Derailment expected to delay evening Metra trains
October 22, 2009 10:35 AM | No Comments | UPDATED STORY
Several Metra trains to and from Orland Park have been canceled this morning because of a freight train derailment south of Union Station. (Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune)
Evening rush-hour delays are expected on Metra's Southwest trains because of a freight train that derailed south of Union Station this morning.
Metra has cancelled four midday trains on the Southwest line and are planning to reroute evening trains through a rail yard and around the derailment site, delaying the trains at least 30 minutes.
"We'll have to use this complicated procedure to get the trains out of Union Station," Metra spokesman Meg Reile said. "It involves using alternate tracks through a rail yard."
The Union Pacific freight train derailed around 8 a.m. as it was leaving a rail yard near 18th Street. No one was hurt, but the train was leaking fluid into the Chicago River and a hazardous materials alert was called, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
Metra has been told it could take 12 hours to clear. It could take less time, but Reile said Metra decided to cancel four trains as a precaution and warn commuters of probable delays this evening.
"They have to clear the derailment, then assess if there was any damage and then fix whatever was damaged," Reile said.
The Southwest line carries 30 trains a day, 15 outbound from Union Station and 15 inbound from Manhattan.
The cancelled trains are No. 807 scheduled to depart Union Station at 8:35 a.m.; No. 811 scheduled to depart Union Station at 10:35 a.m.; No. 822 scheduled to depart 179th at 9:58 a.m.; No. 826 scheduled to depart 179th at 11:58 a.m.
Two other trains -- 812 and 818 -- were stopped at 21st for up to an hour before being rerouted to Union Station, Reile said.
At least six evening trains are expected to be delayed 30 minutes. They leave Union Station between 4:30 p.m. and 6:58 p.m.