Blue Line derailment: Train not speeding, brake system engaged

The National Transportation Safety Board says the braking system of the CTA Blue Line train that crashed Monday at O’Hare Airport was engaged and the train apparently was not speeding.

An emergency stop was activated automatically to slow the train down, but investigators do not know why it failed to stop the train befors it crashed and ran up the escalator.

Investigators say 25 miles an hour was an appropriate speed.

They still do not know what tripped the emergency stop.  That is one of many questions they will be posing to the train operator when they interview her later today.

Last night NTSB investigators interviewed the towermen who were stationed at the end of the track who saw the train come into the station.  But they say they did not see anything out of line.

The train operator has told her union representatives that she was extremely tired during her shift yesterday, and there are reports that she may have dozed off at the controls.

The NTSB says it is in the process of downloading video from dozens of cameras on and around the train that will be sent to Washington D.C. for analysis.

The NTSB hopes to be able to finish gathering evidence today so that it can release the train to the CTA, so it can begin the process of removing the train.  That will be a tedious process because it will require cutting apart the front car to remove it.

There is still no time frame for when the O’Hare station will reopen.  Until then passengers will continue to be shuttled back and forth from the Rosemont station.

 

3 comments

  • Independent Voter

    Bringing politics to an article that has no relevance to the topic on hand. Shows how much intelligence "those people" have in their brains. As for the main topic on hand, the train operator should be fired for her disregard for the safety of the passengers as well as those at the airport for her exhaustion. If someone is that tired, she should have informed her supervisor that a) she was unfit for duty, and b) go home and call in for a sick day to recover. I presume this incident is not the first nor the last time an employee has been "exhausted" and taken controls of equipment putting all riders at risk due to their "exhaustion".

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