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CTA taking more safety precautions after Blue Line crash

The NTSB said a runaway CTA train was left with the power on before it slammed into another train in Forest Park, and questions whether a transit agency policy may be to blame. The agency said that train was left in a setting that allowed it to move even though emergency brakes had been applied.
In its preliminary safety recommendations to the to the CTA  the NTSB found that the CTA routinely leaves trains powered-up while stored.

The Chicago Transit Authority says after an exhaustive internal review this week it had already begun following two of the urgent safety recommendations offered up Friday afternoon by the National Transportation Safety Board. Chicago Transit Authority spokesman, Brian Steele, says the transit authority has already reviewed its operating procedures for storing unoccupied cars one of the NTSB’s recommendations.

CTA engineers have already implemented redundant means of stopping unintended rail car movements.

But Steele and the transit authority take issue with one of the NTSB’s assertions that unoccupied CTA trains are routinely left powered up in storage with a brake setting that would allow movement through a mechanical train stop mechanism.

Steele says out of service trains are left powered on only for a limited time.

But Friday’s recommendation does not resolve the central mystery of what’s  come to be known as the “Ghost train.”

Investigators are still working to understand how the driverless unoccupied train traveled half a mile Monday morning inexplicably making it through two track interlocking without being stopped by metal “trip strips” designed to keep trains from moving.

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