A combination of rain, ice and snow made for a slushy and cumbersome commute Friday morning as the first winter storm of the season made its way through the area. CTA maintained bus and rail service throughout an extended morning rush period while additional personnel worked from the early morning hours throughout the day to keep facilities, platforms and bus turnarounds clear.
The Red Line experienced two delays related to weather. At approximately 7 a.m. power was removed from the Red Line tracks at Harrison while a report of smoke was investigated. Debris was found on the southbound tracks and power was restored at approximately 7:43 a.m.
In a separate incident, smoke was reported at the Chicago station on the Red Line. Trains in the tunnels were berthed at platforms to allow customers to exit and then the power was removed while crews investigated. Red Line trains were rerouted to the elevated line from Fullerton to Roosevelt in both directions and CTA provided a bus shuttle serving Red Line stations in between Fullerton and Roosevelt.
The cause of the smoke was found to be two third rail chairs which had gotten wet due to the rain and snow. Power was restored and the Red Line resumed operation in the subway at approximately 8:40 a.m. Crews are continuing to monitor third rail chairs throughout the day to help prevent the problem from reoccurring.
CTA buses made their way along their slushy routes at reduced speeds for safety. A few minor weather-related accidents were reported but overall buses maintained service throughout rush hour while customers heeded CTA's advice to allow extra travel time and dress appropriately for the weather.
Ridership throughout the morning was reported as moderate to heavy on both the bus and rail system.
Crews will continue to work to keep platforms and facilities clear as the snow and ice continue to accumulate throughout the day and CTA encourages business owners or residents near neighborhood bus stops to help in the effort to keep them clear.
Along with other city and state agencies, CTA will monitor current and forecasted weather conditions and provide service-related information to customers to help prepare for the evening commute. As the storm front continues to make its way through the region CTA reminds customers to allow extra travel time and dress appropriately for the weather conditions.# # #