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Rail Service Alerts-Discussion Thread


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This is extreme zoom and may be grainy, but I got an image of a 8 car set of 3200's pulling into the Kimball station with a blue light on a car. The train was marked "Not In Service ". Sorry for it no

Alright, that's enough bickering @Busjack and @jajuan. We have to move forward because you both are getting way off topic.

We know you disagree with sw's alerts, but not everyone reads tweets or even use Twitter for that matter. Plus other members have overwhelming stated that his posts have been useful for them to some d

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1 minute ago, BusHunter said:

They probably want it to sound as professional and discreet as possible. Think of it as this, would you want a little kid hearing that someone just killed themselves ahead on the track. That's sensitive information a little kid or maybe even someone with a developmental disability might be disturbed by. I know when I was little I saw some gruesome car accidents. I remember my first CTA related incident when some people got ran over by a car waiting for a bus at the old Neenah/Irving Pk terminal. I was there shortly after. It was on the news. Thank God the ambulance had picked up the bodies but I had seen the shelter collapsed and a pool of blood. Usually in those instances I'd come home shaking and that may be the first signs of shock in the human body.

They aren't going to put out an alert saying "suicide," and to that extent, "medical emergency" is more discreet. But essentially, this is corporate speak autotext, similar to "we'll share your concerns with the supervisor of that route."

The two things that hit me from your post;

  • It is much more likely that a child or person with developmental disabilities is going to hear "suicide" on TV or see it in a news source on some tablet than coming upon it on CTA Alerts.
    • Notwithstanding that, if someone is really interested in delays, there is going to be a lot shorter delay if someone is alive, sick and removed than if there is a corpse on the tracks, whether suicide or pushed off the platform.
  • Speaking of developmentally disabled child, one was struck by a Purple Line train in Evanston (ABC7).
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They really must have alot of suicides/accidents. I seem to hear of one all the time. That's probably the hardest thing about being a rail operator. Hitting a little kid too would probably bother an operator more than an adult. This one I think is rare as I think little kids don't get hit so much. 

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Just now, BusHunter said:

They really must have alot of suicides/accidents. I seem to hear of one all the time. That's probably the hardest thing about being a rail operator.

Considering all the Metra ones, plus going around the gates, I don't see how Metra meets its on time goals. Maybe those incidents are exempt. I don't know if it is worth it to go back to the Polar Vortex report.

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4 hours ago, garmon757 said:

In which it pisses me off completely. If Metra can be really specific about their delays then why CTA can't do the same?

"Pedestrian incident" isn't a whole lot more specific than "medical emergency". There's really no need to say more than that. If someone wants to know the gory details, they can look up the news articles just as easily as those of us on this forum do.

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27 minutes ago, Pace831 said:

"Pedestrian incident" isn't a whole lot more specific than "medical emergency".

While a euphemism, I don't think the UPNW was held up for 2 hours in Des Plaines because some pedestrian gave the engineer a razzberry.

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  • 2 weeks later...
16 hours ago, sw4400 said:

Someone decided to relieve themselves in #3341 at or before Kimball. Train is sitting out of service for a cleaning and we had to switch trains. I could hear the maintenance staff getting close to losing it on the smell. 

Gotta go,  gotta go! !!

One day I had to go really bad.   Just short of Harlem on the Green Line we had to sit and wait for a train to leave.   Both berths were occupied.   I couldn't wait anymore.   So I Went between cars and I checked to see which side had the third rail.  I chose the opposite side,  made sure no one in either car could see, and let it go.  A stream of liquid.   We still waited another 5 minutes before we actually moved.  

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5 hours ago, artthouwill said:

Gotta go,  gotta go! !!

One day I had to go really bad.   Just short of Harlem on the Green Line we had to sit and wait for a train to leave.   Both berths were occupied.   I couldn't wait anymore.   So I Went between cars and I checked to see which side had the third rail.  I chose the opposite side,  made sure no one in either car could see, and let it go.  A stream of liquid.   We still waited another 5 minutes before we actually moved.  

 

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Red Line is routed clockwise around the loop, acting essentially as a non-express Purple Line. I'm not sure that's ever happened before during my time in Chicago. I'd like to get a picture of a Red Line train at Library or Quincy or something, but I'm at work and I doubt the reroute will last until my shift is over...

EDIT: And right as I posted that, they resumed normal routing. Knew it...dang!

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16 minutes ago, briman94 said:

Red Line is routed clockwise around the loop, acting essentially as a non-express Purple Line. I'm not sure that's ever happened before during my time in Chicago. I'd like to get a picture of a Red Line train at Library or Quincy or something, but I'm at work and I doubt the reroute will last until my shift is over...

EDIT: And right as I posted that, they resumed normal routing. Knew it...dang!

There was some alert about the Red, Green and Orange lines being messed up near Rossevelt due to fire activity. Now says resuming normal service.

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17 hours ago, sw4400 said:

6/22/16 9:41p

***Special Weather Bulletin***

Rail Lines Affected: All Rail Lines

Level Of Service Interruption: --

Information: The National Weather Service in Chicago has outlined the Chicago Metro Area with a Significant Severe Weather Event for Wednesday, June 23, 2016.... the primary threats of any Severe Thunderstorms that form could be violent wind gusts of 80 mph, golf ball size hail. I have never seen a TOR:CON(Tornado Condition Index) of a "6" in Chicago before. That indicates a 60% possibility of a Tornado in a 50-mile radius. The Tornadoes that could potentially spawn from these Severe Thunderstorms may be those along the lines of the Rochelle/Fairdale EF-4 Tornado just last year. Rail Service may be impacted depending on the severity of the storms that come through the Chicago Metro Area, and damage may linger for a period after the storms leave.

Be Alert!!! Watch the skies and have a safe place to get to should the weather become violent and a Tornado Warning is issued for the Chicago Metro Area tomorrow...

I was wondering how CTA/Metra/Pace would handle a tornado warning and found this old thread, which didn't really result in any answers. I don't imagine a bus or train is a safe place to take shelter from a tornado. If anyone has any new information or stories about riding transit in severe weather, I'd like to hear it.

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5 hours ago, Pace831 said:

I was wondering how CTA/Metra/Pace would handle a tornado warning and found this old thread, which didn't really result in any answers. I don't imagine a bus or train is a safe place to take shelter from a tornado. If anyone has any new information or stories about riding transit in severe weather, I'd like to hear it.

Logic would dictate if a Tornado was entering the Chicago Metro Area, CTA Dispatchers would send out alerts to the Clever Devices in the buses and radio the trains and probably have them stop and evacuate to the nearest station, Bus Operators would probably be told to seek shelter with his/her passengers in an emergency like this.

Chicago never really had to deal with this situation as far as I know, thankfully.....

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21 minutes ago, sw4400 said:

Logic would dictate if a Tornado was entering the Chicago Metro Area, CTA Dispatchers would send out alerts to the Clever Devices in the buses and radio the trains and probably have them stop and evacuate to the nearest station, Bus Operators would probably be told to seek shelter with his/her passengers in an emergency like this.

Chicago never really had to deal with this situation as far as I know, thankfully.....

I don't know what CTA would do, but Metra had to read the railroads it contracts with, the riot act, because they were shutting down service due to what they called high winds. But what made it ridiculous was, that while service on the two Milwaukee District Lines continue to run, the Union Pacific was shutting down all three of its lines for the so-called high winds. It seems the UP dispatchers in Omaha, just didn't understand the difference between high winds on an open prairie like Kansas & Nebraska & high winds in tree covered Cook County where there the lines run between buildings & in open cuts..

And it wasn't Whole Gale, 55MPH & higher, it was 40 MPH winds that were freaking out Omaha. I didn't get a single Metra alert tonight for the UP North Line, so I assume Omaha got the message.

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3 hours ago, sw4400 said:

Logic would dictate if a Tornado was entering the Chicago Metro Area, CTA Dispatchers would send out alerts to the Clever Devices in the buses and radio the trains and probably have them stop and evacuate to the nearest station, Bus Operators would probably be told to seek shelter with his/her passengers in an emergency like this.

Chicago never really had to deal with this situation as far as I know, thankfully.....

They should absolutely find shelter right away if a tornado warning is issued. But I observed a few times last year that Pace buses continued on their routes during a tornado warning. Maybe the sirens are considered the signal to take shelter, as I don't remember them going off in those instances.

A few years ago I asked a school bus driver what she would do in case of a tornado warning, and the answer was to take shelter at the nearest police/fire station. I then asked what if there were kids waiting for the bus farther down the route. She said that was a judgement call, sometimes it's better to continue to pick them up to be sure they're safe and other times it's obvious that everyone needs to take shelter immediately. On CTA however, there isn't the same scope of responsibility to keep passengers safe, and the operator doesn't know where or if there are passengers waiting along the route. In the thread I linked to before, someone suggested buses should continue on route to prevent people from being "stranded" at bus stops. I'd argue the opposite, that CTA is obligated to bring the passengers already on the bus to safety. People waiting at bus stops can't rely on the bus coming and should be expected to seek shelter on their own. Unlike the school bus riders, CTA passengers are old enough to plan ahead if they need to be out when severe weather is forecasted.

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12 hours ago, strictures said:

I don't know what CTA would do, but Metra had to read the railroads it contracts with, the riot act, because they were shutting down service due to what they called high winds. But what made it ridiculous was, that while service on the two Milwaukee District Lines continue to run, the Union Pacific was shutting down all three of its lines for the so-called high winds. It seems the UP dispatchers in Omaha, just didn't understand the difference between high winds on an open prairie like Kansas & Nebraska & high winds in tree covered Cook County where there the lines run between buildings & in open cuts..

And it wasn't Whole Gale, 55MPH & higher, it was 40 MPH winds that were freaking out Omaha. I didn't get a single Metra alert tonight for the UP North Line, so I assume Omaha got the message.

My understanding is that the UP had to reduce train speeds or halt service if the wind forecast included wind above X miles per hour (I don't remember what value X was), since the UP Metra lines did not have equipment to measure the actual windspeeds.  Metra paid (at least in part) for the installation of this equipment a couple years ago, allowing trains to operate based on the actual windspeed rather than the highest possible forecast.

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44 minutes ago, maths22 said:

My understanding is that the UP had to reduce train speeds or halt service if the wind forecast included wind above X miles per hour (I don't remember what value X was), since the UP Metra lines did not have equipment to measure the actual windspeeds.  Metra paid (at least in part) for the installation of this equipment a couple years ago, allowing trains to operate based on the actual windspeed rather than the highest possible forecast.

That's basically correct. However, it doesn't sound like there was a specific X value. Here is the article

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35 minutes ago, sw4400 said:

Another stupid act of violence in Chicago

No, it was either "police activity" or a "sick passenger." You know what I mean.

 

35 minutes ago, sw4400 said:

No doubt the pair of 5305-5306 will be out as a legal hold for an extended period.

Unlikely. The news reports said they had plenty of video to download, and CTA employees knew the suspect. It isn't like the train jumped the tracks and struck someone, causing a "medical emergency" and a lawsuit.

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On 6/23/2016 at 9:23 PM, sw4400 said:

Another stupid act of violence in Chicago.... this time the Red Line was the location for this homicide. No doubt the pair of 5305-5306 will be out as a legal hold for an extended period.

Stupid, senseless violence.... ¬¬

http://abc7chicago.com/news/woman-stabbed-to-death-on-cta-red-line/1398582/

I mentioned this in the other thread. Red Line trains had significant delays while police did their initial investigations. Service was back to normal by the PM rush.  And Busjack is right. This sad senseless event had no direct connection to CTA in regards to it's cause. Police did what they needed in terms of gathering evidence. They have the suspect. So there's no need to put those two cars on any kind of hold. 

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