been handled locally?
It probably was, it's just that 308's delay likely spilled over into 310's slot, which is scheduled to leave Winnetka 8 minutes after 308, according to the schedule. So to avoid delays to other trains, it made more sense to just highball 308 in, and "drop its shorts at Winnetka" for 310...
Mmmm - OK, that makes total sense now. Thanks.
  by justalurker66
 
From the NICTD Website Delays page ...
All NICTD Train service has been suspended for majority of the day on account of a accident on Interstate 90 a semi truck losing a load of steel on the tracks east of Gary Metro Station.
As soon as service has resumed we will update this web site immediately. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  by justalurker66
 
NICTD is working to get one track open in Gary ...
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/illi ... 330a1.html
Crews are working to remove a beam and pole on South Shore tracks in Gary after a steel coil rolled off of a semi on the Indiana Toll Road early Saturday, halting all train service on the commuter rail line.

According to Indiana State Police for the Toll Road, just before 5 a.m., a tractor-trailer jack-knifed on Interstate 90 and lost its load of steel coils. The coils rolled down the embankment, breaking the electrical lines and damaging the tracks below.

...
No South Shore trains were involved in the accident and no passengers were injured.

John Parsons, spokesman for NICTD, said around 1 p.m. that crews were working to remove a damaged beam and catenary pole from the tracks.
  by ohioriverrailway
 
If it wasn't for bad luck the South Shore wouldn't have any.
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