Metra CEO Don Orseno posted a statement to the transit agency’s website Thursday apologizing to customers for an “unprecedented” shutdown of Union Station on Wednesday evening that halted all trains for about 30 minutes.
Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, the main server of Amtrak’s dispatching system went down, which prohibited any train movement in or out of Union Station, according to Metra. The agency first tried to reboot the server, but it didn’t work, so it shifted to a backup server.
“With no warning, Metra was forced to halt operations for six lines for about 30 minutes,” according to the statement. “Such a shutdown is unprecedented — we can’t remember a time when the entire station was shutdown for so long.”
Once trains began running again, some were sent out as soon as they were full rather than sticking to the schedule, according to the statement. Other trains were canceled or delayed by up to 45 minutes through the evening, leaving Union Station packed with commuters.
“We are sincerely sorry for last night’s aggravation,” Orseno said in the statement.