Sun-Times Media Wire
Rail service at Union Station is slowly returning to normal after a switching problem hampered service on three Metra lines during the evening rush.
The switching problem prevented rush-hour trains stored in the Metra rail yard from entering Union Station to pick up passengers, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.
The issue crippled service on the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, SouthWest Service and Heritage Corridor lines, and packed Union Station with waiting passengers during the evening rush, according to Metra’s website.
As of about 6 p.m., crews had made some progress to fix the problem, and trains are now entering and leaving Union Station at a faster rate, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.
Riders were urged to find alternative transportation at the height of the rush, but trains are on the move again Thursday night, though
delayed between 20 and 50 minutes as of Thursday evening.
Service on some trains has been canceled or combined, according to the commuter rail service.
Amtrak, which controls the switching and signal system leaving Union Station, will continue to work through the evening to fix the switches, officials said.
“We’re anticipating a normal rush hour tomorrow,” Magliari said.
Meantime, here’s what we’re hearing on social media:
BNSF Advisory - Trains Entering and Exiting Union Station on the BNSF Delayed http://t.co/7onDHeRl6Y— Metra (@Metra) December 5, 2013
SWS Advisory - Inbound/Outbound Trains at Union Station Delayed http://t.co/7onDHeRl6Y— Metra (@Metra) December 5, 2013
BNSF Advisory - Inbound/Outbound Trains At Union Station Delayed http://t.co/7onDHeRl6Y— Metra (@Metra) December 5, 2013
HC Advisory - Inbound/Outbound Trains at Union Staion Delayed http://t.co/7onDHeRl6Y— Metra (@Metra) December 5, 2013
Metra says it could be another 45-60 minutes before signal problems fixed. Affecting BNSF, SW and Heritage Corridor trains at Union Station— Jeff Mayes (@midnightdog) December 5, 2013
LeeAnn Shelton contributed to this report.