Derailed train removed from O’Hare, station to reopen this weekend

SUN-TIMES MEDIA

March 27, 2014 4:28PM

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Updated: April 29, 2014 6:30AM

A Blue Line train has been removed from the O’Hare International Airport station where it derailed early Monday, and the station is expected to reopen this weekend, the Chicago Transit Authority announced Thursday afternoon.

Before reopening, crews need to repair tracks, platforms and staircases damaged when the train crashed at 2:50 a.m. Monday, sending 32 people to local hospitals, according to a statement from the transit agency.

In the meantime, shuttle buses will continue to ferry travelers between the Rosemont station and O’Hare.

On Thursday, a fifth negligence lawsuit was filed against the CTA in connection with the crash.

In the most recent suit, passenger Eric Cates, 53, was headed home and in the third car when the Blue Line train jumped out of the track bed, said his attorney Bridget Duignan of Latherow Law Office. Cates injured his knee and aggravated a pre-existing back condition during the incident, Duignan said. Her law firm also is representing two other passengers in the third car.

NTSB investigator Ted Turpin said the operator “admitted she dozed off prior to entering the [O’Hare] station” and “woke up when she hit close to the end of the bumper,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The train operator also told NTSB officials that she could not recall if she had her hand on the spring-loaded control handle at the time the train rolled into the station, barreled over a bumping post, vaulted out of the track bed and kept going up some stairs and escalators leading into the airport.

The CTA announced earlier this week it was taking some new safety steps at the station. As a “precautionary measure,” it is lowering the speed limit of trains entering the O’Hare station from 25 mph — the speed at which the train was traveling — to 15 mph.

In addition, trip switches that are supposed to stop a train from traveling above that speed will be moved farther back on the track so they engage earlier, the CTA said.

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