Metra warns more delays while lawmakers grill rail line CEO

Metra rail line issued another cold weather alert today, warning passengers of temperature-related speed restrictions and mechanical problems. That means expect delays.  At the same time, lawmakers in Chicago are shaking the company up and telling it to fix their problems.

The cold, snow, and wind is adding up to tough winter for many and especially for Metra commuters. Rail line officials say most of the Metra delays were the result of track related problems on brake and switching systems.

Metra’s new boss faced an intense grilling Monday at a state hearing looking into the commuter railroad’s massive failures during these winter storms.

Lawmakers told Metra CEO Don Orseno that their constituents are greatly  dissatisfied with Metra’s recent performance and its inadequate customer communications related to cancelled trains, which often came too late for riders to make alternate plans.

Tonight, two state representatives are hosting a public hearing with Metra officials  tonight at 7:00  at the Naperville Municipal Center.

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1 Comment

  • Ed Matushek

    Weather has little to do with Metra's ineptness. Tonight on Metra's Rock Island Line, Train 415, the power to the engine broke down just as it pulled into Tinley Park's Oak Park Avenue Station. After starting up and arriving at the Tinley Park 80th Avenue Station, the power was lost again, preventing the exit doors from opening. Rather than opening the doors for two cars of passengers, the train departed for Mokena without the conductor opening the doors, giving Tinley Park commuters an unwanted ride to Mokena, leaving many passengers stranded with their autos parked two miles away. Never in my thirty years of commuting have I witnessed such incompetence.

    All the weather has done is magnify the lack of maintenance and capital improvements on both the switches and the locomotives.

    When the weather passes, Metra will still be unreliable.

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