CHICAGO (WLS) —
Computer signal issues have caused major Metra delays and service disruptions in and out of Union Station on Thursday, Metra said.
A communication issue between Amtrak’s computer system and the signal switches at the station halted all train movement about 8:30 a.m., according to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. All inbound and outbound service was initially stopped between Union Station and Western Avenue, affecting service on the Milwaukee District North, Milwaukee District West, BNSF, SouthWest Service and North Central Service.
According to Metra, a total of 172 trains carrying approximately 30,000 passengers are expected to move in and out of Union Station from 3:30 p.m. to the end of the day – and right now they’re only able to move in and out one at a time.
Trains were being moved using manual controls, according to an Amtrak spokesperson, “due to a communications issue with the automated system.”
“It is increasingly looking like it’s going to be a very difficult rush,” Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said.
Metra told riders to expect extensive delays and urged them to see alternate transportation.
Metra suggested several alternative transit options for riders impacted by these signal issues:
- The BNSF Line, which is the busiest, will implement their load-and-go service throughout the afternoon and even. Metra suggested the UP West Line as an alternative for BNSF riders
- The UP North might be an option for Milwaukee North Line and North Central riders
- People using the SouthWest and Heritage Corridor should consider the Rock Island Line
Metra said they will provide updates from Amtrak regarding a timeline for the restoration of its signal system as they receive them.
Riders may monitor service alerts on Twitter and on metrarail.com.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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