Service Disruption on Blue Line O’Hare Branch

April 15, 2008

A southbound O'Hare branch CTA Blue Line train experienced mechanical problems during this morning's rush period resulting in a significant disruption to Blue Line rail service. The mechanical problem occurred at approximately 8:10 a.m. as the southbound train was approaching the Clark/Lake subway station in the Loop.

The train was forced to stop, blocking southbound trains that followed. As CTA staff worked to resolve the mechanical problem and reroute train traffic around the defective train, there were reports that some customers on board a stopped train were exiting. Because CTA trains operate on an electrified third rail, for safety reasons it was necessary to shut off power on both the northbound and southbound tracks from UIC-Halsted to Damen on customers left the train.

Over the last eight months, the CTA and the Chicago Fire Department have conducted several safety drills in a continuing effort to improve emergency coordination. The drills have included simulated evacuations in the Blue Line subway.

Customers on four trains that were in the subway when power was removed were evacuated via emergency exits with the aid of CTA staff and the Chicago Fire Department. Shuttle bus service was implemented for Blue Line riders between the UIC-Halsted and Damen stations to substitute for rail service.

Power was restored to the Blue Line subway shortly before noon.

Service will be back to normal for evening rush service. Due to this morning's disruption, Blue Line riders boarding in the Loop will be allowed to ride free during the evening rush.

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