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Frozen switches leave Red Line riders stranded on North Side

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Updated: February 1, 2011 11:17PM



North Side CTA Red Line riders were stuck scrambling for transportation Tuesday night during the dangerous blizzard after several trains encountered switching problems.

Frozen switches stopped Red Line trains in both directions from Howard to Belmont between 8:45 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., CTA spokeswoman Sheila Gregory said.

Gregory said switches became frozen and passengers were being shuttled from Howard to Belmont.

For those hoping to get north of Howard, the Yellow Line was not an option, as that line also encountered switching problems, Gregory said. Those riders were also accommodated with bus shuttles.

The shuttles picked passengers up from the station to get to areas where buses could pick them up, she said.

Meanwhile, Gregory said a several buses have reported being stuck in the snow.

“It’s kind of happening progressively,” Gregory said. “You get one out and another one gets stuck.”

Metra trains are delayed up to three hours because of switching problems and weather conditions and numerous trains are stopped throughout the suburbs, according to Metra’s website.

The CTA is reporting Yellow Line service has been suspended and the Blue, Red and Purple lines are experiencing “significant delays.” Some CTA buses have also become stuck in the snow.



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