CTA union president: Train operator indicates she was ‘extremely tired’ before crash

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The president of the CTA workers union says the Blue Line train operator involved in Monday’s derailment indicated that she was “extremely tired” before the train crashed.

If she dozed off,  then other safety measures should have stopped the train and he says they did not.

The operator has been on the job only a year and was working the graveyard shift known as the dead man’s shift.  She had 17 hours off and had been at the controls for about 6 hours when the accident happened.  She had been working a lot of hours and may have fallen asleep.

At that time, a bumping post should have stopped the train.

“The bumping post would have been pushed and stopped. What I see is that didn’t happen and the bumping post actually became a catapult,” said Robert Kelly, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308. That “catapult” is what made the train jump the tracks and land on the escalator.

Kelly says all indications are the operator was not speeding and that drugs and alcohol weren’t a factor.



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