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Lightning fire holds up 30,000 on Metra
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BNSF_1088
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Lightning fire holds up 30,000 on Metra
 
« on: Jul 22nd, 2003, 11:35am »
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Lightning fire holds up 30,000 on Metra  
CHICAGO -- Metra officials stood by their service record on Monday (July 21) after a lightning-strike fire at an electrical substation caused the second shutdown of Metra Electric service in less than a month, according to this report by Sufiya Abdur-Rahman and Brett McNeil that appeared in the Chicago Tribune.  
"It's an isolated incident," Metra spokesman Tom Miller said. "The Electric District runs 98 percent on time, pretty much, without fail. It's one of the best."  
 
Nearly 30,000 Metra Electric and South Shore Line passengers were left scrambling to get to their downtown jobs Monday morning. Full service from the South Side, south suburbs and northwest Indiana was restored by early afternoon.  
 
"This is like the second or third time within a month I'm having problems with Metra. It's just a major inconvenience," said Gina Smith, 37, of West Pullman, as she learned that trains would not arrive on time at the Kensington Station.  
 
"The reason we take Metra is because it is a nice ride, it is comfortable and it is convenient--for the most part," she said. "I think it's time I start considering other options."  
 
A lightning strike apparently started a fire at the electrical substation at 70th Street and Dorchester Avenue shortly after 4 a.m. Monday, Metra spokeswoman Audrey Renteria said.  
 
Service along those tracks had to be halted, affecting 24,000 Metra Electric customers and almost 6,000 South Shore patrons.  
 
On June 23, service along some of the same tracks was halted for eight days after fire destroyed a wooden overpass in Riverdale.  
 
"It's been a rough few weeks for Metra Electric riders; unfortunately, there have been circumstances beyond our control," Renteria said.  
 
But customers were not so forgiving.  
 
"This is what happened three weeks ago. I was late then," said Ivon Ricks, 17, a summer school student. "If they knew this was happening at 5:30 this morning, they should've had the shuttle buses."  
 
Metra provided shuttles after the Riverdale fire, but Miller said the railroad didn't think it was necessary this time because the delays were short term.  
 
"It's not like we were without service for an entire day. We were running trains today," he said. "I don't mean to make light of it, but we are back up and running. We were running some trains as early as 9 and were back by 11. We don't foresee any problems down the road."  
 
Service on the Metra Electric Main Line between University Park and Randolph Street resumed at 9 a.m., Renteria said.  
 
Service on the Blue Island Line between Blue Island Avenue and Randolph was restored around 10 a.m., and service on the South Chicago Line between South Chicago and Stony Island Avenues resumed at 11:21 a.m., Renteria said.  
 
The South Shore Line trains, which use the same tracks as Metra trains on the South Side, resumed service between South Bend, Ind., and Randolph at 12:17 p.m., said John Parsons, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District spokesman.  
 
The CTA honored Metra passes Monday, so regular train rider Barry Cooper, 25, caught a bus at 71st Street and Stony Island Avenue in the morning.  
 
"I had a lot of things on my desk that I needed to pay attention to this morning. This set me back probably a couple hours," he said. "I'll probably be at work longer than expected today."  
 
Cooper, a South Shore resident, said he has had to explain delays to his boss before.  
 
"He knows I'm a Metra rider, so he expects things like this."  
 
(The preceding report by Sufiya Abdur-Rahman and Brett McNeil appeared in the Chicago Tribune Tuesday, July 22, 2003.)  
 
July 22, 2003  


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NJ Railfan
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Re: Lightning fire holds up 30,000 on Metra
 
« Reply #1 on: Jul 22nd, 2003, 4:03pm »
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Shocking.

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BNSF_1088
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Re: Lightning fire holds up 30,000 on Metra
 
« Reply #2 on: Oct 6th, 2003, 7:48pm »
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on Jul 22nd, 2003, 4:03pm, NJ Railfan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Shocking.

 
No   ing


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