Chicago Sun-Times

Metra's terrible-no-good-very-bad week

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Metra had a terrible week, all apparently due to circumstances beyond its control.

On Wednesday morning, a ticket seller reported that an
armed man had boarded the express Loop-bound Burlington Northern train.
The ensuing police search that delayed thousands of passengers ended peacefully when officers discovered the gunman
actually was an armed U.S. Secret Service agent.

Later that same night, an Amtrak train derailed south of Union Station, delaying Metra trains going to the south and southwest suburbs.

Friday, sub-zero temperatures and a freight derailment in Buffalo Grove caused widespread problems and cut North Central service for the day. Thousands of passengers were stranded in the bitter cold.

Will we have trains to and from Antioch by Monday? Metra expects to, but check Metra's web site for service advisories.

It's hard to say what Metra could do to prevent this sort of thing -- since there were outside causes. The best thing to do if you're a passenger is always dress for the weather and make sure you have enough to read.

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The 4:50 Milwaukee west line train yesterday (2/10/2009) had power problems that first delayed the train, then had all the passengers get off at Schaumburg.

I think that Metra is totally unprepared for evacuation procedures. This particlar situation was not an an emergency, but if it had been, injuries would no doubt have occured.

After the conductor had everyone on the first car get off, we watched as the other cars very slowly emptied. The word to evacuate obviously moved slowly to the back of the train.

What would've happened if time were of the essence in evacuting the train?

May I suggest that the money that is paying for the unnecesary unnouncements of trains be put towards training Metra crews how to handle train evacuations.

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This page contains a single entry by Mary Wisniewski published on January 17, 2009 1:47 PM.

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