Metra apologizes for BNSF changes, adds extra cars to morning rush trains

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Metra is apologizing to BNSF riders and implementing changes today after a new schedule caused chaos.

The railroad is adding an extra car to the following morning rush trains to help alleviate overcrowding: 1202, 1210, 1226, 1230, 1244 and 1262.

No plans, as of now, for changes to evening rush trains.

The problems started Monday after Metra made major schedule changes to the BNSF train line. The schedule revisions were made following the implementation of the new federally-mandated safety system called Positive Train Control (PTC), which automatically stops a train if the engineers exceed the speed limit.

Passengers reported the trains were so overcrowded that conductors were unable to walk through the aisles to collect tickets.

Metra says they are continuing to monitor the situation, and released the following message to their BNSF customers:

Dear Customers,

Please accept our apologies for the crowded conditions on some trains under the new BNSF line schedule. We know with major schedule revisions that changes may be needed as our customers get used to the schedule and adopt new travel patterns. This includes adding cars to some trains by subtracting cars from other trains (since we have a finite number of railcars).

However, we would first please ask for your patience. We have started to make adjustments, but we want to base major changes on more than just a few days' experiences. We are monitoring the situation very closely.

This schedule revision was prompted by the needs of the new federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) safety system. For more information about PTC and why these changes are needed, go to metrarail.com/PTC.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and thanks for riding Metra.