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Train buffs derailed on elevated CTA tracks in South Loop

Chicago Firefighters CTA derailment 14th Street   Wabash Sunday April 29 2012.  | John H. White~Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago Firefighters at CTA derailment at 14th Street & Wabash, Sunday, April 29, 2012. | John H. White~Chicago Sun-Times.

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Updated: June 1, 2012 8:11AM

A four-car chartered train carrying about 40 train buffs derailed Sunday morning on the elevated CTA tracks near State and 14th Street in the South Loop, though no one was injured.

A Green Line train carrying 60 to 70 passengers was trapped behind the chartered train, the CTA said.

All but two of those aboard the trains walked down a nearby walkway to the nearest train station.

The Fire Department used a “snorkel bucket” to carry down passenger Harold Krewer of west suburban Addison, who had a cast on his leg and couldn’t walk down himself.

“It was pretty cool, but it wasn’t what I figured on when I started this morning,” said Krewer, a former Amtrak conductor and manager and train enthusiast.

Krewer’s friend, Daniel Boylan, of Brookfield, who accompanied Krewer in the bucket, said the train ride “got bumpy” just before the derailment.

“Many of us take the CTA every day and this never happens,” he said. “Now we have a unique story to tell.”

It took about 45 minutes before everyone was off the train after the 11:20 a.m. derailment, said Tony Van Buskirk, deputy district chief for District 1 of the Chicago Fire Department.

The 40 excursion riders paid about $100 each for the morning tour to help raise money to preserve old L trains. They began at 9 a.m. on the Blue Line from Forest Park to downtown, switching to the Pink Line, then the Green Line, stopping along way to look at rail yards and other train highlights.

The CTA suspended normal service on Green and Orange line trains for about five hours after the derailment. During that time, shuttle buses were put in place and trains from both lines were using the same track.

Contributing: Allison Horton

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