Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by justalurker66
 
Pacific 2-3-1 wrote:Murphy's Law is not likely to be repealed anytime soon.

Even it causes backups, I think they should take out the center track at O'Hare and just have two tracks and one very wide platform.
Reducing capacity does not seem to be a good answer. Plus if Murphy was on one of the side tracks the train would have had a different surface to violently end its run. The only way closing the center track would help would be if there was an overrun tunnel on both side tracks long enough that a train could be tripped and stopped before hitting anything else. Photos on http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/ohare.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; show buffers at the end of both side tracks (easily seen in separate photos http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/image ... hare07.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/image ... hare02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ).
  by justalurker66
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:This is a high profile dismissal - even though quite just. However in all likelihood, the ATU will progress the case through appeal first 'on the property', then off to an arbitration panel.
I'm sure it will go through the appropriate process ... if the union does not help there are enough ambulance chasers in Chicago who are willing to make a personal case. CTA's rule change (hard not to type that as CYA) could be used as an admission that "the system was against her" and it was the fault of CTA and the union for agreeing to work rules that led to the incident.
  by keithsy
 
justalurker66 wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:This is a high profile dismissal - even though quite just. However in all likelihood, the ATU will progress the case through appeal first 'on the property', then off to an arbitration panel.
I'm sure it will go through the appropriate process ... if the union does not help there are enough ambulance chasers in Chicago who are willing to make a personal case. CTA's rule change (hard not to type that as CYA) could be used as an admission that "the system was against her" and it was the fault of CTA and the union for agreeing to work rules that led to the incident.
The CTA has to mind their p's and q's, otherwise they will lose and this girl will prevail, which I pray for. I am horrified by the filthy vile things written of her by stupid people. That tells you the world we live in and whom we carry on public transport. I should know because I did the job. Public transport workers in the US and Canada are not respected.
  by keithsy
 
justalurker66 wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:This is a high profile dismissal - even though quite just. However in all likelihood, the ATU will progress the case through appeal first 'on the property', then off to an arbitration panel.
I'm sure it will go through the appropriate process ... if the union does not help there are enough ambulance chasers in Chicago who are willing to make a personal case. CTA's rule change (hard not to type that as CYA) could be used as an admission that "the system was against her" and it was the fault of CTA and the union for agreeing to work rules that led to the incident.
Pray that she and her Union prevail. Her name is public and will be added to lawsuits. I am not speculating nor do I know the laws of Illinois, but here in NY, a public employee is indemnified for acts in the course of their duties. I am just horrified by the terrible nasty things said of her. However, they enjoy free speech under the Constitution.
  by justalurker66
 
Lets keep it about the incident and not about you and your personal experiences. I understand from other transit employees and former employees that the job comes with its difficulties. But it also comes with responsibility.

Perhaps she should have been suspended without pay pending the final results of the NTSB report. But her own admissions and actions were what got her fired. Not an alleged general climate of hate against transit workers. I will give her credit for not lying about the O'Hare incident. She could have said "I tried to stop" focusing the investigation on the equipment instead of the operator. But she told the truth. She fell asleep and woke up at the bumper.
  by byte
 
The exact reason the operator was fired (per one of the news articles I read, which I'm too lazy to look up right now because it's 1 am) was that she was let go for not appearing at a disciplinary hearing. I'm guessing that she was advised to not show up as it would make appealing the inevitable termination easier. If she did show up and signed the dotted line acknowledging said wrongdoing, it might nullify appeal rights per the union's agreement with the CTA.
  by BrianLM007
 
The NTSB has filed a preliminary report. https://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/201 ... minary.pdf

Amongst other things, the fixed trip stop system appeared to be too close to the end of the track to allow the train to come to a complete stop. The train passed the trip at 26 MPH.

I'm just a bit surprised that these fixed trip systems aren't set further apart to stop a train at a higher speed. I'm not terribly familiar with the track configuration around the O'Hare Station, but it seems to me that these trips should be set up to allow a train going 25 MPH to get to a complete stop before hitting the bumping post and/or the speed limit approaching O'Hare should be lowered to a "Yard Limit" like speed (15 MPH or so).

Does anyone have access to a track diagram from that area the shows the signals and speed limits?
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
The problem with setting the fixed trip further from the end of track is that it would probably interfere with the train pulling in to the platform. On a stub track where the train has to pull almost all the way up, those trips are only good for low speed mishaps like accidental roll aways or someone loses control when they are trying to pull up further because they braked too soon. For trips to stop trains at higher speeds, they need some length of safety track beyond them. At O'Hare it looks like there is not much room on any track past where full length trains need to stop.

Maybe NTSB will recommend that the speed limit be reduced to no faster than what will allow the trains to stop when they pass a trip, along with positive train control to make sure trains are going no faster than that.
  by BrianLM007
 
I saw an article on Tribune's website (or paper, don't remember which) cutting the speed limit to 15 MPH in the area of O'Hare station already. Apparently the CTA raised the speed limit to 25 in the area a few years ago to allow two-car trains to clear an dead zone crossover in the area as 15 MPH wasn't fast enough for a two car train to clear without coming to a stop. This is not a problem with longer trains as at least one car is still powered on 4, 6 & 8 car trains going through the dead zone.
  by Tom6921
 
Perhaps CTA could allow 2 car trains to come in at 25 MPH while 4-8 car trains would have to come in at 15 MPH.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
The article:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi- ... 3865.story" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The CTA two weeks ago lowered the speed limit of trains entering the O’Hare station from 25 mph to 15 mph and moved the fixed trip arm further away from the bumper post, to provide a total of 61 feet in stopping distance.

Several veteran CTA rail operators told the Tribune that the 25 mph speed limit was established years ago, when the transit agency operated trains as short as two cars during overnight hours. The two-car trains needed that speed to carry them across a junction east of the O’Hare stop that lacked electricity, the rail operators said.

“The switch is so long that there is a dead spot in the traction power,’’ said Dave Harrison, a retired CTA motorman. “So they decided to let the trains go through there at 25 mph to make sure the shorter trains got through the dead spot.’’

Longer trains do not encounter the problem because some cars maintain contact with the electrified third rail. The CTA currently operates only six-car and eight-car trains on the Blue Line O’Hare branch.
Two car trains aren't an issue any more so it wouldn't make any sense to keep a speed limit of 25 mph for that reason alone.

The distance of 61 feet is probably as much as they could allow while leaving enough room for eight car trains to fit completely within the remaining platform space. I doubt that 61 feet would have been enough to guarantee that a train going 25 mph would stop before hitting the bumping post, but at 15mph, it might. That's slightly longer than one car length.

By the way, any time CTA gets mentioned in a newspaper, there's a link at http://www.chicago-l.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .
  by Tadman
 
When were two car trains an issue ever? I've never seen such on the blue line. Perhaps a shop move between ORD and Rosemont shops?
  by MACTRAXX
 
Tadman wrote:When were two car trains an issue ever? I've never seen such on the blue line. Perhaps a shop move between ORD and Rosemont shops?
Tad: Back in the 80s and before some CTA trains running off hours were the minimum two car trainsets...As ridership grew longer trains remained in operation for
more hours of service and today the CTA appears not to shorten trainsets during hours of low ridership - and I also think that they do not like to couple and uncouple
cars any more then they have to...

MACTRAXX
  by c604.
 
I remember seeing two car trains on the Blue line at least through 1993 - Sunday late afternoons 4 and/or 6 car trains would come into O'Hare then be broken down into 2 car sets.
  by byte
 
Tadman wrote:When were two car trains an issue ever? I've never seen such on the blue line. Perhaps a shop move between ORD and Rosemont shops?
If it's during the day and there's an idle train sitting in the middle track at O'Hare, it's sitting there because it's a spare trainset, in case one comes in and has something bad-ordered on it. If that were to happen, I imagine the operator would start their next run using the spare train in the middle track, then terminal personnel would deal with the bad-ordered equipment that just came in - possibly by cutting out whatever cars were bad and taking them to Rosemont yard for replacements. Hence the need for two-car trainsets to pass through turnouts/crossovers in that area.